Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a very tasty and healthy tropical fruit. It originated in South America, where early European explorers named it because of its resemblance to a pine cone. This popular fruit is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and other useful compounds, such as enzymes that can fight inflammation and disease.
Pineapple and its compounds have been linked to many health benefits, including aiding digestion, boosting immunity, and speeding recovery from surgery, among others. Here are 8 amazing health benefits of pineapple:
Loaded with nutrients
Pineapples are low in calories but have a very impressive nutrient profile. One cup (5.8 ounces or 165 grams) of pineapple chunks contains the following:
- Calories: 82.5
- Fat: 1.7 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbohydrate: 21.6 grams
- Fiber: 2.3 grams
- Vitamin C: 131% of RDI
- Manganese: 76% of RDI
- Vitamin B6: 9% of RDI
- Copper: 9% of RDI
- Thiamine: 9% of RDI
- Folate: 7% of RDI
- Potassium: 5% of RDI
- Magnesium: 5% of RDI
- Niacin: 4% of RDI
- Pantothenic acid: 4% of RDI
- Riboflavin: 3% of RDI
- Iron: 3% of RDI
Pineapple also contains traces of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, zinc and calcium. They are very rich in vitamin C and manganese, providing 131% and 76% of the daily recommendation, respectively. Vitamin C is essential for growth and development, for a healthy immune system and for promoting the absorption of iron from the diet. Meanwhile, manganese is a natural mineral that helps growth, maintains a healthy metabolism, and has antioxidant properties.
Contains disease -fighting antioxidants
Not only is pineapple packed with nutrients, it is also packed with healthy antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that help your body fight oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition in which there are too many free radicals in the body. These free radicals interact with body cells and cause damage associated with chronic inflammation, a weakened immune system and many dangerous diseases.
Pineapples are especially rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids and phenolic acids. In addition, many antioxidants in pineapple are related. This allows the antioxidants to survive in more difficult conditions in the body and produce longer lasting effects.
Its enzymes can facilitate digestion
Pineapples contain a group of digestive enzymes known as bromelain. They function as proteases, which break down protein molecules into their building blocks, such as amino acids and small peptides. This can be especially helpful for people with pancreatic insufficiency, a condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce enough digestive enzymes.
For example, one study showed that participants with pancreatic insufficiency experienced better digestion after taking a digestive enzyme supplement containing bromelain, compared to taking the same digestive enzyme supplement without bromelain.
Bromelain is also widely used as a commercial meat softener because of its ability to break down tough meat proteins.
Can Help Reduce Cancer Risk
Cancer is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Its development is usually associated with oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Several studies have shown that pineapple and its compounds can reduce the risk of cancer. This is because they can minimize oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
Test tube studies have shown that bromelain can also help fight cancer. For example, two test tube studies showed that bromelain inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells and stimulates cell death.
Other test tube studies show that bromelain blocks cancers of the skin, bile ducts, gastric system and colon, among other areas. Test tube and animal studies have found that bromelain can stimulate the immune system to produce molecules that make white blood cells more effective at inhibiting cancer cell growth and eliminating cancer cells.
More human -based research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn.
It can boost immunity and suppress inflammation
Pineapple has been a part of traditional medicine for centuries. It contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes such as bromelain that can collectively boost immunity and suppress inflammation.
The nine -week study fed 98 healthy babies without pineapple, a little pineapple (140 g) or a lot of pineapple (280 g) a day to see if this boosted their immunity. Children who eat pineapple have a much lower risk of viral and bacterial infections. In addition, children who ate more pineapple had nearly four times more white blood cells (granulocytes) fighting disease than the other two groups.
Another study found that children with sinus infections recovered significantly faster when taking bromelain supplements, compared to standard treatment or a combination of both. Moreover, studies have shown that bromelain can reduce inflammatory markers
It can relieve the symptoms of arthritis
Arthritis affects over 54 million adults in the U.S. alone. There are many types of arthritis, but most involve inflammation of the joints. Since pineapple contains bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties, it is commonly thought that pineapple can relieve pain for those suffering from arthritis.
In fact, research as early as the 1960s showed that bromelain was used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a type of arthritis that involves inflammation of the joints. Several recent studies have examined the effectiveness of bromelain for treating arthritis.
A study in osteoarthritis patients found that taking a digestive enzyme supplement containing bromelain helped relieve pain as effectively as common arthritis medications such as diclofenac. It is concluded that bromelain has the potential to relieve arthritis symptoms, especially in the short term.
However, it is unclear whether bromelain can be a long -term treatment for arthritis symptoms. Longer studies are needed before recommending bromelain to relieve arthritis symptoms.
It can speed recovery after surgery or strenuous exercise
Eating pineapple can reduce the time it takes to recover from surgery or exercise. This is largely due to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain. Several studies have shown that bromelain can reduce the inflammation, swelling, bruising and pain that often occur after surgery. It also appears to reduce markers of inflammation.
For example, one study showed that those who took bromelain before dental surgery had significantly reduced pain and felt happier than those who did not. In fact, it appears to provide the same amount of relief as regular anti-inflammatory medications.
Heavy exercise can also damage muscle tissue and cause inflammation around it. The affected muscles are unable to produce that much energy and are sore for up to three days. Proteases such as bromelain are believed to speed the recovery of damage caused by strenuous exercise by reducing inflammation around damaged muscle tissue.
One study tested this theory by providing participants with additional digestive enzymes containing bromelain after 45 minutes of strenuous exercise on a treadmill. Those who took the supplement experienced less inflammation and retained more strength afterwards.
Several other studies have shown that bromelain can speed recovery from damage caused by exercise.
Tasty and easy to add in the diet
Pineapples are sweet, affordable, and easy to incorporate into your diet. It is very affordable and available year -round in many American markets, as it can be purchased fresh, canned or frozen. You can enjoy it alone or in a smoothie, salad or on a homemade pizza. Here are some simple recipe ideas that use fresh pineapple:
- Breakfast: pineapple smoothie, blueberries and Greek yogurt
- Salad: tropical grilled chicken, almonds, blueberries and pineapple salad
- Lunch: homemade Hawaiian burgers (beef burgers with pineapple rings)
- Dinner: Grilled ham with pineapple and cherries
- Dessert: Pineapple salad
How to cut a pineapple, Pineapple is delicious, low in calories, and full of nutrients and antioxidants. Nutrients and their compounds have been linked to significant health benefits, including better digestion, lower cancer risk, better immunity, relief from arthritis symptoms and better recovery after surgery and strenuous exercise. physician. Pineapples are also very versatile and can be eaten in a variety of ways. To feel their health benefits, try including pineapple in your diet.