Pineapples can be eaten fresh or juiced. They are known to contain nutrients such as: protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C, B6, copper, thiamin, folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, fibre, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, iron, fat and calories.
Due to the presence of these nutrients, pineapples have health and medicinal benefits that improve respiratory health, cure coughs and colds, improve digestion, strengthen bones, improve oral health, boost eye health, reduce inflammation, prevent cancer and improve the immune system.
Bridget Kezaabu, a nutritionist, observes that pineapples contain vitamin C, a primary water-soluble antioxidant that fights cell damage .
It is also helpful in fighting against heart disease and joint pain. The vitamin also helps to reduce mucus in the throat and nose when one has a cold.
She says: “Vitamin C and antioxidants in the pineapple also reduces the risk of age related macular degeneration, a disease that affects eyes as people age.” This is because of the high amounts of vitamin C and other antioxidants contained therein.
She adds: “Pineapples have a good amount of manganese, a mineral that is essential in the strengthening of bones, as well as their growth and repair.”
People who suffer from poor protein digestion can find relief in eating pinneaples. Undigested proteins in the digestive system usually form compounds that are absorbed into the bloodstream, creating allergic reactions that cause inflammation, tiredness, general muscle weakness and headaches.
Kezaabu says: “Undigested proteins are catastrophic because they form uric acid crystals, which cause gout and other forms of joint pain.
Pineapples have a unique protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain contained in the core, which cleaves the protein bonds, making protein foods easier to digest.”
Pineapples also contain dietary fibre, which is essential for keeping intestines healthy and preventing unhealthy conditions such a constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome.
The bromelain enzyme is also useful in treating cancer, especially mouth, throat, breast and colon cancers, because it can reduce tumour growth due to the antioxidant potential in the vitamin C, A and the beta carotene content in it.
Bromelain also stops blood palettes from sticking together and may offer relief to people who are at a risk of dangerous blood clots.
She notes: “People taking antibiotics, anticoagulants, blood thinners, anticonvulsants, insomnia drugs and antidepressants should be careful not to eat too much pineapple because it interferes with the effectiveness of drugs.”
Eating unripe pineapple or drinking unripe pineapple juice is dangerous, as it becomes toxic to humans and can lead to severe diarrhea and vomiting.
Eating a lot of pineapple can also cause tenderness of the tongue but can resolve itself within a few hours.If you are allergic to pineapples, seek medical care immediately,” Kezaabu says.