12 Amazing Things You Never Knew About Pineapples

Pineapple Cross Section

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Who doesn’t love the juicy taste of pineapples? So sweet, slightly tart, and loaded with so many health benefits, it’s hard to know where to start.

The word “pineapple” comes to us from the Spanish word pina and was first used back in 1398 in reference to a pinecone. These delicious fruits were discovered by the Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island Guadalupe. Europeans tried unsuccessfully for years to grow pineapples, but finally figured out that they must have a tropical climate to grow. Spanish and Portuguese explorers and sailors introduced pineapples to the African, Asian, and South Pacific colonies by the end of the 16th century.

Since pineapples were very perishable, American colonists only experienced glazed, sugar-coated pineapples, and even then, they were a luxurious treat for the wealthy.  After eating canned pineapple one time, it has been said that the great Sioux leader, Sitting Bull, said that he would only talk about treaties if they brought him more.

Pineapples were first commercially cultivated in Hawaii in the 18th century, and it remains the only U.S. state to grow them. It takes almost three years for a pineapple to come to maturity, so we should appreciate the effort that goes into growing them!

Want to know more about these incredible fruits? Keep reading for 12 healthy benefits you never imagined possible from this sunny yellow fruit.

 

1. Divine Digestion

Pineapples soothe the lining of the stomach and the intestines, which makes them great for your digestion. Since they have both soluble and insoluble fiber, plus with the proteolytic enzyme bromelain that breaks down protein, this fruit seems to be made to improve the digestion. Pineapple can also help to treat infections in the intestinal tract and works as a natural laxative, helping the body detox itself naturally.  Enjoy a slice or two of pineapple after a meal for a sweet treat that will keep things moving and improve your digestion.

 

2. Stops Cold Symptoms And Sinus Inflammation

Just two small three-inch pieces of pineapple contain about 50 percent of the vitamin C you need each day. This means that pineapple will support a healthy immune system. The bromelain in pineapple can reduce the amount of mucus in your throat and nose, according to studies from the University of Maryland Medical Center.  Pineapple juice can also help to quell coughs. This fruit is also terrific at calming inflammation in the sinuses, so if you suffer from allergies, you might want to try adding some pineapple to your daily diet to control sinus mucus over the long run.

 

3. Relief From Morning Sickness

Several studies have shown that eating pineapple first thing in the morning can help to reduce the nausea and vomiting that comes with morning sickness. An old folk remedy says that pineapple juice alleviates morning sickness and studies appear to back this up. This works due to pineapple’s high vitamin and mineral content, as well as the vitamin B6 pineapple contains. Eat a slice of pineapple or drink pure pineapple juice first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, for best results.

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Fresh Made Pineapple Juice

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4. Improves The Immune System

Packed with vitamin C, pineapples are terrific for supporting and strengthening the immune system. In turn, your immune system will protect you from viruses, which will naturally increase you resistance to the flu, colds, sinus infections, and more. So perhaps this fall you can skip the flu shot, and simply cut open a fresh pineapple instead!

 

5.  Reduces Blood Clots

It’s the bromelain in pineapples that help our bodies stop the excessive coagulation of the blood. If you are a frequent flier, or if you have a family history of blood clots, you will want to eat more pineapple.

 

6. Supports Oral Health

Vitamin C helps prevent the formation of plaque on the teeth. Plaque leads to cavities and gum disease, so eating pineapple can help to reduce your risk of both of these problems. Research has shown that those who have lower levels of vitamin C in their blood have higher rates of periodontal (gum) disease. Bromelain will also remove stains from the teeth, so eating pineapple can keep those pearly whites bright and beautiful.

Keep in mind that pineapple is acidic, so it can soften tooth enamel. Never brush immediately after eating pineapple, but rinse your mouth with fresh water.

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Pineapple

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7.  Perfect For Dieters

If you are trying to drop a few pounds, pineapple can be your new best friend. Although it is very sweet, it is actually low in calories. One half cup of pineapple has a skinny little 58 calories. Its high fiber and water content will also keep you feeling full while satisfying your sweet tooth.

 

8.  Super Skin

Vitamin C is vital for repairing skin tissue and encouraging skin elasticity. Pineapple is full of skin-beautifying vitamin C! It is also loaded with antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals in the body that cause premature aging of the skin. So eat your way to beautiful skin by enjoying some fresh pineapple several times each week.

 

9.  Prevents High Blood Pressure

Regular consumption of sweet pineapple can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. This fruit is high in potassium and low in sodium. Higher levels of potassium reduce the amount of salt in the body, which will help to lower blood pressure.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

10.  Beautiful Bones

Manganese is essential for bone health and pineapple has plenty of this to spare!  Studies have shown that low levels of this trace mineral in the body have resulted in bone loss and even malformation of the bones. Eating a diet high in manganese can help to stop osteoporosis or low bone density as we age. Manganese also protects our bodies from the damage caused by free radicals, which prevents chronic diseases such as cancer.

 

SEE ALSO: 20 of the Most Outstanding Foods to Beat This One Deadly Cancer

 

11. Fights Inflammation

Bromelain is naturally anti-inflammatory, which can help with issues such as sprains, muscle strains and injuries, tendonitis, and bruising. It can also help ease the pain of gout and arthritis. Try adding one cup of fresh pineapple to your daily diet for super anti-inflammatory power.

 

12.  Supports Healthy Vision

Pineapples are also high in vitamin A, which is important as we age. Vitamin A has been shown to protect us from age-related macular degeneration and for keeping our eyesight healthy as we grow older. The Archives of Ophthalmology published a study that found eating three servings of pineapple each day can lower the risk of developing macular degeneration by as much as 36 percent!

One last fun fact about pineapples: Did you know that this fruit is actually made up of individual little berries that fuse together around the core? Think of pineapple as one huge berry just for fun!

References:

Joponline.org

Onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Hort.purdue.edu