The pineapple is one tropical treat you don’t want to bypass in the grocery store. The nutritional benefits of pineapple are fascinating – they’re an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, as well as copper, vitamin B1, and B6, folate, pantothenic acid, and fiber.
When I was down in Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to sink my teeth into truly ripe pineapples – they were picked the day of purchase and were bright yellow (instead of green like you see in grocery stores). Their flavour was out of this world – nothing like I had tasted in Canada or elsewhere for that matter.
10 Health Benefits of Pineapple
Here are some of the many benefits pineapple has to offer. I picked the top 10 that I think are most important, but really, this fruit offers a bounty of minerals, vitamins and crucial phytonutrients that keep our body healthy, happy and strong!
1. Effective Anti-Inflammatory
One of the most important benefits of pineapple is its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains an enzyme called bromelain that reduces CD4+T lymphocytes, which are the primary effectors involved in causing inflammation in the body. So if you want to try and get rid of pain related to your arthritis, gout, or want to speed wound healing, eat some pineapple!
2. Defends Against Free Radical Damage
Rich in vitamin C (one of the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant), pineapple effectively defends against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Neutralizing free radicals will help lower the risk of disease in the body, as well as lower your cancer risk.
3. Improves Heart Health
Bromelain is an anticoagulant, which means that it allows blood to flow more freely throughout the circulatory system. Blood that can better flow through the vessels, capillaries and veins will reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack and other circulatory and heart-related problems.
4. Reduces Asthmatic Symptoms
High vitamin C levels in pineapple and the subsequent free radical protection it provides protects against the airway spasms that normally lead to asthma attacks. Pineapple is also highly anti-inflammatory, which means that it relaxes the airways and reduces the risk of asthma attacks.
5. Destroys Cancer
As seen above, pineapple protects against free radical damage, and acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. These two methods alone greatly reduce the risk of developing cancer. The cancer-zapping proteins in pineapple (otherwise known as bromelain) literally eat away tumours. Any basic search in PubMed with pineapple and cancer in the same search will show up hundreds of different articles.
6. Phosphorous Assists in Healthy Bone Formation
Pineapples are one fruit that are particularly high in the mineral phosphorous. Phosphorous is required by the body for bone and teeth formation. Calcium alone cannot build strong bones and tissues. Just 1 cup of pineapple contains over 13 mg of phosphorous.
7. High in Manganese for Skin and Bone Health
Manganese is a vitamin our body cannot produce on its own. This is why we must consume manganese-rich foods, such as pineapple. Manganese helps with bone formation, wound healing, and maintains healthy, glowing skin. Not to mention, it also helps regulate blood sugar levels and strengthens the immune system!
8. Powerful Digestive Aid
Naturally rich in fibre and protein-digesting enzymes, pineapple works wonders for the stomach and intestinal tract. Bromelain helps your digestive system break down and absorb proteins from the foods you eat – it also helps to relieve stomach aches, heartburn and diarrhea.
9. Perfect Alternative To Cough Syrup
Pineapple juice is one of the best alternatives to cough syrup if you can’t seem to beat a chronic cough (or if you simply don’t want to drink the poisonous chemical cocktail that is cough syrup). The enzyme bromelain possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties that help fight infections and kill bacteria. If you want to kill your cough, drink some pineapple juice and stir in a little honey while you’re at it.
10. Promotes Healthy Gums
Due to its high vitamin C content, pineapples work wonders for your oral health, too! Vitamin C helps reduce your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease, plus it helps improve defenses in the body to help fight invading bacteria and other toxins that contribute to gum disease.