Pineapple: Health Benefits and Nutritional Values

No other fruit in the world has the versatile qualities of pineapple. It is one of the familiar fruit that is consumed in various forms by the people in the world. The term pine apple was mistaken for description to the pine trees fruit. It was originally referred to the reproductive organs or the pine cone of the conifer trees. Later in the year 1664 the European travelers found the tropical fruit in America and termed it as Pineapples. It is scientifically termed as Ananas comosus of the coalesced berries that is the edible multiple fruit though appear like a single fruit. Pine apple is classified in the Bromeliaceaex  plant family. The pine apple plant grows to 1 to 1.5 meters tall. When it reaches the maturity the plan produces more than 200 flowers that will in turn become the pine apple fruit. The edible flesh of the fruit normally has the bright yellow color. In certain varieties the ripened fruit have an orange- yellowish color. During the reign of kings in the ancient time pineapple was an exquisite fruit that was presented to the kings or in the royal court by people as a mark of respect and gratitude.

It is most popularly used in various cuisines across the world. The raw and the ripe varieties are used in different forms. The raw fruit is used in many curries or spicy dishes and in vegetable salads popularly in Asian cuisines. The fruit juice is produced on commercial basis in different parts of the world. The juice is used in many cocktails and other beverages. The ripened flesh is used in fruit salads, desserts including ice cream, puddings, pastries, creams, jams and jellies. Pine apple flavored biscuits, cookies, breads and buns are the some of the favorites of everyone particularly children.

Pine apple is one of favorite fruits of health fitness conscious people due its rich essential nutrient content.  The researches on the nutritional value by the USDA provide all the information of the nutrients in the fruit. According to the USDA nutrient base an average raw pineapple contains energy value of 50 calories per kilo. It has dietary fiber content of 1.4 gm per kg. The sugar content is high even in the raw fruit to 9.85 gm per kg. It has low fat and protein content. It is enriched with thiamine or vitamin B1, riboflavin or vitamin B2, niacin or vitamin B3, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folate or vitamin B9, choline and has high quantity of vitamin C. The mineral content includes iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. The phyto nutrients are carotene B and crypto xanthin B. In the ripened fruit calorie and other nutrient content is higher than the raw form.

The health benefits are numerous in pine apple. The antioxidants in the fruit fight against the free radicals and prevent cell damage. The antioxidant prevents cancer by repairing the damaged cells and preventing the tumor growth, heart diseases, arthritis and   atherosclerosis. The low cholesterol prevents the cardio vascular diseases. The vitamin c prevents infections form cold, cough and other virus infections and improves the immune system. The bromelain helps to reduce the body weight through burning out the excess fat deposit and controls sinusitis, sore throat, gout and swellings. The combined presence of vitamin c and bromelain in pure pineapple juice helps the digestion and kills the worms in the stomach. The rich dietary fiber is also a support in digestion process. The manganese and minerals improve the bone strength by increasing the bone density. It also helps in the strengthening of connective tissues. It helps to give strength to the gums. Beta carotene helps to improve the eye health particularly the health of retina by preventing retina damage.  It also prevents macular degeneration in older people and improves the eyesight. The anti inflammatory properties prevent the inflammation particularly in the arthritis patient and also prevent bronchitis.

It is interesting to notice that many ongoing studies and researches says pineapple contain more than 80 nutrients and some are even unknown and might be soon revealed in the forth coming studies on this versatile fruit.