Pineapple is one of the most popular fruits in the world. It is used in various desserts, jams, jellies and ice-creams for its juicy, exotic taste. Pineapple, referred to as Ananas comosus scientifically, is herbaceous, perennial, tropical plant. This economically important plant belongs to the Bromeliaceae family. This plant has edible multiple fruits that contain amalgamated berries. Pineapple is not just a single fruit, but it is composed of several flowers, whose individual fruitlets combine together around the central core. Pineapple is cylindrical-shaped fruit having scaly green, yellow or brown skin with crown of blue-green, spiny leaves. It consists of yellowish, fibrous flesh having a vibrant tropical flavor with a combination of sweet and tart taste. The basal area of the fruit is sweeter in taste due to high sugar content. The peak season for pineapples is from March to June. However, pineapples are widely available throughout the year.
Health Benefits of Pineapples
In addition to mouth-watering taste, pineapples are known for their medicinal properties due to rich content all the essential nutrients. They consist of high amount of carbohydrates, sugars, proteins, dietary fiber as well as vitamins and minerals, which are crucial for essential processes in the body. Pineapples are dense with vitamins like vitamin A, C, D, E, K and vitamin B complex such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, choline, betaine and pantothenic acid. They also contain high amount of minerals like iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, zinc and copper. Another important thing is that pineapples are low in calories and no content of saturated fats or cholesterol. All these essential nutrients make the pineapple an excellent remedy to treat a variety of ailments.
– Pineapple is rich in bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, which improves digestion through breakdown of proteins. Bromelain is known to possess anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Regular consumption of pineapple helps to combat health conditions like indigestion, arthritis and worm infestation.
– Fresh pineapple is a rich source of vitamin C, an antioxidant. Vitamin C plays a major role in collagen synthesis. Collagen is an important structural protein necessary to maintain integrity of skin, blood vessels, bones and other organs. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C like pineapples is beneficial to prevent scurvy, eliminate harmful free radicals from the body and enhance immunity against infectious agents.
– Pineapples are also rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which possess antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is essential for good vision and maintaining healthy skin and mucous membrane. It also gives protection against age-related macular degeneration. The rich content of flavonoids in pineapples helps to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
– The heavy load of minerals like potassium, copper and manganese offers the pineapple preventing and healing properties. Potassium, being a major component of cells and body fluids, helps to regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Copper works as a cofactor in red blood cell synthesis. Manganese assists the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is an effective free radical scavenger.
– Bromelain present in pineapples can help to relieve inflammation, excessive coagulation of blood and inhibits certain types of tumor growth. It can also help to improve digestive health. Bromelain extracts are obtained from fruit core and stem.
– Due to its anti-microbial properties and rich content of vitamin C, pineapple can be effectively used to relieve cough and cold. Bromelain in pineapple is effective in loosening mucous and suppressing cough. It is also helpful to get rid of sore throat and sinusitis.
– The high content of manganese makes the pineapple beneficial to maintain bone strength. Manganese plays an important role in build-up of bones and connective tissue.
– Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, regular consumption of pineapples helps to alleviate arthritis pain and improves the condition by strengthening the bones. Besides, pineapples also help to improve other related conditions like gout and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Include pineapples in your daily diet to enjoy its juicy, awesome taste and provide your body with all the nutrients to stay healthy.