Pineapple – Benefits, Nutritional Value and Ways to Include
Read on to marvel at the enormous health benefits of pineapple – rough & edgy on the outside, soft & juicy inside, with a crown on the head.
Name the rough and edgy fruit on the outside, soft and juicy inside, with a crown? Of course, it is pineapple. The fruit pineapple is interesting to look at and delicious, and healthy to eat. The benefits of pineapple are many, ranging from improving digestion to fighting against cancer cells, preventing ageing, and many more. So stay tuned to marvel at the enormous health benefits of this fruit crowned by nature.
Scientifically known as Ananas comosus, it is a tropical fruit. The pineapple plant can live up to 50 years. It originated in South America and soon gained popularity worldwide. There are different types of pineapple available worldwide according to shape, texture, colour and size.
Nutritional Value of Pineapple
The nutritional value of 100 grams of pineapple is as follows: –
- Calories – 56.6
- Carbohydrate – 9.42 grams
- Fat – 0.16 grams
- Protein – 0.52 grams
- Fibre – 3.46 grams
- Phosphorous – 9 mg
- Iron – 2.42 mg
- Choline – 8 mg
- Magnesium – 33 mg
- Sodium – 34.7 mg
- Potassium – 37 mg
- Selenium – 20mcg
- Vitamin A – 18 mcg
- Vitamin C – 39 mg
Benefits of Pineapple
1. Aids in Weight Loss
Pineapple contains soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps in losing weight. In addition, it is low in calories, and you can consume it while following a low-calorie diet for weight loss.
Snacking in between meals due to low or no satiety is a significant health concern for weight gain and obesity nowadays. In addition, a more substantial problem is eating unhealthy snacks. Therefore, avoid binge eating between meals. The fibre content in pineapple gives satiety for a more extended period. As a result, you can manage the urge to binge on unhealthy mid-meal snacks. In addition, pineapple is excellent for mid-morning fruit while losing weight.
A study suggests that consuming pineapple every day may help in weight loss.
2. Natural Energy Booster
The nutritional profile of pineapple clearly states its richness in nutrients. These nutrients are essential for maintaining good health. In addition, pineapple is very versatile, and you can include it in any cuisine. For example, you can consume it as a salad, juice, or whole fruit.
Pineapple is rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C, apart from being a potent antioxidant, also helps in the proper absorption of iron in your body. That is how it helps in preventing anaemia. In addition, magnesium in pineapple aids growth and helps maintain good metabolism. It also has antioxidant properties. All these make pineapple a natural energy booster.
3. Protect from Degenerative Diseases
Oxidative stress leads to degenerative diseases. Antioxidants help in reducing oxidative stress in your body. In addition, they help fight the free radicals in your body caused by oxidative stress. Pineapple is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants protect your body from various degenerative diseases like type 2 diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
4. Fights Inflammation
Pineapple contains a wonder component, bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme in pineapple which has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps fight inflammation in your body and suppresses the growth of certain tumours. It also fights germs and keeps your body immune to various infections.
Studies explain the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain. As a result, pineapple prevents cancer, Parkinson’s and other inflammatory diseases.
5. Eases digestion
Bromelain in pineapple also acts as a digestive enzyme. It is a Protease enzyme, which helps break down protein in your body. The process helps break down protein from its complex structure to its simpler form with the help of bromelain. This simpler form of protein gets broken down into amino acids. Amino acids are also known as the building blocks of protein. The body quickly absorbs these amino acids. That is how pineapple helps in the digestion and absorption of proteins.
Fibre and bromelain together aid in proper digestion. As a result, pineapple helps relieve people from digestive disorders like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence etc.
6. Treats cold and cough
Pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties, which help fight infections like cough and cold. Studies prove that pineapple may treat seasonal cough and cold. For ages, people have been consuming pineapple for its therapeutic uses.
In addition, pineapple juice helps soothe your throat. It eases sore throats and dissolves mucus. A 2010 study reported that people who drank one glass of pineapple juice daily recovered from tuberculosis faster than other people.
7. Strengthens bones
Calcium and magnesium in pineapple benefit your bones and dental health. Eating pineapple strengthens your gums and helps maintain the enamel layer of your teeth. In addition, magnesium helps maintain stronger bones.
8. Improves fertility
The enzyme bromelain has remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. It is due to its high antioxidant levels. Apart from this, bromelain also has a unique agent, an anticoagulant.
An anticoagulant is a blood-thinning agent, which helps improve blood flow to the uterus. This improved blood flow helps in proper implantation. In addition, this property of bromelain also helps regulate menstrual cycles in females.
9. Good for eyes
Pineapple is a good source of vitamin A. It contains beta carotene, an essential vitamin A component that helps maintain healthy vision. In addition, pineapple contains vitamin C, which is an antioxidant.
Eyes undergo macular degeneration due to oxidative stress. This condition ultimately leads to cataracts which is a common eye problem. Vitamin C, as a potent antioxidant, can improve cataract related issues. Also, because vitamin C inhibits lens oxidation.
10. Prevents hypertension
The antioxidant-rich pineapple is excellent for maintaining a healthy heart. In addition, research shows that consuming pineapple is effective against preventing hypertension. That is also due to the presence of bromelain. Bromelain exerts an antihypertensive effect when administered for prolonged periods. Hence, if you want your heart to be healthy, consume pineapple daily.
11. Aids in speedy recovery
Pineapple aids in speedy recovery after a surgery or heavy workout. However, research has proven that bromelain (the enzyme in pineapple) is an essential factor. It has effectively reduced exercise-induced muscle pain. In addition, it also enhances recovery after surgeries.
Dermatological Benefits of Pineapple
Studies suggest that bromelain has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Bromelain also helps people with Pityriasis Lichenoides Chronica (PLC). It is a chronic skin disease. The disease leads to scaling and raised spots on the skin. A study says that supplementing with bromelain daily for three months may reverse the condition without any side effects. A study also suggests that applying pineapple to the face may help fight acne-causing bacteria.
One cup of pineapple contains 88% of the required daily value of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps our skin in many ways. For example, it encourages collagen production, which helps maintain skin elasticity. In addition, it also prevents damage to the skin cells caused by free radicals.
As a result, pineapple helps cure several skin conditions like:
- Black spots
- Dull skin
- Thin hair
- Inflammation of scalp
- Hair fall
Ways to Include Pineapple in Your Diet
Pineapple is a very versatile ingredient. You can add it to salads, blend it to make a smoothie or even bake it with dishes to add a sweet component. Let us take a look at a few healthy recipes using pineapple.
#1 Pineapple Smoothie
Serves – 2
Preparation time – 10 minutes
- Pineapple (chopped) – 2 cups
- Skimmed milk – 1.5 cups
- Ground cinnamon – 1 pinch
- Honey – 1 teaspoon (optional)
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender
- Pass it through a strainer and serve chilled.
#2 Pineapple Muffins
Soft and moist homemade pineapple muffins are perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack.
Serves – 4
Time – 30 minutes.
- Crushed pineapple – 1 cup
- Skimmed milk – 2 tablespoon
- Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
- Pure vanilla extract – 1½ tsp
- Oil – 0.5 tbsp
- Oat flour – 1 cup
- Baking soda and baking powder: ½ tsp each
- Whisk the first five ingredients in a bowl with the help of an electric beater.
- Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a muffin tin.
- Stir the remaining ingredients into the bowl until the batter is evenly mixed.
- Portion into the liners. Bake 20 minutes or until muffins have domed and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out mostly clean.
- Once cooled, if you loosely cover overnight either on the counter or refrigerated, the liners peel off easily, and the flavour and texture are even better on the next day.
Points to Remember
Pineapple has an enormous amount of health benefits. But it would help if you did not overeat. Overconsumption of bromelain may lead to nausea, vomiting, and rashes.
Some important points to consider while using pineapple are:
- When cutting a pineapple, ensure that you use a sharp knife and wear gloves.
- While chopping a pineapple, make sure to remove all the eyes of the pineapple.
- Overeating pineapple can lead to ulcers in the mouth.
- Do not drink water after eating pineapple. It may lead to a sore throat.
- You can consume one glass of pineapple juice daily as a mid-morning drink.
- You can add pineapple to your cakes, pastries, salads etc.
In some places, pineapple has its use as a meat tenderiser. In addition, pineapple also is perfect for steak marination. However, pregnant women are not allowed to eat pineapple in some areas. However, it is not scientifically proven.
Some people are allergic to pineapple and cannot digest it well. Symptoms of pineapple allergy are as follows: –
If you face any difficulty after consuming pineapple, consult a physician immediately.
Pineapple is a delicious fruit, which is low in calories and full of nutrients. The nutrients are bound in complex compounds, which do not break easily. That is why people call pineapple a rough and tough fruit. Not only because of its outward appearance, but also its chewy texture and its ability to keep its nutrient compounds intact. These nutrient compounds do not get broken even in some unfavourable conditions.
Pineapple benefits our body in many ways. In other words, its benefits are multiple. Overall, it is beneficial for almost all body functions. It is an incredibly versatile fruit, and you can consume it in various ways like baking, roasting, blending, etc. To experience its health benefits, incorporate pineapple in your weekly diet.