It’s not hard to see why pineapples are so great for eye health.
It’s no surprise that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you. We’ve all seen Popeye down a can of spinach for energy and strength, and “an apple a day…” is a phrase anyone could complete. But what about pineapple? The sweet and tangy fruit has plenty of health benefits to offer and research suggests it may be particularly beneficial for eye health.
Fighting Macular Degeneration
Because carrots are high in beta-carotene, they are often thought of first when considering eye health. Beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A, is particularly important for maintaining lubricated cornea. A deficiency in the vitamin can eventually lead to blindness. While orange foods generally contain the most vitamin A, pineapple is also rich in beta-carotene.
However, vitamin A alone is not enough to fight macular degeneration, an age-related disease that affects the retina. Instead, researchers suggest a balanced intake of vitamins A, C, and E. Offering more than 100% of the suggested daily intake for vitamin C, one cup of chopped pineapple is a simple addition to your diet and can help prevent degeneration.
Preventing Cataracts and Floaters
Offering even more value to vitamin C, researchers in China found that higher consumption of the vitamin can reduce the risk of developing cataracts, or a clouding of the eye. Researchers in Taiwan have also found that eating pineapple can help improve “eye floaters” or dark spots in our vision. They attribute the improvement to pineapple’s high vitamin C and bromelain content.
Beyond Eye Health
Though they’re great for eye health, pineapples’ wide variety of nutrients means they offer a number of other health benefits as well. From vitamins, minerals, and more, check out just some of the valuable nutrients you can get from the tangy fruit:
- Vitamin C – Boosts your immune system, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, and more
- Vitamin E – An antioxidant that protects our bodies from free radicals
- Manganese – Aids in bone growth and strengthening
- Potassium – Reduces high blood pressure, enhances metabolism, and more
- Bromelain – An enzyme that aids with digestion
Pineapples also contain copper, iron, thiamin, fiber, and much more, making them a great healthy option as a snack or a dessert.
An Eye for an Eye
If you have a hard time remembering which fruit to grab on your grocery run, keep this in mind: pineapples have eyes too! The indentations on the outside of the fruit actually mark the individual berries which have clustered together to form the complete pineapple.
Clearly, pineapples are an important addition to your diet. To easily incorporate the nutritious fruit into your meals, try some of our favorite recipes like cinnamon roasted pineapple, a pineapple fluff parfait, or a classic fruit salad. You can even throw some chunks of pineapple on your next pizza. Your eyes will thank you!
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More information can be found via resources at WebMD.