Many centuries ago, when the Europeans began colonizing the Americas, the pineapple was a luxury as it had to be transported from the tropics to Europe on sail ships, which was an expensive affair. But, today, pineapple is cultivated on all the continents except Antarctica and it is available in a variety of cultivars.
Pineapple is loaded with many nutrients and minerals that are essential for our body and this fruit is known to possess therapeutic and curative properties. All the parts of this fruit contain an enzyme extract called bromelain, which is a mixture of proteolytic enzymes. Here are 10 reasons why you should eat pineapples.
1. Reduces Inflammation
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, is known to reduce inflammation and pain associated with injury and surgical intervention. Bromelain decreases the majority of inflammatory mediators and plays a significant role as an anti-inflammatory agent in various conditions. This enzyme is also administered for numerous clinical applications because of its therapeutic effects in the treatment of inflammation and soft tissue injuries.1
2. Prevents Blood Clots
Research has shown that bromelain protects you from blood clots. One study has found that bromelain influences blood coagulation by increasing the serum fibrinolytic ability and by inhibiting the synthesis of fibrin, a protein involved in blood clotting.2 Pineapple is especially good for frequent flyers and those who are at a higher risk of having blood clots.
3. Decreases Cancer Risk
The name pineapple is almost synonymous with antioxidants, which are vital to neutralize free radicals and to prevent them from causing damage. Studies show that various antioxidants in foods, such as phenolic compounds and carotenoids, have anti-carcinogenic properties. Combinational use (a mixture of carotenoids and flavonoids) of various kinds of antioxidants distributed in foods is shown to be effective in preventing cancer.3
4. Alleviates Arthritis Pain
The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple are known to alleviate arthritis pain, besides similar painful conditions such as gout and carpal tunnel syndrome. In many studies, pineapple has been used on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The enzyme called bromelain in pineapple is known to offer an alternative treatment to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This enzyme contains analgesic properties, which are thought to be the result of its direct influence on pain mediators.4
5. Prevents Macular Degeneration
Pineapple also contains beta-carotene, which is vital in greatly reducing your risk for macular degeneration, a disorder that affects one’s vision. Cataracts are thought to occur due to photooxidation of the lens proteins resulting in protein damage, accumulation, aggregation, and precipitation in the lens. In study experiments, it was observed that the patients in the highest quintile of carotenoid intake had a 43 percent lower risk for macular degeneration.5
6. Lowers Hypertension
Hypertension is a condition where your blood pressure shoots up to dangerous levels. Pineapples are rich in potassium, which is essential to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Many observational studies have demonstrated that dietary potassium intake can significantly lower blood pressure (BP) in a dose-responsive manner in both hypertensive and non-hypertensive patients.6
7. Relieves Stomach Upset
Food and lifestyle habits often take a toll on the body and upset your stomach. A tall glass of pineapple juice can easily solve this problem. It can also reduce feelings of nausea and morning sickness.
8. Ensures Gum Health
Again, the vitamin C content present in pineapples plays a critical role in oral health. A single cup of pineapple supplies you with 105 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. So, eating this fruit or drinking its juice helps you reduce your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Clinical evidence shows that vitamin C functions in improving host defense mechanisms and is implicated in preserving periodontal health.7
9. Increases Fertility
Many studies have shown that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can boost your fertility. The antioxidants and nutrients present in pineapples such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, and folate have a positive effect on both male and female fertility. Free radicals are responsible for many diseases that affect the female reproductive process and are known to cause oxidative stress, sperm DNA damage, and apoptosis, which lead to male infertility.8 Between 30-80 percent of male subfertility cases are considered to be due to the damaging effects of oxidative stress on sperm.9
10. Improves Skin Health
Vitamin C is essential for skin health and pineapples are a rich source of vitamin C. It can also help in stimulating collagen production and scavenging free radicals, which is vital for a healthy and supple skin. Even an external application of a pineapple face mask can rejuvenate your skin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can be used topically in dermatology to treat and prevent changes associated with photoaging and in the treatment of hyperpigmentation.10
|↑1||Rathnavelu, Vidhya, Noorjahan Banu Alitheen, Subramaniam Sohila, Samikannu Kanagesan, and Rajendran Ramesh. “Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications.” Biomedical reports 5, no. 3 (2016): 283-288.|
|↑2, ↑4||Pavan, Rajendra, Sapna Jain, and Ajay Kumar. “Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review.” Biotechnology research international 2012 (2012).|
|↑3||Nishino, Hoyoku, Harukuni Tokuda, Yoshiko Satomi, Mitsuharu Masuda, Yasuhito Osaka, Shingo Yogosawa, Saeri Wada et al. “Cancer prevention by antioxidants.” Biofactors 22, no. 1‐4 (2004): 57-61.|
|↑5||mayne, T. Susan. Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center.|
|↑6||Houston, Mark C. “The importance of potassium in managing hypertension.” Current hypertension reports 13, no. 4 (2011): 309-317.|
|↑7||Rubinoff, A. B., P. A. Latner, and L. A. Pasut. “Vitamin C and oral health.” Journal (Canadian Dental Association) 55, no. 9 (1989): 705-707.|
|↑8||Agarwal, Ashok, Sajal Gupta, and Suresh Sikka. “The role of free radicals and antioxidants in reproduction.” Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology 18, no. 3 (2006): 325-332.|
|↑9||Showell, Marian G., Julie Brown, Anusch Yazdani, Marcin T. Stankiewicz, and Roger J. Hart. “Antioxidants for male subfertility.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 1, no. 1 (2011).|
|↑10||Telang, Pumori Saokar. “Vitamin C in dermatology.” Indian dermatology online journal 4, no. 2 (2013): 143.|