- Feb 07, 2018 -
This yellow, spiny tropical fruit offers more than just a sweet flavor. Pineapple contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals, and it also contains a unique enzyme called bromelain. Researchers have studied the effect of bromelain on health, and bromelain can help lower inflammation in the body. This may be one reason why pineapple has been used for many years in Central and South America as a digestive aid.
Here is a closer look at the health benefits of pineapple and the differences between fresh and canned.
#1 – Vitamin C
One nutrient pineapple is particularly high in is vitamin C. Two slices of pineapple, which is about 4 ounces, provides 50% of the Daily Value of vitamin C for the day. Many large research studies have found that a higher intake of vitamin C is associated with a lowered risk of heart disease. One of vitamin’s roles in the body is to act as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage from free radicals and may help lower damage to cells caused by carcinogens.
Vitamin C is also needed to make collagen, which is needed for healthy skin, teeth and gums. Vitamin C also has a role in boosting immune function; vitamin C can help stimulate the production of white blood cells.
Male adults 19 and older need at least 90 mg of vitamin C per day, and adult females 19 years and older need at least 75 mg per day. Reaching daily vitamin C needs can be easy if you add pineapple in your diet.
#2 – Manganese
Manganese is a trace mineral that is usually not in the spot light. However, getting enough manganese in the diet is important. One cup of pineapple provides about 76% of the Daily Value for manganese.
Manganese is part of an enzyme that is works as a powerful antioxidant in the body. Manganese also activates many enzymes involved with carbohydrate, protein and cholesterol metabolism. Manganese also has a role in bone and collagen formation.
#3 – Trace amounts of other nutrients
Pineapple is a source for many other nutrients including B vitamins, vitamin A, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and copper. Although the amount of these nutrients is not as high as vitamin C or manganese, eating pineapple can still contribute to your daily needs of these nutrients.
#4 – Bromelain
Pineapple is part of the bromeliad family and is a source for the enzyme bromelain. This enzyme is used to break down proteins and is often an ingredient in digestive enzyme supplements. It is also why pineapple has been used for centuries as a digestive aid.
Bromelain has other health benefits besides helping to break down proteins, according to several research studies. Bromelain appears to help lower inflammation and swelling in some instances, particularly after surgery. Bromelain may also help relieve conditions such as tendonitis, sprains and strains.
According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, adults should eat at least 2 servings of fruit each day. And canned fruit can absolutely be just as healthy (if not more) than its fresh counterpart.
When storing fresh fruit for many days, the vitamin C content tends to diminish (the vitamin is easily destroyed by exposure to air). Canned fruit, however, will still retain much of its vitamin C—even when stored for several months—a clear advantage over fresh. Many fresh fruits are also shipped for miles or sit in storage for days before being enjoyed. This also leads to degradation of their nutritional content.
Fresh fruit can cost a pretty penny when out of season. Canned is a great way to enjoy fruit any time of year. Check your circular or favorite brand online--you can often find sales and coupons for canned fruit.