Pineapples originate in South America but are widely available all over the world. This sweet fruit packs some serious health benefits when it is included in the diet regularly.
Pineapple contains an exciting dose of nutrients, antioxidants, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals, which means it is great for helping to keep you healthy and your body functioning as it should. Today we are taking a look at all of the amazing ways pineapples can benefit your health!
Pineapples are low in calories but can be quite satiating, meaning they are useful for those who are trying to lose weight. Enjoying a serving of pineapple as a snack during the day or as a dessert is a good idea.
Although pineapples are low in calories, they contain an impressive range of nutrients. Just one cup of pineapple will provide the body with 2.3 grams of fiber! This same cup will also provide:
- 9% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6
- 131% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C
- 76% of the recommended daily allowance of manganese
- 5% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium
- 5% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium
- 9% of the recommended daily allowance of copper
- 9% of the recommended daily allowance of thiamin
- 3% of the recommended daily allowance of iron
Eating pineapple will also mean that you are consuming trace amounts of vitamins A and K, as well as calcium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Immune System Function
As you can clearly see, pineapple contains an abundance of vitamin C! And this is what makes it so great for the function of the immune system. Vitamin C is also important when it comes to normal growth and development within the body, and also helps the body to absorb more iron from dietary sources.
As well as the benefits to the immune system that vitamin C provides, pineapple is also bursting with disease-tackling antioxidants that help to keep the body healthy. Studies have also suggested that pineapple can increase the number of disease-fighting white blood cells in the body.
Antioxidants work against the effects of oxidative stress on our cells. This can help to keep the immune system strong, whilst also keeping inflammation in the body down. Flavonoids and phenolic acids are the two types of antioxidants that pineapples are especially rich in.
Pineapple & Cancer Risk
Certain studies have suggested that regularly consuming pineapple, and a range of other fruits and vegetables, could help the body to keep cancer at bay.
The occurrence and progression of cancer is connected to chronic inflammation and also to persistent oxidative stress. As pineapple helps to soothe both of these issues, it could therefore be a good preventative choice.
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A group of digestive enzymes known as bromelain are found within this tasty fruit and are believed to help ease digestion.
Bromelain works to break down proteins in the body, which means they are then more easily absorbed in the small intestine.
Benefits For Arthritis Sufferers
More than 54 million people in the United States have arthritis. This is a condition that can be exremely painful and truly limit the quality of life of the patient.
Although there are several different types of arthritis, the condition on the whole largely involves inflammation in the joints. The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapples could help to bring relief to those who have arthritis.
The bromelain, which we have already discussed as useful for aiding digestion, can also help to tackle inflammation. It is widely understood that taking a bromelain supplement is the best way to enjoy the inflammation tackling benefits, but it is also possible to get it into your body by eating pineapples.
Current research suggests bromelain may be a good short term solution to the symptoms of arthritis, but that more information needs to be obtained into the long term effects.
If you are recovering from surgery then you may want to give serious consideration to eating more pineapple. Again, this is due to the anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain, and the potential it also has to combat swelling and bruising — two things that often present after surgery.
This is also something that can be taken advantage of after strenuos exercise in order to help the body to recover faster.
Eating More Pineapple
Now that you know all the fantastic reasons to eat more pineapple, how are you going to go about getting more of it into your diet?
Adding pineapple to your smoothies can not only add in a burst of nutrients, but can also give your smoothie a tropical flavour. Making a fruit bowl with a variety of different chopped fruits and topping with some yoghurt is another delicious choice. You can also enjoy pinepple in savoury dishes, such as on top of pizza. Or simply snack on pineapple by itself — cut it up and you're good to go!