Pineapple is one of the most popular exotic fruits in the world and certainly one of the most delicious as well. People have been consuming the fruit for centuries due to its exotic taste and the numerous health benefits it offers. According to studies, pineapples can treat numerous respiratory problems, reduce inflammation, promote weight loss, prevent cancer, improve your cardiovascular health, fight parasites and infections, boost your immune system and circulation as well.
Pineapples can be consumed fresh, cooked and juiced. In the past, Hawaii was the biggest producer of the fruit, but it can now be found all over the world. The fruit is native to the Caribbean, Brazil and Paraguay, and was brought to Europe after Columbus returned from his trip in the 15th century.
The fruiting season of pineapples runs from March to June, with each tree producing a big number of fruits. The name pineapple originated from the 17th century due to the fruit’s resemblance to pine cones. In the past, the fruit was also known as ananas. You probably know how it looks – it’s got a few leaves on top and a hard shell with thorns and spikes. Pineapple juice is especially popular around the world and is also a part of numerous cocktails such as pinacolada.
Besides the nice taste, pineapple offers numerous health benefits as well. The fruit contains a variety of important nutrients including vitamins B6 and C, beta-carotene, folate, manganese, magnesium copper and calcium which can improve your overall health. Here are the top 11 health benefits of pineapples:
Pineapples are a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can treat arthritis and reduce the pain in your joints. They contain a rare enzyme known as bromelain which is mainly responsible for the fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties. According to people who have tried it, pineapple juice can significantly reduce the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Boosts the immune system
Thanks to the high amount of vitamin C (130% of the RDA per a medium-sized fruit) pineapples are great for your immune system. The exotic fruit can improve the activity of your white blood cells and help the body fight different infections. The fruits can also fight free radicals which are often responsible for numerous chronic diseases including cancer.
Accelerate the healing process
Vitamin C can boost the production of collagen in the body, effectively improving the health of your tissues, skin, bones, blood vessels and muscles. The rich amount of vitamin C found in pineapples can accelerate the healing of injuries and wounds and defeat various infections and diseases.
Besides the rich amount of antioxidants and vitamin C, pineapples also contain vitamin A, bromelain, beta-carotene and flavonoids which can treat different types of cancer. The fruit contains manganese as well, a co-factor of superoxide dismutase, a free radical fighter that can fight various types of cancer, but it’s mostly effective against oral, throat and breast cancer.
Improve your digestion
Pineapples are a great source of fiber which can boost your digestion and prevent a variety of digestive problems such as constipation or diarrhea. Fiber can also keep your blood pressure in control and control the passage of food through the digestive tract. The soluble and insoluble fiber in pineapples will bulk up your stool and treat IBS and atherosclerosis. Finally, the fiber will also regulate your cholesterol levels and prevent it from accumulating in the arteries.
Treat coughs and colds
Vitamin C can prevent infections and colds on its own, but it works far better when combined with bromelain. The combination will thin out the mucus in your airways and sinus cavities, promoting its quick elimination and treating coughs and colds.
Improve the health of your bones
Although not that rich in calcium as other fruits or vegetables, pineapples have a high amount of manganese, a mineral which is highly important for our bones. A single pineapple can have up to 70% of the RDA of manganese, which is more than enough to keep your bones strong.
Improve your oral health
Pineapples have astringent properties that will relieve the inflammation in your gums and reinforce them, effectively keeping your teeth healthy. The astringent agents in the exotic fruit can prevent bone and teeth loss while also strengthening your gums. Pineapples are often recommended as a natural remedy against loose teeth and gum recession.
Improve your eye health
Due to the high content of beta-carotene, pineapples can prevent a variety of vision problems including macular degeneration. Eat them more often and you will surely boost your eyesight and improve the health of your eyes.
Regulate your blood pressure
Pineapples are a rich source of many minerals including potassium. Potassium can regulate your blood pressure and keep your cardiovascular health in check. The mineral is a powerful vasodilator which can ease the stress in your blood vessels and improve your blood flow as well. By boosting your blood flow, the fruit can prevent blood clots and the accumulation of plaque in your arteries which can be deadly.
Boost your blood circulation
Besides providing your body with potassium, pineapples can also boost your copper levels, another important mineral that plays a part in numerous enzymatic reactions in the body. Copper is especially important for the production of red blood cells, which will lead to increased oxygenation in the cells and better organ function. According to several studies, pineapples can improve your cognitive abilities and treat and prevent neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the fruit is certainly beneficial, you should consume pineapples in limited amounts. Bromelain is a meat tenderizer which can make your lips, gums and tongue more sensitive, and an “overdose” of pineapple can also lead to diarrhea, vomiting, headaches and nausea. Pregnant women should avoid consuming too much pineapple as bromelain might induce menstruation which may result in miscarriage.