Health Benefits of Pineapple
This sticky and sweet tropical fruit is a favorite with children of all ages. Perfect as an integral part of sweet and sour sauce, you can’t go past the wonderful pineapple. Pineapple is a tropical fruit, it contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which helps in the digestion of protein. Pineapple can prevent blood clot formation because of its bromelain content.
Pineapples are a member of the Bromeliaceae family and are composed of many flowers whose fruitlets are fused around a core. Each fruitlet has an eye which is the spiny part on the pineapple’s surface. Pineapples are both sweet and tart with a beautiful, tropical yellow colour, reminiscent of warm summer days at the beach.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
One of the most important enzymes in pineapple is bromelain and it is bromelain that holds the key to many of the pineapple’s health benefits. Fresh pineapple is full of these sulphur-containing, protein-digesting compounds so, what can they do for you?
Bromelain and Pineapples
Bromelain has been found to be a useful anti-inflammatory, effective in reducing swelling and assisting in the treatment of conditions such as acute sinusitis, sore throat, arthritis and gout. For increased effectiveness, pineapple should be eaten between meals without other food. This is because of another of bromelaid’s properties, that as an aid to digestion. If eaten with other food, bromelaid’s health benefits will be taken up in helping to digest the other food.
Pineapple is high in anti-oxidants
A very good source of vitamin C, pineapple offers your body an excellent protection against free-radicals, substances that attack healthy cells. A build up of free-radicals can lead to atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, an increase in asthma attacks and an increased risk of developing certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Free-radicals have also been shown to accentuate the problems associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin C, your body’s most important water-soluble anti-oxidant has proven itself invaluable in fighting against and aiding treatment for these conditions.
Vitamin C is, of course, also an excellent cold and flu fighter due to its importance to the proper functioning of the immune system.
Pineapple is also an excellent source of manganese, a mineral essential in some of the enzymes necessary in the body for energy production. It also has very good amounts of thiamine (vitamin B1) which is also important in these energy producing enzymes.
Pineapple and other fruit has been shown to be important in maintaining good eye health, helping to protect against age-related eye problems. Three serves of fruit a day, in particular those high in anti-oxidants, has been shown to lower your risk of developing this potentially debilitating condition.
There are even some beneficial molecules hidden in the stems of pineapples, Australian research has found. These molecules have been seen to act as a defence against certain types of cancer. The types of cancer benefited by these molecules are ovarian, breast, lung, colon and skin cancer.
Pineapple Nutritive Value (Per 100 gm.)
- Vitamin A: 130 I.U. a: 130 i.u.
- Vitamin C: 24 mg c: 24 mg
- Calcium: 16 mg 16 mg
- Phosphorus: 11 mg 11 mg
- Potassium: 150 mg 150 mg
- Carbohydrates: 13.7 gm 13.7 gm
- Calories: 52 52
Pineapple has following health benefits:
- It is regulates the gland and found to be helpful in cases of goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland).
- Dyspepsia (chronic digestive disturbance).
- Bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tubes).
- Catarrh (secretions from mucous membranes).
- High Blood pressure.
- Arthritis (diseases of the joints)
- Fresh pineapple juice is also used in removing intestinal worms.
- Fresh pineapple juice has been used to combat diptheria and other infections of the throat or other parts of the body.
- Prevents nausea (includes morning sickness and motion sickness), Take 230 cc. of pineapple juice or papaya juice.
Selecting & Storing Pineapple
Pineapples should feel heavy for their size, otherwise they could end up dry and tasteless. They should look, feel and smell clean and have no bad or mouldy marks on the outer surface. As pineapple stops ripening when picked, choose carefully and don’t select one that looks immature. Pineapples can be stored at room temperature however they spoil easily and should be watched carefully. To keep it longer than a day or two, wrap in a plastic bag and store in the fridge for up to five days. If you’ve cut your pineapple, store unused pieces in the fridge in an airtight container and use as soon as possible. They can be frozen however this will change the flavour so be careful.