A native fruit of brazil, pineapple was introduced to India by the Portuguese, around 1548 AD. Laden with vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants, pineapple offers potential health benefits for issues related to immunity, bone density, digestion, inflammation and skin related issues amongst other benefits.
Pineapple is also known as Ananas comosus and it is an edible, sweet and healthy tropical fruit. This fruit has a spiky, tough skin. Pineapple is made of several individual berries that grow together around a central core.
Nutritional Facts of Pineapple
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of raw pineapple chunks weighing approximately 165 gm contains 74 calories, 1 gm of proteins, 19.5 gm of carbohydrates, 13.7 gm of sugars, 0 gm of fat, 21 mg of calcium, 206 mg of potassium, 2 mg of sodium, 0 mg of cholesterol, 28 mg of vitamin C.
The nutritional profile for canned pineapple is different as compared to raw pineapple. Canned pineapple is rich in sugar and calories, contains fewer minerals and vitamins.
Potential Health Benefits of Pineapple ‘Ananas’
The manganese-rich content of pineapple aids in strengthening the bones. Manganese helps maintain bone strength and enhances bone mineral density. It may help prevent osteoporosis.
Aids In digestion
1. Pineapple contains abundant fibre, bromelain, and vitamin C which helps in smooth digestion.
2. Pineapples are rich in bromelain which decreases inflammatory immune cells that damage the digestive tract lining.
3. Bromelain also helps in breaking down proteins which help in digestion, particularly in people suffering from pancreatic insufficiency.
4. Bromelain decreases gut inflammation in people suffering from inflammatory bowel disorders.
5. The fiber and water content of pineapple helps prevent constipation.
Reduces the risk to cancers
1. Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C, a strong antioxidant that fights against the formation of free radicals thus, reducing the risk of cancers.
2. One of the compounds, bromelain present in pineapple helps fight cancers. Bromelain suppresses the growth of cancers in the skin, breast, bile duct, colon, and gastric system. It also eliminates cancer cells and reduces the size of tumours.
3. The beta-carotene content of pineapple protects against prostate cancer.
4. Ananas juice helps to suppress the growth of colon and ovarian cancer cells.
Good for eye health
1. The high source of vitamin C and numerous antioxidants helps in good vision.
2. Regular intake of pineapple reduces the risk and slows the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
3. The vitamin C content of pineapples decreases the risk of cataract progression.
Known as an Aphrodisiac fruit, eating pineapple is known to make the bodily fluids taste and smell better.
Other possible benefits…
Apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as it boosts immunity, suppresses inflammation, eases symptoms of arthritis, speeds recovery after surgery, treats cold and cough, strengthens gums, prevents hypertension, reduces the risk of blood clots and prevents nausea.
Pineapple also acts as a natural stress buster, treats acne, possesses anti-aging properties, prevents pimples, treats black spots, cures inflammation in scalp,promotes heart health, aidsweight loss, prevents asthma, improves blood sugar, improves fertility, and promotes skin health.
How to add Pineapple to the Diet?
Pineapple can be easily incorporated into the diet. They are available as fresh, frozen, or canned. Some of the ways by which pineapple can be incorporated in the diet are as follows…
- Add to salads
- Add to kebabs.
- Added in burgers.
- Added in pizzas.
- As part of fruit salad.
- Used to make fresh salsa.
- Used to prepare baked ham
- Helps to make yogurt smoothie.
- Used to prepare fresh juice and milkshakes.
How to prepare Chocolate dipped Pineapple?
Take a bowl and place some dark chocolate in it. Heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds and ensure that it melts.
Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir it thoroughly and again place it back into the microwave for another 30 seconds. Ensure that the dark chocolate has converted into liquid.
Take 1 peeled and sliced pineapple, dip it into the chocolate liquid and add 1 cup of toasted coconut flakes on it. Serve it.