Health Benefits of Pineapple

LiveScience recently published an article about the health benefits of consuming pineapple. These tropical fruits are rich in vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants that may help to boost the immune system, build strong bones and aid in digestion. They are sweet but low in calories.

The fruit is made of individual berries that grow together around a central core with each pineapple scale being an individual flower or berry. Pineapples contain high amounts of vitamin C and manganese, according to San Diego-based nutritionist Laura Flores. They are a good way of getting important dietary fiber and bromelain, which is an enzyme. Canned pineapple is higher in calories and sugar but contains fewer vitamins and minerals. Be sure to opt for the canned with no added sugar or a variety that is canned in the fruit juice and not syrup.

There is a significant amount of vitamin C in pineapple, a water-soluble antioxidant that fights cell damage. Vitamin C is a helpful fighter against problems such as heart disease and joint pain and may help to keep you standing tall and strong. A cup of raw pineapple chunks contains 2.6 mg of manganese that is important for developing strong bones and connective tissue, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

This fruit can also help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration that affects the eyes as people age, due to its high amount of vitamin C and the antioxidants that it contains. Pineapple also contains dietary fiber, essential in keeping you regular and your intestines healthy, as stated by the Mayo Clinic.

The American Cancer Society says pineapple contains significant amounts of bromelain that may help with digestion and in treating osteoarthritis. Cancer is often associated with excessive inflammation and bromelain and other proteolytic enzymes have shown to increase the survival rates of animals with various tumors. Because of their bromelain levels, they can help to reduce excessive coagulation of the blood, therefore it makes pineapple a good snack for frequent fliers and others at risk for blood clots.

Mucus in the throat and nose may be reduced from pineapple because of the bromelain content. If you have allergies you may want to consider pineapple into your diet more regularly to reduce the sinus mucus long term.

It is a great meat tenderizer so eating too much can result in tenderness of the mouth, lips, tongue, and cheeks but resolves itself within a few hours. Because of high amounts of vitamin C, consuming large quantities may induce diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or heartburn. Bromelain can cause skin rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive menstrual bleeding.

Dr Fredda Branyon