pineappleThe Benefits of Pineapple

Pineapples have exceptional juiciness and a vibrant tropical flavor that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. They are second only to bananas as America’s favorite tropical fruit. Although the season for pineapples runs from March through June, they are available year-round in local markets.

Pineapple contains half of the daily recommended value of vitamin C according to the FDA. Vitamin C is a primary water-soluble antioxidant that fights cell damage according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. These qualities make vitamin C a helpful fighter against problems such as heart disease and joint pain.

Bone strength

Pineapples may help you to keep yourself standing tall and strong. The fruit contains nearly 75 percent of the daily recommended value of the mineral manganese, which is essential in developing strong bones and connective tissue according to the Linus Pauling Institute. One 1994 study suggested that manganese, along with other trace minerals, may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

Blood clot reduction

Flores noted that because of their bromelain levels, pineapples could help reduce excessive coagulation of the blood. This makes pineapple a good snack for frequent fliers and others at risk for blood clots.

Digestion

As with many other fruits and vegetables, pineapples contain dietary fiber that is essential to keeping you healthy and especially keeping your intestines healthy according to the Mayo Clinic. But unlike many other fruits and veggies, pineapple contains significant amounts of bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein, possibly helping digestion, according to the American Cancer Society.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

“Due to a complex mixture of substances that can be extracted from the core of the pineapple, well known as bromelain, pineapples can help reduce severe inflammation … and can reduce tumor growth,” Flores said. A variety of studies has indicated that bromelain may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis, though more research is needed.

Excessive inflammation is often associated with cancer, and according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, bromelain and other proteolytic enzymes have been shown to increase the survival rates of animals with various tumors. However, there is not yet any clinical evidence to show that such results will happen in humans.

Eye health

“Pineapples can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a disease that affects the eyes as people age, due in part to its high amount of vitamin C and the antioxidants it contains,” Flores said.

Common cold and sinus inflammation

In addition to having lots of vitamin C, pineapple’s bromelain may help reduce mucus in the throat and nose, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. So, if your cold has you coughing, try some pineapple chunks. Those with allergies may want to consider incorporating pineapple into their diets more regularly to reduce sinus mucus long term.

By Sarah Roach

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