Pineapple - loaded with nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants.

Pineapple - loaded with nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a yellow fleshed edible tropical fruit. Though native to South America (Brazil and Paraguay), pineapple is cultivated in many countries worldwide today. Pineapples are eaten raw alone when ripe, or can be included in salads, smoothies, and cocktails. They can also be cooked in pies, or baked in cakes, or sauces. Moreover, pineapples can also be processed into pineapple juice, marmalade, nectar, and concentrates (1).

Pineapple is principally made of water (86%), some carbohydrates (13%), almost no proteins (0.5%) and very negligible fat (0.1 %). They are however a very rich source of vitamin C (47.8mg/100g) providing for about 58% of the recommended daily intake, and manganese (12mg/100g) providing for up to 44% of the recommended daily value (2).

Consuming pineapple comes with great health benefits some of which include the following.

  1. Pineapples protect against cancer. They are a rich source of vitamin C which is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds that capture bad atoms (free radicals) in our bodies, making them unavailable for oxidation. Prolonged excessive oxidation causes stress on the cells and eventually damaging them, resulting in the development of many diseases, like cancer (3).

  2. Promotes skin health. Vitamin C is essential in maintaining the integrity of the skin, slowing down aging. This is because it promotes the production of collagen, which is the connective tissue protein responsible for giving the skin its rigidity, toughness, and elasticity. Collagen also helps with skin repair and healing from wounds. Depletion of collagen enhances wrinkling and sagging of the skin as seen in old people. (4).

  3. Reduce inflammation. The enzyme bromelain in pineapples has anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective for reducing inflammation reactions in the body. Acute inflammation which is the body’s response to injury is normal and aids the healing process. However, prolonged excessive inflammation also called chronic inflammation becomes dangerous to the body leading to diseases like arthritis, cancer, and asthma (5).

  4. Aids digestion. Bromelain found in pineapple also functions as a digestive aid. It acts like protease enzymes, breaking down proteins into amino-acids and peptides for easy absorption in the small intestines. This is one reason why pineapple is often served with poultry and meat in many countries like Brazil (6). Additionally, bromelain has been used successfully in helping people with pancreatic insufficiency, as the pancreas in such people cannot secrete enough digestive enzymes (7).

Besides, pineapple contains a high fiber content, which helps to draw water from the intestines, increasing the bulk of stool. This prevents constipation and preserves the health of the bowel (8).

  1. Promotes brain health. Manganese in kiwis is vital for the normal functioning of the brain and nerves. It also plays a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and regulating blood sugar levels, processes that all boost the brain’s function. Good blood glucose control ensures constant supply energy to the brain for good cognitive function (9).

  2. Helps with weight loss. Pineapple contains few calories (50 Kcal per 100g), making it a great addition to your weight loss diet plan. It also contains almost no fat, thus consuming it will not increase your fat stores. Besides, bromelain in pineapples have a lipolytic effect, helping the body to burn fat (10).

Pineapple is a great tasting and very nutritious tropical fruit, with diverse applications in different cuisines around the world. It also has numerous benefits for the health making them even more irresistible. It is totally safe to eat though some people can get that tingle or burn on the mouth when they eat them, caused by bromelain which is only temporary. Moderation is always key in consuming as with every other thing.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Morton, J. (1987). Pineapple. Fruits of Warm Climates. Julia F, 18–28.

  2. FoodData central. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2022, from Usda.gov website: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169124/nutrients

  3. Liguori, I., Russo, G., Curcio, F., Bulli, G., Aran, L., Della-Morte, D., … Abete, P. (2018). Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 13, 757–772. doi:10.2147/cia.s158513

  4. Pullar, J., Carr, A., & Vissers, M. (2017). The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients, 9(8), 866. doi:10.3390/nu9080866

  5. Hikisz, P., & Bernasinska-Slomczewska, J. (2021). Beneficial properties of bromelain. Nutrients, 13(12), 4313. doi:10.3390/nu13124313

  6. Ataide, J. A., Cefali, L. C., Figueiredo, M. C., Braga, L. E. de O., Ruiz, A. L. T. G., Foglio, M. A., … Mazzola, P. G. (2021). In vitro performance of free and encapsulated bromelain. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 10195. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-89376-0

  7. Rathnavelu, V., Alitheen, N. B., Sohila, S., Kanagesan, S., & Ramesh, R. (2016). Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications. Biomedical Reports, 5(3), 283–288. doi:10.3892/br.2016.720

  8. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. (2021, January 6). Retrieved May 14, 2022, from Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983

  9. Ritter, S. (2017). Monitoring and maintenance of brain glucose supply. In Appetite and Food Intake (pp. 177–204). Second edition. | Boca Raton : CRC Press, 2017. | Previous edition: CRC Press.

  10. Dave, S., Kaur, N. J., Nanduri, R., Dkhar, H. K., Kumar, A., & Gupta, P. (2012). Inhibition of adipogenesis and induction of apoptosis and lipolysis by stem bromelain in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. PloS One, 7(1), e30831. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030831

 

Back to blog