Pineapples are awesome. They’re sweet with just the right kick of sour, they smell just amazing, and most importantly, this tropical fruit is among the most nutritious things you could pick up at the store. So, what exactly do you do for your body when you treat yourself to a portion of this delicious fruit? Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the sweetness that pineapples bring to the table!
Pineapples contain antioxidants, enzymes, and vitamins. In addition to improving immunity and bone density, pineapples are also low in calories.
According to Purdue University’s Center for New Crops and Plant Products, pineapples are a member of the bromeliad family and are the only bromeliad that produces edible fruit. Pineapples are composed of hundreds of individual berries that grow around a central core. Each scale is a flower or berry.
In addition to their unique anatomy, pineapples are loaded with nutritional value. Tropical fruits like pineapple contain vitamin C, manganese, fibre, and bromelain. They are good sources of protein, vitamin E, potassium, and manganese.
Nutrients in Pineapples
A piece of pineapple can be so refreshing – the sweetness goes so well with the tanginess. But did you know that this delightful fruit also contains a bunch of nutrients that can make you healthier and stronger? For example, pineapples are rich in thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin C, manganese, and even bromelain (the reason why your tongue feels so tender after this fruity snack!)
Let’s start with the infamous nutrient that some people adore and others try to avoid – sugar.
Pineapples are very nutritious, and since they contain just about the same amount of sugar as apples and peaches, it’s not easy to eat too much!
In fact, 1 cup (165 grams) of pineapple chunks contains about 16 grams of sugar. Of course, this is nothing compared to a Snickers bar – a 165 gram serving of which would contain approximately 70 grams of sugar.
The amount is not the only thing that makes a difference when it comes to sugar – the type of sugar does too. Fruits contain natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Our bodies use glucose and sucrose quickly, and fructose is slowly processed by the liver. The fiber from fruit additionally slows down the absorption of sugar, giving you more time to use the energy up before turning it to fat. On the other hand, consuming refined sugars like HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup) and table sugar (a type of sucrose) quickly raises your insulin levels. Additionally, the sheer volume of sugar in most processed foods can be overwhelming, so the body quickly turns it into fat.
Vitamin C is perhaps the single most important micronutrient that keeps many bodily processes in check.
You need it for many things, from iron absorption, maintaining your bones and teeth, to healing wounds. Along with another nutrient in pineapples – beta carotene, vitamin C keeps your skin looking young and radiant.
So how much do you get in a single cup of pineapples? It’s hard to believe, but you actually get 79 milligrams – which is more than the recommended daily dose for women (75 mg) and quite close to the daily dose for men (90 mg). A pineapple a day really does keep the doctor away!
Manganese helps your body regulate chemical processes. It plays a role in making your bones stronger and forming connective tissues, it keeps your metabolism and insulin in check, and it helps ward off inflammations. A manganese-rich diet helps prevent osteoporosis post-menopause, and it reduces menstrual cramping too.
A cup of pineapples can give your body as much as 55% of the recommended daily dose – it contains 2.6 mg of this important mineral.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Your body does the hard job of transforming carbohydrates into energy all the time – and thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, plays an important role in this process. Apart from that, this vitamin also keeps your nerves, muscles, and cells working properly.
If you eat a cup of pineapple a day, you get approximately 12% of your daily dose of this vitamin.
You know how funny and tender your mouth and tongue feel after eating pineapple? An enzyme called bromelain is the very reason why this happens. It helps your digestive tract stay on track by breaking down protein. This enzyme also slows down blood coagulation, which can be a great benefit for frequent flyers and people at risk of blood clotting.
However, bromelain is not all fun and games (if you take meds)
The fact that bromelain reduces blog coagulation also makes it slightly dangerous in certain cases.
You should avoid eating pineapple if you take medication, especially anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antibiotics, or blood thinners. Get in touch with your doctor or pharmacist and make sure pineapples won’t interfere with your prescription before making them a kitchen staple!
Sweet, Sweet Pineapple
Fresh chunks of pineapple are among the best snacks you can pick. Pineapple nourishes your body, all while giving your taste buds and sense of smell a lovely treat.