Pineapple Nutrition: Its Health Benefits and Side Effects
This is a tropical fruit that’s normally consumed in raw solid form, as juice or as dried fruit. Pineapple is a popular fruit thanks to its sweet taste and numerous health benefits. It has been used for centuries in old traditions to treat various types of inflammations and digestive problems. Below is a breakdown of the pineapple nutrition, its ingredients, health benefits as well as the side effects.
Ingredients in the Pineapple Plant
This tropical fruit which has a sweet flavor is filled with a lot of beneficial ingredients. They include bromelain enzyme, vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, folate, beta-carotene, pantothenic acid, thiamin among others.
Other Facts about Pineapple Plant
• The term “pineapple” is derived from “pina”- a Spanish word.
• It grows in a tropical climate and the fruit is highly perishable.
• A pineapple plant usually regenerates i.e. the leaves can be planted again.
• The fruit usually ripens faster when placed upside down.
The Pineapple Nutrition
One primary reason why this tropical fruit is one of the most loved is because of its nutrition content. A breakdown of the pineapple nutrition indicates that a cup of sliced pineapple contains around:
- 22g of carbs
- 82 calories
- 0.9g protein
- 2 mg of sodium
- Zero cholesterol
Note that the carbs in pineapple are averagely good making it suitable for a low-carb or keto diet. The pineapple calories are also very low hence it’s a good snack for weight loss. The bromelain enzyme also provides consumers with a lot of health benefits which include reducing inflammation. The vitamins in pineapples including A, C, and B6 help to nourish the skin, reduce the risk of certain diseases and to enhance the immune system among others. Pineapple can be used to prepare various types of foods or beverages and this includes the pineapple cake, pineapple juice, pineapple smoothie, pineapple salad etc.
Benefits of Pineapple
Fruits form part of a healthy diet as they contain essential and healthy compounds. The pineapple health benefits are numerous. Pineapple calories, as well as the minerals and vitamins, provide consumers with a lot of benefits. These juicy and delicious fruit is rich in numerous antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Some of the benefits of pineapple include:
1. Weight Loss
Just like other fruits, pineapple has a direct link with reducing the risk of various health conditions which are caused by a person’s lifestyle. Obesity is one of the lifestyle issues which people struggle with. Pineapple is usually used with various weight loss products. This is because one of the benefits of pineapple juice is to reduce abdominal fat. It helps the body to metabolize more calories.
2. Improved Digestion
The high water and fiber content in pineapple helps to reduce digestive problems such as constipation. Additionally, they also help to promote the health of the digestive tract and regularity. One of the benefits of pineapple juice is to enhance the digestion of protein thanks to the bromelain enzyme. This enzyme helps to reduce the effects of inflammatory cells i.e. cytokines which usually cause damage along the lining of the digestive tract.
3. Reduces Chances of Cancer
This fruit is a great source of the beneficial vitamin C. This is a strong antioxidant that reduces and eliminates free radicals from the body. Note that the accumulation of harmful radicals in the body usually leads to cancer. Apart from vitamin C, medical reports indicate that beta-carotene can eliminate the risk of the colon cancer and prostate cancer. Besides those, the high-quality of fiber that’s normally derived from fruits are often associated with a reduced risk of the colorectal cancer.
4. Reduced Chances of Diabetes
It’s been established that diabetics (type 1) who consume foods that are rich in fiber tend to have lower levels of blood glucose. Those with type 2 diabetes usually end with improved levels of insulin, blood sugar and lipids. Generally, all types of diabetics are usually advised to consume pineapple in average amounts.
5. Macular Degeneration
Clinical research studies indicate that consuming two servings of this fruit daily can reduce the risk of macular degeneration that’s age-related. Additionally, it can also slow down the effects of this condition in people who already have it.
6. Improved Fertility
This fruit has high antioxidant content which can improve fertility. Radicals usually cause damage to the reproductive system leading to fertility issues. Foods which have high amounts of antioxidants including minerals and vitamins such as beta-carotene, copper, folate, and vitamin C help to improve the reproductive health of both females and males.
7. Blood pressure
Potassium is one of the minerals that help to reduce high blood pressure. Pineapple is one of the fruits that contain potassium in large amounts. As per The National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey, it recommended that an adult should consume about 4700mg of potassium daily.
8. Improved Heart Health
The pineapple plant contains vitamin C, potassium and fiber which help to support the heart health. A research study that was conducted on a group of people shows that those who consumed 4000mg of potassium daily ended up with reduced chances of heart disease i.e. by 49 percent. Additionally, potassium can lower the risk of stroke. It preserves the muscle mass, mineral density of bones, and reduces chances of kidney stones.
9. Promotes Speedy Recovery
Whether it’s a strenuous workout or a surgery, this fruit helps to promote speedy recovery. The bromelain enzyme has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to reduce swellings, inflammation, pain or bruising
10. It Improves Symptoms of Asthma
This fruit helps to reduce the effects or chances of a person contracting asthma. Asthmatics who consume this fruit usually end up with reduced symptoms thanks to the beta-carotene nutrients. There are studies which have also established that bromelain enzyme can also relieve the side effects of asthma.
11. Improved Skin Health
The pineapple plant is rich in vitamin C antioxidant which helps to nourish the skin and enhance its elasticity. Vitamin C which can be taken naturally from fruits is sometimes used in cosmetic products that help to reverse aging. It helps to enhance the production of collagen, which is the skin’s main support system.
Side Effects of Pineapple
Pineapple is a fruit that has a lot of benefits. However, it should be taken in moderate amounts. Consuming this fruit in excess can result in serious side effects. Apart from that, some people are also allergic to it. The common side effects of pineapple include:
Note that one of the benefits of pineapple juice is tenderizing meat. This means that consuming too many pineapples could lead to mouth tenderness including the cheeks, tongue, and lips. However, this condition usually resolves itself within a couple of hours.
2. Digestive Problem
The high vitamin C content in this fruit can cause various digestive problem. This fruit can induce abdominal pain, nausea, heartburn, vomiting, and diarrhea. Bromelain enzyme can also lead to stomach pains.
3. Pineapple and Drug Interaction
Bromelain enzyme may interact with certain medications. Note that if you are taking blood thinners, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, anticoagulants, barbiturates or drugs for insomnia, ensure that you don’t eat large quantities of pineapple.
4. Teeth Sensitivity
Consuming pineapples daily for long periods of time could lead to teeth sensitivity. This is because a pure pineapple juice has an acidic pH which damages the enamel. In case you already have sensitive teeth, then ensure that you only drink diluted pineapple juice.
5. Increased Levels of Blood Sugar
It’s crucial for diabetics to first consult with their doctors before taking pineapple. The fructose in this fruit usually enhances the blood sugar levels which can enhance the symptoms of diabetes. Also, ensure that you stick to the daily recommended intake if you must take this fruit.
Adding Pineapple to the Diet
This sweet fruit can be easily added to most diets. If you want to add pineapple to your meals, ensure that you choose a fruit that is plump and firm. Additionally, it should have green leaves on its crown. Pineapples are usually available all year round and they are affordable. They can be used to make pineapple cakes, smoothies, salads, and even pizza. Note that the pineapple calories vary from recipe to recipe. You can add it as:
• Dessert: simply prepare a fruit salad made from pineapple.
• Fruit juice: this can be used as a snack at any time.
• You can also add the fruit to breakfast, lunch and dinner meals based on your menu.
• These fruits are readily available. They can be purchased from the local supermarkets and grocery shops.
The Bottom Line
This low-calorie fruit contains high amounts of antioxidants and nutrients. The antioxidants help to enhance immunity. In addition to that, they help to reduce chances of diseases such as asthma, cancer, blood pressure etc. Those who are recovering from surgery or usually engage in demanding physical activities should consume pineapples as they contain inflammatory that enhance recovery. The versatile fruit can be consumed in a number of ways and if you want to experience its numerous health benefits, simply incorporate it into your diet.
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