Who doesn’t love a nice hunk of pineapple? The tangy sweetness of a ripe pineapple is enough to transport you to the tropics in an instant. But, as well as the general benefits of eating fruit, most of us probably don’t give much thought to the real health value of pineapple. Yet the humble knobbly fruit packs some pretty enviable powers that make it worth adding to your diet. Whether you take it as a smoothie, in a salad or curry, or just straight up in all its wholesome goodness, here’s why you need to be eating more pineapple than you do now.
It helps your bones stay stronger
Our bones take plenty of knocks throughout our adult lives, and we need to do what we can to look after them. Particularly as you put your body through more hard work while you exercise yourself fit, your bones and connective tissues that hold you together need some extra care. Helpfully, pineapple is loaded with the mineral manganese, which helps strengthen both bones and connective tissue. Just over a cup of fresh pineapple provides your daily required amount.
It’s great for your gums
Gum health is just as important as keeping your teeth pearly white, and pineapple makes it easy. As well as a suite of other vitamins and minerals that are packed inside the fruit – think vitamin A, calcium, potassium and phosphorous – the particularly high vitamin C content in pineapple cuts the chance of you developing periodontal disease. The disease is most well known for its degenerative effect on gum tissue and jaw bones, but has also been linked to strokes, diabetes and heart disease.
It can help you see better for longer
Remember being told to eat your carrots to develop strong eyesight? Well, there was a secret that nobody mentioned – you could have been eating pineapple instead. Beta carotene, the compound found in carrots that is not only great for your eyes but also gives carrots their distinctive orange color, can also be found in abundance in pineapples. Regular consumption of beta carotene can help prevent degeneration of the retina, which allows you to carry on recognizing faces, reading and seeing into the distance as you get older. Regular pineapple consumption is thought to be capable of reducing the risk of age-related retina damage – also known as macular degeneration, and the number one cause of vision loss in adults – by as much as 36%.
It helps relieve sickness
The next time you’re taking a long journey, reach not for the travel sickness pills – but for a wedge of pineapple instead. Drinking pineapple juice can help avert not only travel-related motion sickness, but also morning sickness during the early stages of pregnancy.
It’s a great diet food
The natural sweetness of pineapple makes it a pleasure to eat – apart from those mental connections with tropical island paradise, it already tastes so much like a dessert that you can treat it as one. Pineapple is low in fat and cholesterol, the bromelain it contains helps aid digestion, and it’s also rich in fiber while being low in calories and sodium. Its high water content means it’s likely to make you feel fuller quicker, so you’ll eat less of other foods.
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