Benefits of Pineapple
Pineapple is a tropical fruit which is packed with antioxidants. Look wise they have a wide cylindrical shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiny, blue-green leaves with fibrous yellow flesh inside. Fresh pineapple is sweet with a mild tart flavour. Sometimes the fruit has a touch of sourness as well. Cutting and chopping pineapple needs a wee bit of art. Learn how to peel, chop and grate pineapple.
Its botanical name is Ananas comosus, but it is common name is different in different parts of India. Ananas in Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Kannada, Anarash in Bengali, Sapuri Anasianas in Odiya, Kayitha Chakka in Malayalam, Anasi Pazham in Tamil and Anasa Pandu in Telugu.
While canned pineapple is also available, the fresh ones are always the healthiest. Though the best pineapple are available from March to June, in the local market you can find them throughout the year.
8 Super Health Benefits of Pineapple
1. Promote Skin Health : Packed with vitamin C (64.7 mg / cup), pineapple is one such fruit which boosts immunity. They help build our line of defence against diseases by building white blood cells (WBC). People who consume good amount of vitamin by of fruits and veggies like pineapple are known to have increased collagen synthesis, which is a must for skin health. It gives elasticity to skin and that necessary glow and shine free of wrinkles. It can be looked upon as a skin rejuvenator.
2. Strengthens Gums : The high vitamin C also has role in avoiding bleeding gum. Include pineapple regularly in your diet to build your reserves of this vitamin. Remember vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and excess will be flushed out from the system, thus a timely stocking up is necessary. Also its highly volatile, so try and consume the pineapple immediately after its cut.
3. Pineapple Beneficial to the Gut : One cup of pineapple provides as good as 4.6 g of fiber. This is a boon to the digestive tract. It is known for its laxative effect and overcome or prevent constipation. However do not go overboard with the portion size as too high dose of fiber at a time is also not suggested. Too much pineapple at one go can also give mouth sores. Try about a cup of chopped pineapple to reap its benefits.
4. Favourable for Heart : Pineapple is a rich source of Magnesium (54.8 mg / cup) which has a role to play in heart health. It helps maintain heartbeat. Another key nutrient of pineapple is vitamin C, which along with bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapple) helps to reduce the inflammation of the arteries and keep them away from plaque formation and thus reduce the chances of strokes too.
5. Pineapple Lowers Risk of Cancer : Vitamin C and enzyme bromelain perform the function of warding off the free radicals from our body, reducing inflammation and preventing the growth of cancer cells. Its thus known as a chemo protective agent.
6. Pineapple Reduces Arthritis Pain : Bromelain from pineapple spells its magic wand once again. By reducing inflammation it helps to relieve the joint pain related to arthritis. Lutein and Sulfurophane in Broccoli and papain in Papaya are some other enzymes which benefit arthritis. Learn about Arthritis diet in more detail.
7. Improves Mood and Fights Depression : Pineapple is a good source of an amino acid tryptophan which is used to produce hormone ‘serotonin’ in the body. This serotonin has been termed as the ‘Happy Hormone’ as it helps to alleviate mood and relieve anxiety and depression.
8. Builds Immunity : Vitamin C is an immune building vitamin. It helps build white blood cells (WBC) which keeps us safe from the attack of bacteria and virus causing common cold and cough. In addition, pineapple’s bromelain may help reduce the mucus accumulation and also reduce long term sinus problem.
Pineapple and Weight Loss: Pineapple is not very low in calories nor carbs. Hence if you are opting for ½ cup of pineapple to satisfy your sweet craving and as a substitute to other desserts or mithais, this would be a good choice occasionally. But this by no way can form a part of low carb diet.
Pineapple & Diabetes : While the fiber from pineapple can be an aid to control blood sugar spikes, the carbs of pineapple cannot be overlooked. Pineapple as a sole snack would not be recommended for diabetics. Paired with other high fiber and low glycemic index fruits, you can include it in small portions, but prefer it virtually on occasional basis.
This exotic flavoured fruit has many healing powers right from improving immunity to building heart health and preventing cancer to benefiting the GI (gastro intestinal) tract. Let’s understand its nutrient profile first before peeping into its detailed health benefits.
Nutritive Information for Pineapple:
1 Cup of chopped pineapple is about 166 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Energy - 76 calories
Protein – 0.7 g
Carbohydrate –17.9 g
Fat – 0.2 g
Fiber – 4.6 g
See full nutritional details of pineapple in Pineapple glossary click here.