Benefits of Pineapple
Pineapple,Ananas comosus, belongs to theBromeliaceaefamily, from which one of its most important healthpromoting compounds, the enzyme bromelain, was named. The Spanish name for pineapple,pina, and the root of its English name, reflects the fruits visual similarity to the pinecone Pineapples are actually not just one fruit but a composite of many flowers whose individual fruitlets fuse together around a central core. Each fruitlet can be identified by an eye, the rough spiny marking on the pineapples surface.
Although thought to have originated in South America, pineapples were first discovered by Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island that came to be known as Guadalupe. When Columbus and other discovers brought pineapples back to Europe, attempts were made to cultivate the sweet, prized fruit until it was realized that the fruits need for a tropical climate inhibited its ability to flourish in this region. By the end of the 16th century, Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced pineapples into many of their Asian, African and South Pacific colonies, countries in which the pineapple is still being grown today.
3. Pineapples in Colonial America
American colonists regarded pineapples as a luxurious treat because of their rarity and cost. This fruit is rich in Bcomplex group of vitamins like folates, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like copper, manganese and potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is a helpful cofactor for red blood cell synthesis. Manganese is a cofactor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger.
4. Pineapple Discovery
In 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus found pineapples on Guadeloupe Island in the Caribbean. The fruit is also native to southern Brazil and Paraguay. ? It also contains small amount Vitamin A (provides 58 IU per 100 g) and betacarotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes, skin and essential for vision. Studies have suggested that consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the human body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
5. Possible health benefits of consuming pineapples
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestylerelated health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like pineapples decreases the risk ofobesityand overall mortality,diabetes,heart diseaseand promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.
6. Agerelated macular degeneration
A higher intake of all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also been shown todecrease risk of and progression of agerelated macular degeneration. ? Fresh pineapple is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin C. 100 g fruit contains 47.8 or 80% of this vitamin. Vitamin C is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
7. Asthma prevention
The risks for developingasthmaare lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is betacarotene, found in plant foods like pineapple, mangoes, papaya, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, pumpkin and carrots.
8. Blood pressure
Increasing potassium intake by consuming high potassium fruits and vegetables can help with loweringblood pressure. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults meet the daily 4700 mg recommendation.
As an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C, pineapples can help combat the formation of free radicals known to causecancer.Diets rich in betacarotene may also play a protective role againstprostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Healths Department of Nutrition7and has been shown to have an inverse association with the development ofcolon cancerin the Japanese population.
Diabetics who consume highfiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium pineapple provides about 13 grams of fiber.
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