The pineapple fruit looks regal. Like the royalty of fruits, maybe the queen or the princess. Apart from it’s appealing physical properties, the pineapple is one highly nutritious fruit. The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an edible fruit and the most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae. The pineapple is indigenous to South America, where it has been cultivated for many centuries. Pineapples grow as a small shrub; the individual flowers of the unpollinated plant fuse to form a multiple fruit. The plant is normally propagated from the offset produced at the top of the fruit, or from side shoot, and typically mature within a year.
The flesh and juice of the pineapple are used in cuisines around the world. In many tropical countries, pineapple is prepared and sold on roadsides as a snack. It is sold whole or in halves with a stick inserted.
Raw pineapple pulp is 86% water, 13% carbohydrates, 0.5% protein, and contains negligible fat. In a 100-gram reference amount, raw pineapple supplies 50 calories, and is a rich source of manganese (44% Daily Value, DV) and vitamin C (58% DV), but otherwise contains no micronutrients in significant amounts.
Health benefits of Pineapple
- Contains Enzymes that can ease digestion: Pineapples contain bromelain, a group of digestive enzymes that breaks down proteins. This may aid digestion, especially in those with pancreatic insufficiency.
- May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer: Pineapple contains compounds that reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are linked to cancer. One of these compounds is the enzyme bromelain, which may stimulate cell death in certain cancer cells and aid white blood cell function.
- Highly Nutritious: Pineapples are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese.
- Good source of antioxidants: Pineapples are a good source of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Many of the antioxidants in pineapple are bound, so they may have longer lasting effects.
The juice from unripe pineapples can cause severe vomiting. Bromelain ingestion is associated with a low incidence of adverse reactions, including diarrhea, excess menstrual flow, nausea, skin rash, and vomiting. Swelling of the mouth and cheeks can result from eating large amounts of the fruit.
“Because pineapple is a great meat tenderizer, eating too much can result in tenderness of the mouth, including the lips, tongue and cheeks,” Flores said. “But, [it] should resolve itself within a few hours.” But if the feeling persists, or if you experience a rash, hives or breathing difficulties, you should seek medical help immediately, as you could have a pineapple allergy.