Pineapple; Types, Nutritional Value, Uses, Pineapple Health Benefits

Pineapple; Types, Nutritional Value, Uses, Pineapple Health Benefits

Pineapple is a tropical fruit that is rich in vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. They may help boost the immune system, build strong bones and aid in digestion. Also, despite their sweetness, pineapples are low in calories. Pineapples are members of the bromeliad family, and one of the few bromeliads to produce edible fruit, according to the biology department at Union County College. The fruit is actually made of many individual berries that fuse together around a central core. Each pineapple scale is an individual berry.[1]

Nutritional Value of Pineapple

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 209 kJ (50 kcal)
Carbohydrates
13.12 g
Sugars 9.85 g
Dietary fiber 1.4 g
Fat
0.12 g
Protein
0.54 g
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Thiamine (B1)
7%

0.079 mg

Riboflavin (B2)
3%

0.032 mg

Niacin (B3)
3%

0.5 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)
4%

0.213 mg

Vitamin B6
9%

0.112 mg

Folate (B9)
5%

18 μg

Choline
1%

5.5 mg

Vitamin C
58%

47.8 mg

Minerals Quantity%DV
Calcium
1%

13 mg

Iron
2%

0.29 mg

Magnesium
3%

12 mg

Manganese
44%

0.927 mg

Phosphorus
1%

8 mg

Potassium
2%

109 mg

Sodium
0%

1 mg

Zinc
1%

0.12 mg

Other constituents Quantity
Water 86.00 g

[2,3,]
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Uses / Health Benefits of Pineapple

The pineapple fruit is known to offer several benefits. Let us discuss each benefit in detail below.

  • Boosts Immunity – Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, which makes it one of the richest sources of ascorbic acid. [4] Vitamin C helps in reducing illnesses and boosting the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and acting as an antioxidant to defend against the harmful effects of free radicals.
  • Improves Bone Health – Pineapple contains an impressive amount of manganese. [5] Manganese is a trace mineral essential for the strengthening of bones as well as their growth and repair, as well as the creation and activation of certain enzymes. This is according to a report on the nutritional value and benefits of pineapple published in the International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. [6] A single serving of the tropical fruit can provide you with more than 70% of your daily requirement of this mineral.
  • Improves Immunity – Since pineapples contain bromelain, they are a key defender against any external viruses affecting your body. Imagine not getting sick anymore due to an increased intake of pineapples on a daily basis. You can enjoy them in a fresh tropical cocktail and not even notice that behind the great taste, the fruit is actually benefiting your body. Improved immunity also means lesser damage to organs due to inflammatory diseases as they will never get the chance to affect you in the first place.[7]
  • Anticancer activity of bromelain – In normal cells, cellular growth and proliferation are highly regulated, and imbalances of the cell cycle may lead to abandoned cellular growth and result in transformation to cancer cells. There are various pathways that are contained within cells to protect their DNA from damage resulting from toxicity and genomic instability (8). Checkpoint proteins are critical for monitoring the normal activity of the cell cycle. Tumor cells frequently lose checkpoint controls; therefore, regulation of cell cycle progression is employed as one of the important approaches for cancer chemotherapy (9). It has been demonstrated that bromelain inhibits nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) translocation through G2/M arrest to apoptosis in human epidermoid carcinoma and melanoma cells (10). The process of apoptosis is fundamental in the developmental and homeostatic maintenance of complex biological systems. Failure of normal apoptotic mechanisms contributes to the transformation of cells and provides a growth advantage to cancer cells (11). The apoptotic mechanism is characterized by cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation and the activation of specific cysteine proteases, known as caspases (12). Generally, apoptosis is achieved by either mitochondrial pathways (intrinsic) or death receptor pathways (extrinsic).
  • Anti-inflammatory activity of bromelain – Inflammation is pivotal in the development of cancer during cellular transformation, proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. It has been demonstrated that suppression of chronic inflammation may reduce the cancer incidence and also inhibit cancer progression (13). Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an important component of cancer-associated inflammation that is involved in the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE-2). PGE-2 is a pro-inflammatory lipid that also acts as an immunosuppressant, as well as a promoter of tumor progression (14). COX-2 converts arachidonic acid into PGE-2 and promotes tumor angiogenesis and cancer progression (15). It has been shown that bromelain downregulates COX-2 and PGE-2 expression levels in murine microglial cells and human monocytic leukemia cell lines (16). Bromelain activates the inflammatory mediators, including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, interferon (INF)-γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in mouse macrophage and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) (2718). These results indicated that bromelain potentially activates the healthy immune system in association with the rapid response to cellular stress. Conversely, bromelain reduces IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α secretion when immune cells are already stimulated in the condition of inflammation-induced overproduction of cytokines (19,20). Studies have shown that bromelain reduced the expression of INF-γ and TNF-α in inflammatory bowel disease (21). A study demonstrated that bromelain diminished the cell-damaging effect of advanced glycation end products by proteolytic degradation of the receptor of advanced glycation end products (22) and controlled the inflammation (23).
  • Lowers Risk of Cancer – Bromelain is an active anti-inflammatory agent that helps prevent the spread of cancerous cells across the body. Research states that an increased intake of bright yellow foods can help reduce the risk of cancer.
  • It May Help Heal Wounds – Certain diseases can prevent the body from healing itself properly. A weak body cannot sustain its cellular growth hence the person’s life could be in danger. The high quantity of bromelain in pineapples has shown to increase the healing ability of human beings. The research carried out in Saarland University produced such amazing results that later on the findings were used to manufacture and promote pineapple lotions.
  • Improves Gut Health – Your gut is the primary indicator of your health. An efficient and healthy gut will show its effects on a person’s face while a weak digestion can lead to several gastrointestinal problems. People who eat pineapples on a regular basis can steer clear of bloating and other gastrointestinal problems such as constipation and whatnot.
  • Strengthens Bones – Along with bromelain, pineapples also contain manganese that is important for bone regeneration as well as bone growth and help. Pineapples have an ample amount of manganese present making them the perfect substitute for meat or milk. A German study, therefore, states that by eating one cup of pineapples, you are able to consume 65% of your daily mineral intake.
  • Improves Eye Health – Do you have weak eyesight? Well, if you are tired of wearing glasses and want to enhance your eye health, then the best thing you can do is eat pineapples.  As per recent research, it has been successfully proven that eating pineapples can help heal your eyesight. Generally, people are subject to weak eyesight as they grow past their forties, but eating pineapples on a daily basis can slow down macular degeneration.
  • Promotes Tissue and Cellular Health of Skin – The fruit has an ever increasing list of benefits. One of the major items on that list is how pineapples help keep your skin intact and help prevent any skin problems through cellular degeneration. People who consume one pineapple a day are known to have increased collagen synthesis, which is an integral part of your skin health. Other than that, pineapples also contain vitamin C, which in most cases is one of the most overlooked skin rejuvenators. Eating pineapples, therefore, can maintain the tissue and cellular health of your body.
  • Alleviates Common Cold – Changing seasons brings with it a plethora of diseases. A lot of people have to face the effects of the common cold including a runny nose as well as a weak immune system. Bromelain has been recorded to have been instrumental in reducing mucus production and it also increases the effectiveness of the immune system. Overall, eating pineapples can help defend a person against the common cold.
  • Strengthens Gums – Pineapples also consist of astringent, which helps prevent bacteria from affecting your gums. We are still susceptible to bacterial infection in our gums regardless if we brush our teeth or not. In that situation, a cup of pineapples can help reduce the risk of you having to suffer for weeks, not to mention the constant pain while you face while trying to chew something. Pineapples really are nature’s greatest gift to us as they have all the properties needed to help defend us against a world full of diseases, infections and most of all, cancer.
  • Aids in Digestion – Eating fresh pineapple in all forms regularly can protect you from many health conditions, including constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), atherosclerosis, and blood clotting as well as high blood pressure. Dried unsweetened pineapple, being rich in fiber, promotes the passage of food through the digestive tract at a normal rate and stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to help food dissolve. It also bulks up the loose stool, which helps in treating diarrhea and IBS. Furthermore, the bromelain in pineapple stimulates protein digestion, reduces gut inflammation, and therefore, treats digestive issues.
  • Treats Arthritis – Pineapple has an ability to reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles, particularly those associated with arthritis. It contains a rare proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which primarily aids in breaking down of complex proteins and has anti-inflammatory effects as well. [24] Bromelain supplements or pineapple enzymes are available over the counter, but it’s best to take it under medical supervision.
  • Reduces Inflammation – High vitamin C content in pineapple helps you heal wounds and injuries quickly and also defends you against infections and illnesses. Vitamin C plays an essential role in creating collagen. [25] This is partly the reason why it is seen as a healing vitamin because collagen is the essential protein base of blood vessel walls, skin, organs, and bones. Furthermore, bromelain in pineapple is used in Europe to heal surgical wounds, inflammation due to trauma, and to treat deep burns. [26]
  • Improves Blood Circulation – Along with the vasodilating potential of potassium, pineapple also provides the body with copper, another essential mineral that functions in a number of enzymatic reactions and compounds in the body. [27] Most notably, copper is a necessary element for the formation of healthy red blood cells. High red blood cell count increases oxygenation to various organs and makes them function at optimal levels. It also increases cognitive abilities and maintains neural pathways to prevent disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Treats Cough and Cold – Pineapple is rich in both bromelain and vitamin C, therefore it helps in preventing and treating respiratory illnesses while eliminating phlegm and mucus from your body if you’ve already contracted an illness or infection. [28] These two nutrients are connected with the reduction of phlegm and mucus build up in the respiratory tracts and sinus cavities. In order to check the impact of pineapple on immunity levels, almost 100 children were fed no fruit, some fruit, and lots of fruit daily in a nine-week study. [29]
  • Prevents Cancer – Pineapple has been directly related to preventing cancers of the mouth, throat, and breast as it is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin A, beta-carotene, bromelain, flavonoids, and manganese. Researchers from the Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples, Italy found that bromelain in pineapple stems had a colorectal cancer chemoprevention effect. [30] Manganese is an important cofactor of superoxide dismutase, an extremely potent free radical scavenger that has been associated with the prevention of different cancers. [15]
  • Relieves Asthma – Pineapple aids in reducing the symptoms of asthma. It contains essential nutrients like vitamin C, bromelain, and beta-carotene, which help reduce inflammation often faced by asthmatics.
  • Controls Diabetes – Pineapple, being rich in fiber, is a great food for diabetics. For those with type 1 diabetes, it aids in lowering the high blood glucose levels. And in individuals with type 2 diabetes, it results in improved blood sugar, insulin, and lipid levels. However, there is a certain amount of sugar present, so do limit your intake to avoid adverse effects.
  • Increases Fertility – Pineapples have been connected to improved fertility because of their antioxidant properties. These crowned fruits exercise their free radical scavenging action and help women in conceiving. The vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, beta-carotene, copper, zinc, and folate, all play an essential part in improving female as well as male fertility.
  • Skin Care Vitamin C, present in pineapple, is a super antioxidant that tones your skin. It also helps clear acne, fight skin damage, and delay aging by reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Moreover, collagen formation is largely credited to vitamin C, which indirectly keeps the skin tissues healthy.
  • Improves Oral Health – Along with the antioxidants that protect against oral cancer, pineapple also has astringent properties, which strengthen gums and teeth. [31] This is according to a report published by Pineapple is a very powerful astringent and is often prescribed as a natural remedy to fix the loosening of teeth or the retraction of gums. Astringent agents help tighten up tissues and tone the body so that tooth loss, hair loss, muscle weakness, and skin loosening do not occur.
  • Regulates Blood Pressure – Pineapple is a valuable source of potassium. The vasodilating action of potassium eases tension and stress in the blood vessels and increases blood circulation to various parts of the body. [32] When your blood vessels relax, the blood pressure is reduced and the flow of blood is less restricted. Therefore, your chances of suffering from hypertension are reduced.
  • Protects Heart Health – The vasodilating properties of potassium in pineapple can prevent clots from blocking the flow of blood and reduce the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and vessels. This helps prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. So, eat pineapples for a healthy heart!
  • Dissolves Kidney Stones – By regulating digestion and reducing blood clotting, pineapples help in dissolving kidney stones. Eat the bromelain-rich fruit or drink its juice to keep the kidneys safe and stones away

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25505983/
  2. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/pineapples.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=pineapple
  4. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2299225
  6. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=09003&format=Full
  7. https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/10-benefits-pineapples/
  8. https://www.livescience.com/45487-pineapple-nutrition.html

Pineapple

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