Pineapples are a funny-looking fruit with a serious impact on health, and their health and medicinal benefits include their ability to improve respiratory health, cure coughs and colds, improve digestion, help you lose weight, strengthen bones, improve oral health, boost eye health, reduce inflammation, prevent cancer, increase heart health, fight off infections and parasites, improve the immune system, and increase circulation.
Pineapples are a delicious tropical fruit that have been celebrated for centuries not only for their distinct and unique taste, but also for their seemingly miraculous health benefits. Pineapples are eaten fresh, juiced, cooked, and preserved and their leaves are even used for wallpaper and ceiling insulation. They belong to the Bromeliaceae family and are actual a composite fruit made of coalesced berries that grow at the crown of a fruiting tree.
Historically, the most significant grower of pineapples was Hawaii, but they are now cultivated in large quantities in Brazil, the Philippines, and Costa Rica. That being said, the fruit is actually native to Paraguay and Brazil, and possibly parts of the Caribbean. The exact movement of pineapples and the evolution of pineapples as a popular global fruit are still somewhat unknown. It was first brought to Europe and Spain following Christopher Columbus’s return there in 1493.
Its fruiting season run from March until June, and each tree can produce a number of fruits. The name pineapple actually evolved in the 17th century due to its similar structure and appearance to pine cones. Traditionally, they were known as “ananas”. The fruit itself is up to a foot long and is surrounded by thorny spikes, topped with hard, waxy leaves, sometimes up to thirty per fruit. Pineapples and their sweet juice are used and enjoyed around the world, even as a popular flavor in alcoholic drinks, the most famous of which is the tropical drink, the pina colada!
Nutritional Value of Pineapples
Aside from the interesting story and appearance of this fruit, it is also a storehouse of huge health benefits due to its wealth of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta carotene, thiamin, B6, and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber, and bromelain.
Health Benefits of Pineapples
Tissue and Cellular Health
Coughs and Colds
A Few Words of Warning: The benefits of eating pineapple are clear from the impressive list of qualities that you just read, but there is always something about foods that should be cautioned against, and pineapples are no exception. The bromelain in pineapples is primarily a meat-tenderizing enzyme, which is why it is so helpful in the digestion of tough foods. This can result in the softening or tenderness of your “meat” as well, meaning that your lips, gums, and tongue might experience some tenderness or sensitivity if you eat too much pineapple. Bromelain is a powerful chemical, as is vitamin C, if taken in excess. Both of these are in high proportions in pineapple, and an “overdose” can lead to vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea. Also, bromelain has been known to stimulate menstruation, so pregnant women should avoid excessive pineapple, as the high levels of bromelain can actually lead to a miscarriage in rare cases.
Other than those health concerns, grab one of these spiky tropical fruits and dig in. Your body will thank you for it!
SOURCE: ORGANIC FACTS