The pineapple (from Latin Ananas comosus) is a tropical fruit brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus after his expedition to South America. Initially, pineapple was considered an extravagant and exotic fruit that was only served at the most lavish banquets. However, now you can easily get it whole, in pieces in syrup or in the form of juice. Why is it worth eating pineapple? Check out its 9 impressive properties!
This fruit contains large amounts of bromelain - an enzyme that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Although bromelain was first discovered in 1867, the world learned about its medicinal properties in 1957. Only recently did scientists know that bromelain is a home remedy for sinuses.
A 2005 study by German scientists found that bromelain accelerates recovery in children with chronic sinusitis. How? Reducing the symptoms - runny nose and pain in the forehead and nose area. Bromelain dealt with them faster than standard treatment. The study included 116 children in Germany who suffered from chronic sinusitis.
The risk of developing asthma decreases in people who eat a lot of foods rich in certain nutrients.
One of these ingredients is beta-carotene, from which the body produces vitamin A. Beta-carotene is found in orange, yellow and dark green plant foods. These include pineapples, mangoes, papaya, peaches, broccoli, pumpkin, and carrots.
Scientific research suggests that eating foods rich in bromelain reduces asthma symptoms.
It is worth taking a look at bromelain not only for its ability to shorten sinusitis. This enzyme, along with other pineapple ingredients, supports immunity and reduces inflammation.
A 2014 study included 98 healthy children who were divided into three groups:
The study looked at the effect of eating pineapples on immunity.
They found that children who ate pineapples had a lower risk of infection - both bacterial and viral. Moreover, the children who ate the most pineapple (the third group) had 4 times more granulocytes than the other groups. What are granulocytes? These are white blood cells (leukocytes) that fight infection.
Other studies have shown that bromelain regulates the response of the immune system. Contrary to appearances, the greater answer does not have to be better. A well "regulated" immune system reacts only to what it should react to, and ignores the rest, such as harmless grass pollen. Thanks to this, he has time to regenerate and prepare for the times when it is really needed.
Nutrients aren't all the good you'll find in pineapple. There are also antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acids.
Moreover, many of the antioxidants come in a combined form. Thanks to this, they are able to survive more severe (harsh) conditions in the body, e.g. stomach acid, which gives a longer-lasting effect, e.g. protection against infections.
As if that was not enough, one serving (glass) of pineapple contains as much as 40% of the daily requirement for vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body fight free radicals that are found in body fluids, for example in the blood. This is because vitamin C dissolves in water. In addition, research has shown that vitamin C prevents ear infections, colds and the flu.
Do you feel constantly tired and the doctor has ruled out medical causes? Maybe you just lack vitamins? Pineapple will help to replenish them as it is a rich source of manganese and thiamine (vitamin B1) which give you energy. In addition, it contains a lot of vitamin B6, which stabilizes blood sugar levels, which prevents the feeling of sleepiness during the day.
Do you feel heavy after lunch? Maybe it's time for… dessert? As we mentioned in the previous section, pineapples contain bromelain, which is a digestive enzyme. Bromelain is a protease that breaks down proteins into smaller pieces. If bromelain breaks the protein into pieces, they will be more easily absorbed by the small intestine. This means that if you eat a cutlet (meat or meatless) for dinner, the pineapple eaten for dessert will help digest it.
Externally supplied proteases are especially valuable for people with pancreatic insufficiency. It is a disease in which the pancreas cannot produce enough digestive enzymes.
One study found that in people with pancreatic insufficiency, digestion improved with a bromelain supplement compared to a supplement without bromelain.
Eating pineapples can reduce the time it takes to recover from surgery or training. This is because of the anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain.
Multiple studies have shown that bromelain reduces the inflammation, swelling and pain that often occurs after surgery and training. It prevents the formation of bruises. At the same time, bromelain lowers blood indicators that indicate the presence of inflammation.
The 2014 study included people who were to undergo dental surgery. Before the procedure, some were given bromelain. As it turned out? Subjects who got bromelain felt less pain and had a better mood than those who did not. In fact, bromelain was found to have a similar effect to commonly used prescription anti-inflammatory drugs like diclofenac.
The idea of the training is to cause slight damage and force regeneration, which leads to the strengthening of the exercised muscles. However, strenuous training places a burden on the body similar to that of some surgical procedures. The muscles involved in the exercises are inflamed, temporarily lose their strength, and the exerciser is sore for up to three days.
Proteases such as bromelain accelerate recovery by reducing inflammation around damaged muscle tissue.
However, such a declaration would be nothing without research to contradict or confirm it. In 2009, researchers divided study participants into two groups. Both were to undergo exhaustive training, then the first of them was given bromelain 45 minutes after training. It turned out that the people in the first group had less inflammation. This made them more powerful than the group not given bromelain.
Other studies have shown that bromelain accelerates recovery from microtraumas caused by exercise. It follows that bromelain as a post-workout supplement or pineapple salad right after exercise is a good idea.
As we get older, the risk of macular degeneration increases. It can even mean loss of vision. According to research, frequent eating of fruit reduces the risk of blindness in old age. Conversely, people who eat less than 1.5 portions of fruit a day are 36% more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. This is one of the main causes of blindness in old age. One serving of pineapple (80-100 grams) or any other fruit will protect you from this disease and related disability.
As you can see, eating pineapple or reaching for its main active ingredient, a digestive enzyme called bromelain, has endless benefits. Surprisingly, it is associated not only with digestion, but also with resistance to bacterial and viral infections, especially sinusitis. The next time you go shopping, go for pineapple in the fruit section.