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Nutritional benefits of pineapples

 Nutritional benefits of eating pineapples (Photo: iStock)

Pineapple, also known as Ananas comosus scientifically and nanasi in Kiswahili is a delicious juicy tropical fruit.

Originally, pineapples were grown in South America and were given the name by early British colonisers because it resembles pine cone.

It can be eaten raw after slicing it into strips, grilled or baked. In most social gatherings you will notice that this fruit is served alongside the food because of its impressive nutrient profile.

Nutrients, antioxidants and other compounds including enzymes are what pineapples constitute hence giving it eminent nutritional benefits.

Antioxidants contained in the fruit include flavonoids and phenolic compounds which aid the body in releasing oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is caused by free molecules that damage the cells hence causing heart diseases, diabetes, certain cancers and chronic inflammation.

If you are having issues with digesting meat, pineapple is the fruit for you. It contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that works on proteins making it easy for small intestines to digest.

Bromelain is the same enzyme responsible for the irritating feeling you get when you consume a lot of pineapples.

As a protease, an enzyme that digests proteins, it dissolves the protective mucus covering the mouth and tongue, thus letting the acidity pineapples contain sip leading to irritation.

This same enzyme acts as an inflammatory. Instead of getting painkillers, get pineapples for your pain. Research has shown that bromelain supplements relieve pain in arthritis patients.

When it comes to the female reproduction system, pineapples improve blood flow to the uterus and its lining. This is made possible by the anti-coagulation trait of bromelain as it works as a blood-thinning agent.

Although it is not biologically proven, pineapples are said to improve the smell and taste of vaginal discharge. This is the reason behind the stereotype in Kenya where if you see a lady eating the fruit, best believe she is going to have a good time.

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