Pineapple is a tropical fruit that provides great refreshment to the consumers. It’s mostly eaten sweet when it is ripe, but some natural pineapples are also sour. It’s typically a summer fruit in tropical countries but pineapple can now also come in cans as tidbits and slices, or even as a juice – available for consumption all year round.
Originally, the pineapple is believed to have originated from Brazil, in South America. It is also believed by historians the first people from the continent of Europe to have tasted the pineapple were Christopher Columbus and his crew. It was them who named it pineapple after its semblance to pinecones. (1)
While pineapple is absolutely delicious, did you know that there are a lot of health benefits that can be get from this yellow fleshy fruit?
This small fruit is an absolute wonder as it is packed with antioxidants, nutrients, and other plant compounds, like enzymes that fight illnesses and inflammation and disease. The whole pineapple fruit has a lot of health benefits such as improving digestion and helping with heart problems. (2)
Let’s take a deep dive to the health benefits of pineapple.
1. Pineapple has a lot of nutrients
Pineapples are very low in calories, but have a high nutritional content for a very small serving.
A one cup serving (165 grams) of pineapple has: 82.5 calories, 1.7 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 21.6 grams of carbs, 2.3 grams of fiber, Vitamin C (about 131% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)!), manganese (76% of RDI), Vitamin B6 (9% of RDI), Copper (9% of RDI), Thiamin (9% of RDI), Folate (7% of RDI), Potassium (5% of RDI), Magnesium (5% of RDI), Niacin (5% of RDI), Pantothenic acid (3% of RDI), Riboflavin (3% of RDI) and Iron (3% of RDI). (2)
That is a lot of minerals and nutrients for just one cup!
These minerals and nutrients contained in the pineapple has a lot of health benefits to the body. Vitamin C, that is found in a 131% of the recommended daily intake (RDI), is important in the growth and repair of the body, as well as the regulating some important body functions, like healing wounds, producing collagen, and the maintenance of bones, cartilage and teeth. (3)
Vitamin B6, better known as pyridoxine, is one of the eight vitamins in the Vitamin B group. It is generally important to the digestive health, muscular function, and so much more. It actually stimulates the production of the hormones serotonin (which regulates moods), norepinephrine (which helps with how your body copes with stress) and melatonin, which is important in regulating the internal clock of the body and making you sleep better. (4)
Copper, on the other hand, is important in the formation of red blood cells, and transporting a good amount of oxygen in the body. It also maintains healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves and improves the immune system. A deficiency of copper in one’s diet may lead to osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. (5)
Other nutrients in pineapple such as thiamin (or Vitamin B1), helps prevent complications in the nervous system, brain, muscle and stomach. Folate, is another B Vitamin that is essential in periods of rapid growth such as in pregnancy, infancy and adolescence. Potassium and magnesium supports cardiovascular health, bone strength and prevents weakness, fatigue and constipation. (6) (7) (8) (9)
2. Pineapples are packed with antioxidants that fight diseases
Some of the nutrients mentioned above are also healthy antioxidants that fight against serious illnesses.
Antioxidants are substances in the body that inhibit oxidation of the elements in your body. This oxidation leads to the formation of free radicals in the body. These free radicals interact with the cells in the body, causing inflammation and a weakened immune system. (10)
Since pineapples are packed with antioxidants, known as flavonoids and phenolic acid. These antioxidants in the pineapple are found as compounds, bound together with other elements, and are not free-floating, they can survive in harsher conditions and produce longer lasting effects. (2)
The antioxidants in pineapple are Vitamin C, beta-carotene and the vitamins and minerals copper, zinc and folate. These antioxidants are effective in lowering the risk of cancer, as well as some autoimmune diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular complications. (11)
3. Pineapples improve fertility
Another side-effect of the antioxidant-packed pineapple is that it improves fertility. Free radicals are known to damage the reproductive system, lowering the fertility of a person, foods that are high in antioxidants promote a healthier fertility. That’s why pineapples are recommended to those women having a hard time conceiving. (11)
Moreover, it has also been proven by countless of studies that the antioxidants found in pineapples, namely, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, copper, zinc and folate has been found to increase the fertility in both men and women. (11)
4. Pineapple promotes blood pressure
Another nutrient that is found in pineapple is potassium. It has also been proven that consuming fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium lower the risks of having a high blood pressure (hypertension) that leads to other more serious complications. A diet that is sufficient with pineapple has been associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from various causes. (11)
5. Pineapple lowers blood sugar levels for diabetics
A small cup of pineapple contains 2.3 grams of fiber, while a medium-sized whole pineapple contains around 13 grams of fiber. Fiber is largely important to those suffering from diabetes. (2) (11)
Patients with Type 1 Diabetes, who consumer high amounts of fiber tend to have lower blood sugar levels. While patients with Type 2 Diabetes or Diabetes Miletus have improved blood sugar, lips and insulin levels when they eat a diet that is high in fiber. (11)
6. Pineapple is good for your digestion
Because of the high fiber and water content in pineapple, it promotes good digestion and prevents constipation. Moreover, it is rich in bromelain, the enzyme that is responsible for helping the body digest proteins. (11)
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