When European explorers found a fruit that looked like a pine cone in South America in the 17th century, they called it a pineapple. The scaly bumps on the outside are called “eyes.” Slice it open, and you’ll find bright yellow flesh that’s both sweet and tart.
For centuries, pineapples were so rare that only very wealthy people could afford to buy them. Some people even rented the exotic fruit to display at dinner parties. Today, they grow in tropical and subtropical countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and China. Grocers and markets carry them all over the world.
You might not notice when you buy one at the store, but there are different types of pineapples. In the U.S., the two most popular are the cylinder-shaped “Smooth Cayenne” with small spiky leaves and the “Extra Sweet” variety, which scientists created in a lab in Hawaii.
If you like piña coladas, then you probably want pineapple juice. But did you know that it is healthy as well as delicious? So, what sort of benefits does pineapple juice offer? First, you won’t need to search for anything but 100 percent pineapple juice.
Unlike other fruit juices, pineapple juice is so sweet on its own that often no sugar needs to be added. The only substance that is generally added to it is ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. This is added to protect color and flavor. If you prefer your juice without the extra vitamin boost, you can always juice the fruit yourself.
Vitamins and Minerals
Pineapple is high in vitamin C, which helps your immune system — the body’s defense against germs — keep you healthy. It also has:
- Vitamins A, B6, E, and K
In some cultures, pineapple is a medicinal plant. That’s because it has a substance called bromelain that may lower inflammation. You can buy bromelain supplements over the counter as well as skin creams that have bromelain in it. But it’s best to get your nutrients from food rather than pills and creams.
The vitamins and minerals in pineapple could help shorten viral and bacterial infections and strengthen your bones. There’s also a little evidence that pineapple may help prevent cancer and even help fertility by improving the quality of sperm.
Studies of bromelain supplements, not actual pineapple, show that it may help with:
- Chest pain
- Sinus infections
- Blood clots
- Muscle soreness
- Eye floaters
It keeps gums healthy.
You brush your teeth several times a day, but do you pay attention to your gums? Because pineapple has such a high vitamin C content, eating the fruit lowers your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease not only destroys gum tissue and jawbones, but has been linked to heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Including more vitamin C in your diet improves your body’s ability to fight invading bacteria that contribute to these diseases.
It alleviates arthritis
Pineapple has anti-inflammatory qualities, so including the fruit in your diet can lessen the pain of arthritis, along with similar conditions, like gout and carpal tunnel syndrome. It also can help improve health overall by strengthening your bones.
It prevents hypertension
If you’re trying to ease your high blood pressure, or want to avoid getting it, then eat a lot of pineapples. Because pineapples have a high amount of potassium and a low amount of sodium, your body will maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
It prevents coughs and colds
The pineapple is rich in vitamin C, which means it naturally boosts your immune system. This helps you fight off coughs and colds. Even if you’re already sick, you can still reap the benefits of pineapple because it contains bromelain, which loosens mucus and suppresses coughs.
It’s a portion of healthful weight-loss
Pineapple has a delicious, natural sweetness that makes it taste like a dessert on its own. As a bonus, pineapple is low in calories, sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fats, while being a good source of fiber. This makes it the perfect weight-loss food because it’s a healthy, filling, and tasty snack!
Pineapples are delicious, low in calories, and loaded with nutrients and antioxidants and packed with a great variety of vitamins. Pineapples are right for you, no matter your age. Adults gain bone support and children who eat it get what they need for bone development, just one of the great benefits of this tropical fruit.