Perhaps most people eat pineapple because it is truly a fantastic tropical experience of satisfaction resulting from the juicy balance of sweet and acidic tastes without realizing the many health benefits of eating this fine fruit that is available the entire year.
The health benefits are relatively numerous. The variety MD2 which represents the majority of pineapple now commercially available in the market is high in Vitamin C. This vitamin is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant defending the aqueous areas of the body against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. These free radicals promote the artery plaque build-up of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, cause the airway spasm that leads to asthma attacks, damage the cells of the colon so they become colon cancer cells and contribute to the joint pain and disability seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Diets rich in vitamin C have been shown to be useful for preventing or reducing the severity of all of these conditions. In addition, vitamin C is vital for the proper function of the immune system, making it a nutrient to turn to for the prevention of recurrent ear infections, colds and flu. Because of the Vitamin C content, eating pineapple or drinking the juice has the same benefits as drinking orange juice.
Pineapple is also an excellent source of manganese, which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. One cup of pineapple supplies more than 100% of the DV for this very important trace mineral.
Another of the benefits of Manganese is that it helps to build healthy bones and connective tissues. The benefits of pineapple can effect the growth of bones in young people and the strengthening of bones in older people.
Pineapple is also a good source of thiamin. Thiamin is a B vitamin that acts as a cofactor in the enzymatic reactions central to energy production. In other words Thiamin will boost your metabolism helping your body convert carbohydrates into energy.
Our Mothers always said, eat your carrots if you want to keep your eyes bright. It turns out that 3 portions of fruit daily like pineapple may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration which is the primary cause of vision loss in older adults. Pineapples contain a lot of beta-carotene that is good for the eyes and vision. Three portions of fruit may sound like a lot, but just try putting pineapple in your cold slaw, carrot salad, yogurt, or just make a smoothie. Remember, that the new USDA recommendations are that one half of your plate should be fruits and vegetable.
Bromelain is a group of protein digesting enzymes. Originally it was thought that this group of enzymes was basically limited to help with the digestion in the intestinal tract. For example, it is reported that eating one slice of pineapple after each meal will reduce gas, bloating, nausea, constipation and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. More recent studies have shown that bromelain has a wide variety of health benefits which are probably not related to these enzymes. Excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood and certain types of tumor growth may all be reduced by therapeutic doses of bromelain when taken as a dietary supplement.
Regular ingestion of ½ cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis due to the anti-inflammatory activity of bromelain
Bromelain has been shown helpful for upper respiratory tract infections such as Sinusitis and Bronchitis. It helps to reduce nasal inflammation and break up the mucus in the nasal, sinus, and respiratory area.
Bromelain has also been shown to reduce the risk of blood clots thereby preventing heart problems.
Marinating meat with pineapple juice acts as a tenderizer. By the same form, it will aid in digestion of meats if taken after eating. In addition, pineapple is high in fiber important for healthy digestion. Fiber has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol, control blood sugar.
To Healthy Living,