Pineapple is more than a strange-looking item, this yummy juicy tropical fruit also carries an impressive nutritional profile that helps to promote a range of benefits that can easily be incorporated into a meal or snack at any time of the day.
Pineapple is widely available fresh, canned, and frozen making it available all year long. However, if canned make sure that it is packed it its own natural juices rather than syrup for the best pizzazz. This fruit is also fairly flexible and can be used in a variety of ways from raw, to grilled, in a smoothie, as a salad topping, or in desserts to name a few. Regardless of how you enjoy eating this yellow delight, there are plenty of reasons why it is good for you.
Pineapple is rich in vitamin C which will help to support the immune system and provide potent antioxidant benefits. Just one cup contains around 79 mgs of vitamin C according to the USDA, which is more than the daily recommended value for women and just shy of the recommendation for men. Vitamin C is important to the body not only because of boosting the immune system, but it also encourages the growth and healing around the body and it plays roles in everything from wound repair to iron absorption.
A report published in Food Science and Biotechnology found that pineapple juice helped to decrease fat formation and increased fat breakdown. Meaning that it may help to promote weight loss. Even if it did not have any effect on metabolism, it is still a good choice because it is low in calories, high in vitamins/minerals, and does not have any trans fats or saturated fats. It can also serve as a substitute for that sweets craving with its natural sweetness and fibre content, which can help to control blood sugar levels as well as help you to eat less, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Pineapple may help with digestion due to the bromelain mix of enzymes content that has been shown to reduce inflammation and nasal swelling as well as aiding in the healing of wounds and burns, according to the NCCIH. It has also been linked to improved digestion and has traditionally been used to treat digestive disorders. A report published in Biotechnology Research International found that the bromelain in pineapple helped to reduce the effects of diarrhea.
Pineapple contains a trace source of calcium and manganese which is essential for maintaining bone health according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. One cup of pineapple contains around 76% of the DRV of manganese, and it may be one of the top sources of the mineral according to Oregon State University. According to a report published in The Open Orthopaedics Journal, it may help to stave off osteoporosis and help to improve overall bone health as well as mineral density, but be sure not to overdo it because manganese can be dangerous and increase the risk of cognitive disorders if you exceed more than 11 mgs a day. When it comes to reaching the dangerous levels of manganese you would need to eat a lot of pineapples as one cup has less than 1 mg of manganese.
A report published in Molecules suggests that pineapples are a great source of anti-ageing antioxidants, specifically vitamin C, phenolics, and flavonoids that can help the body to fight inflammation and harmful free radicals that can cause cellular damage that leads to a variety of health issues such as heart disease and eye problems among others. Antioxidants helping to fight off these free radicals may also reduce the risk of developing cancer, according to Stanford Health Care. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a report finding that diets and blood concentrations that are high in antioxidants were associated with a lower risk of cancer.
While inflammation is a natural immune response that is a good thing, it is also a double-edged sword as too much inflammation can lead to a variety of diseases such as coronary artery disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis among others according to Harvard Health. Diets that are rich in anti-inflammatory foods, which includes pineapples, have been shown to help reduce the amount of inflammation in the body. A report published in Biomedical Reports indicates that the bromelain content in pineapples is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties.
The next time you feel a cold coming on while reaching for oranges add in some pineapple to help boost your immune system. A report published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that kids who ate canned pineapples experienced fewer viral and bacterial infections compared to those who didn’t eat any; as such the researchers concluded that 140-280 grams of pineapple per day may help to reduce the likelihood of an infection or at least shorten its duration.
One cup of pineapple chunks contains around 82.5 calories, 1.7 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 21.6 grams of carbs, 2.3 grams of fibre, 131% of the daily recommended values for vitamin C, 76% of the DRV for manganese, 9% DRV of vitamin B6, 9% DRV of copper and thiamin, 7% of the DRV of folate, 5% of the DRV of potassium and magnesium, 4% of the DRV of niacin and pantothenic acid, 3% of the DRV of riboflavin, and 3% of the daily recommended value for iron.