Pineapples are fascinating fruits. As a tropical fruit, they have a somewhat exotic appearance to them as compared to the simpler fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas. With their rough, prickly, and intricate exterior and long green leaves, they are both beautiful to look at as they are delicious to eat. But pineapples have much more to them than just a pretty face. They are fruits with a rich history and a multitude of health benefits. Fruits are general are good for the body, but pineapples have a long list of reasons why you should make a point to include them in your nutrition plan. They can do so much more than just be the decoration on top of a tropical drink!
What is a pineapple, and where does it come from?
Pineapples are tropical fruits with edible fruits from the Bromeliaceae family. They are formed by tiny individual berries that grow clustered together around the core. The scales on the outside of the pineapple are the individual flowers that then turn into berries.
The name “pineapple” was coined by European explorers when they came to the Americas. They called the fruits pineapples because they resembled the pine cones that they were familiar with on conifer trees.
Little known and fun facts about pineapples
- A pineapple can take up to three years to reach maturity. Often a reason why they can be rather expensive. A long growth period plus the shipping from tropical climates, making it a fruit that can be high in price.
- When it comes to harvesting the fruit, pineapples do not ripen or get sweeter very much once harvested.
- The majority of the current world production of pineapples come from the following countries: Costa Rica, Brazil, and the Philippines.
- The different colors of a pineapple reflect where they were grown. Different areas grow slightly different shades. Their color has nothing to do with ripeness or taste.
- Fresh pineapples are best when eaten within the first two days of purchase, but they can last for up to a week in the fridge.
- Pineapples create carbon dioxide at night and store it to then release during the day and thereby aid with photosynthesis.
The many health reasons to eat pineapples
Like most fruits, pineapples carry a host of “good for you” reasons to eat them. To start off, they are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes. These help to boost the immune system, aid digestion, and build strong bones. If you are following a low-calorie diet, then pineapples can be a great fruit of choice as they are known both for their sweetness and their very low caloric levels. With only 74 calories per cup, they are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in sodium. In particular, pineapples contain high amounts of Vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. They provide energy due to their high quantities of Vitamin B and thiamin. Really, with a list like this, it’s hard to wrong when it comes to pineapples!
Want to know what is in a raw pineapple?
If your nutrition plan is one that followed by counting nutritional elements throughout the day, then this guide will be helpful. Below are the nutrition facts for raw pineapple.
Serving size: 1 cup chunks (165 g)
Amount per serving:
Calories 82 grams
Total Fat 0.20 grams
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Potassium 206 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22 grams
Sugars 13.7 g
Protein 0.89 grams
Vitamin C 28 mg
Calcium 21 mg
Fiber 2.3 grams
These numbers are, of course, for raw pineapple. If you choose to consume canned pineapple, then it will vary drastically. Canned pineapple is much higher in calories and sugar. Like all canned fruits, it has much fewer vitamins and minerals, mostly due to the sugary syrup that it comes in. Like all fruits, fresh is better for you!
Pineapples also have the following:
- Vitamins A, B6, E as well as K
When you consume pineapple, what does it do for the body?
The health benefits of eating pineapple are numerous. Above, we mentioned all the good things that are found in the pineapple but how exactly these vitamins and minerals help the body is what we will investigate next.
- Pineapples help to fight cell damage
- Pineapples help to develop strong bones
- Pineapples are important for eye health
- Pineapples are helpful for digestion and regularity
- Pineapples can help reduce the risks of cancer
- Pineapples also help with allergies and upper respiratory infections
Because of their high amounts of Vitamin C and bromelain, pineapples have been shown to reduce the amount of mucus accumulation in the airways. Running nose, sinus infections, ear infections, and coughs can all be helped with pineapple.
The various ways to eat pineapples
Pineapples are incredibly versatile and can be used in many ways. Whether your preference is breakfast, lunch, or supper, there are thousands of recipes for each meal that include new and fun ways to consume pineapples. Here are some fun ideas that can make for new and exciting ways to add pineapples to your diet.
- Pineapple mango smoothies
- Freshly cut pineapple chunks in a fruit salad
- Pineapple upside-down pancakes
- Pineapple and coconut oatmeal or overnight oats
- Pineapple blueberry bread
- Pineapple banana muffins
- Pineapple stuffed croissants
- Hawaiian scrambled eggs with pineapple
- Pineapple pizza bites
- Hawaiian pizza
- Tropical pineapple broccoli salad
- Chicken and pineapple kebobs
- Pineapple chicken salad sandwich
- Pineapple fried rice stuffed inside the pineapple
- Chicken or fish tacos with pineapple salsa
- Pineapple cucumber salad
- Pineapple chicken thighs
- Pineapple and shrimp fried rice
- Barbequed pineapple rings
- Sweet and sour pineapple meatballs
- Pineapple baked salmon
- Pineapple teriyaki chicken
- BBQ Pineapple pork chops
- Chicken pineapple curry
- Pineapple upside-down cake
- Pineapple carrot cake
- Pineapple pudding
- Cinnamon fried pineapple chunks
- Grilled pineapple dipped in dark chocolate
- Fried pineapple
- Pineapple pecan bars
Are you allergic to pineapple?
Like many foods, there will be a certain percentage of people who are truly allergic to pineapples. However, many people think that they are despite that not being true at all. Often, the truth is that they don’t know how to avoid the burning sensation after eating pineapple. That burning sensation in the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth that can occur soon after eating fresh pineapple is actually very common.
So, is it the acid that is burning the inside of your mouth? Pineapples do have large amounts of citric acid but so many other fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits. Therefore no, this is not the answer. The answer is actually in the bromelain. Yes, bromelain! That very same enzyme that helps with all the health benefits that are mentioned above. As we now know, bromelain is an enzyme that digests protein. When your mouth burns, it is because the bromelain is digesting the soft, tender, protein-filled flash of your mouth. Sounds gross, but it’s the truth. No need to panic though, our bodies are very resilient, and after a few hours, the skin inside your mouth and tongues will regenerate, and the burn will be gone.
Is this avoidable? Yes, it is.
Because bromelain is the concentrated core of the pineapple, therefore, cutting out the concentrated core of the pineapple and not eating that hard center stem-like part is the best way to avoid the burn of fresh pineapple. However, cooking or grilling your pineapple will also do the same thing, and you won’t have to remove the core.
A summary of all the fantastic things we can get from pineapples!
Clearly, pineapple has a lot to offer both for our health and to our taste buds. They are wonderful tropical fruits that very high in vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. These attributes help to boost the immune system, improve our digestion, and create and support strong bone health. Although very sweet to taste, they are surprisingly low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium.
Here is the shortlist of health benefits when consuming pineapples
- Added nutrient boost to the body
- Antioxidants that can help fight disease
- Easier and more fluid digestion due to the enzymes
- Potential to reduce the risks associated with cancer as well as slow cancerous tumors
- Boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation in the body
- Aiding with arthritis and other age-related diseases
- Potentially helping to recover faster after a workout due it’s anti-inflammatory properties
And these last three benefits are ones that almost everyone can appreciate! If the above more serious issues are not enough to encourage you to start buying and eating pineapple, then maybe these three reasons will.
3 extra reasons to eat pineapple!
Pineapples are great for your weight loss, your sex life, and better sleep!
How can this be?
- Pineapples are known for their fat-burning properties due to high degrees of satiety and fiber. Because they are so filling, you are likely to eat less of other foods and feel full longer. The fiber in pineapples helps to regulate the digestive system and cleanse the bowels.
- Pineapple juice is known for making your bodily fluids more appealing in both taste and smell. This is an added bonus that both men and women are sensitive about and, therefore, can appreciate!
- Pineapples increase the concentration of melatonin in the blood. Melatonin is a hormone that helps the body relax and prepare to sleep. Your brain will start to secrete melatonin as sunlight dims, and you prepare to retire for the evening. By eating pineapples and increasing your melatonin levels, you can help to reset your circadian rhythm.
No more reading about pineapples! Get out there, buy some and start enjoying all the many health benefits to pineapples.