manganese, vitamin C, dietary fibre, vitamin A, B complex vitamins, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, beta carotene, vitamin K
This cone shaped fruit, whose name once described what we now know as “pine cones”, is thought to have originated in Paraguay and brought to the Caribbean by the Amerindians. It was found by Columbus on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493 and bought back to Spain where it enjoyed royal acclaim. To display a pineapple even as part of your decorations at a party of the time was to be held in high regard and made the hostess of the season. So rare and precious was the fruit that King Charles II of England once posed with one in a portrait.
The trace mineral manganese, a building block for healthy bones and an important factor in energy production, is found abundantly in pineapples. Together with the B complex vitamins, also found in pineapples, manganese plays an important role as the co factors in enzyme building.
Also found in pineapples are the antioxidant vitamins A and C. vitamin C, the most powerful of the 2 has been found to ward off coughs, colds and infectious diseases, promote collagen synthesis, cure and prevent scurvy and aid in iron absorption in the stomach among other things. Vitamin A works with beta carotene to help keep eyes and skin healthy. Both vitamins act as antioxidants to eliminate free radicals in the body, protecting against various cancers, age related macular degeneration (ARMD), ageing, arthritis and other diseases.
Jam packed with dietary fibre, eating pineapples can prevent and ease constipation, lower blood glucose, lower blood cholesterol levels, and aid in weight loss and enable regular bowel movements.
It is a rich source of potassium which regulates heart rate and blood pressure to help protect against strokes and promote heart health. It has calcium for healthy bones and teeth, copper, a component of haemoglobin (the red pigment of the blood) and other trace minerals namely zinc selenium and phosphorus for overall health.
Pineapples contain a natural enzyme called bromelain which has been found to break down proteins and to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-clotting properties. It has also been found to break down mucus in cases of asthma, diphtheria, chest congestion and bronchitis.
Eating pineapples and drinking pineapple juice are known to help fight arthritis, cure indigestion and kill intestinal worms. Pineapple juice is also known to relieve nausea. It is also used as a diuretic, for flushing out toxins and for treating diarrhoea and gout.
N.B: Consuming large amounts of pineapple and its juice during pregnancy is not advised since the enzyme bromelain can cause uterine bleeding, hence the reason pineapples are used in traditional medicines to induce abortion and promote menstruation.