We all love pineapples for their juiciness and vibrant flavor. This sweet and sour fruit is undoubtedly one of the most popular tropical fruits. Apart from apples and peaches, pineapples are the most popular canned fruit. The uniqueness of pineapple lies in the fact that it is neither a pine nor an apple but a compound fruit composed of many flowers whose individual fruitlets are fused together around a central core. Each fruitlet has an ‘eye’ which is the rough spiny marking on the fruit’s surface.
A typical pineapple fruit has a wide cylindrical shape with a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and bunch of spiny blue-green leaves on the top resembling a crown. The internal flesh is fibrous and juicy and ranges in color from creamy white to yellow. The area near the base of the fruit has a sweeter taste and a more tender texture as it has a higher sugar content. These delicious juicy fruits are used both in fresh and cooked form in wide array of cuisines including salads, jams, ice creams, smoothies, cakes etc. Though the season for pineapples is from March to June, they are available all the year round in local markets.
Benefits of Pineapple for Health:
Apart from being a treat for our taste-buds, pineapples are quite nutritious and offer the following health benefits:
1. Cough and Cold:
Pineapples are a rich source of vitamin C and consuming them can help fight off the viruses that cause cold and coughs. They contain a natural antioxidant ‘bromelain’ which helps in suppressing cough and loosening the mucus. Drinking pineapple juice helps in relieving sore throat.
2. Bone Health:
Vitamin C and other antioxidants present in pineapples are involved in collagen synthesis. Pineapples also contain manganese, the trace mineral needed to build bones and connective tissues. Thus, these fruits can help you build and maintain strong bones and beautiful skin.
3. Healthy Gums:
Scurvy is a gum disease that causes gum bleeding. The high Vitamin C content of this juicy fruit helps to keep scurvy and other gum diseases at bay. Eating pineapples also help to strengthen the gums and keep your teeth healthy and strong.
4. Macular Degeneration:
Macular degeneration is a disease caused by damage of the retina, resulting in vision loss in adults. Consumption of pineapple can lower the risk of this disease by as much as 36% as it contains beta carotene which is good for the sense of sight.
The bromelain enzyme in pineapples facilitates digestion of food by breaking down the protein particles within it. It also helps to neutralize fluids to prevent them from becoming too acidic.This wonder enzyme also regulates the secretions in the pancreas to aid digestion. Thus, a pineapplea day is a tasty way to your digestive tract healthy!
6. Pain and Inflammation:
Bromelain in pineapples is known for its anti-inflammatory properties which help in managing pain, inflammation and discomfort associated with arthritis, gout, carpel tunnel syndrome and surgery. Furthermore manganese helps in improving such conditions by strengthening the bones.
7. Kidney Health:
Pineapple contains potassium which helps the kidneys to function at their optimum.
8. Menstrual Disorders:
Many women suffer from various menstrual disorders. Some of these disorders can be crippling – both physically and mentally. Bromelain in pineapples is believed to provide relief from painful menstrual cramps and other menstrual symptoms.
Benefits of Pineapple for Skin:
Thanks to an abundance of vitamin C, pineapple, like other fruits, is also beneficial for your skin. Some of its skincare benefits are as follows:
9. Soft Skin:
Being a great skin emollient, pineapple help rejuvenate and cleanse your skin. You can rub a slice of pineapple on your knees, elbows and heels to soften the skin and clear dark spots. It can also be used as a loofah or sponge while bathing.
Lack of collagen is responsible for causing signs of ageing such as wrinkles. As stated earlier, pineapples are rich in vitamin C which assists collagen formation, thus providing the necessary elasticity to your skin. To combat wrinkles, make a mixture of1teaspoonpineapple juice and 2 teaspoons coconut milk and apply it on your face every 2 days. You can also drink pineapple juice to maintain a young and beautiful skin.
11. Neck Wrinkles:
Neck wrinkles are also a sign of ageing. You can prepare a paste by grinding 2 pieces of pineapples with 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon honey. Apply it on your neck from top to bottom and allow it to dry for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse off. This will help fill the wrinkles and delay the onset of more wrinkles.
12. Pimples and Blackheads:
For pimples and blackheads, apply a paste prepared by combining 2 teaspoons pineapple juice with aloe vera gel. Applying this regularly will help ward off pimples and blackheads.
13. Oily Skin:
If you have oily skin, you can prepare a paste by mixing 1 teaspoon pineapple juice with 1 teaspoon gram flour. Apply it on your face and leave it for 5 minutes to dry, then rinse off. This will control excess oil on your face and impart a natural glow.
Benefits of Pineapple for Hair:
Packed with healthy vitamins and minerals, pineapples are definitely beneficial for your hair:
14. Good Hair Conditioner:
Why spend so much money on chemical based hair conditioners when you can make your own natural conditioner at home? Just take ½ cup grated coconut, 2 teaspoons fenugreek seed powder and 2 teaspoons pineapple juice and make them into a paste. Apply it on your hair before taking a shower. This will make your hair shiny and stimulate hair growth.