Pineapple is one of the most well loved fruits worldwide. Great eaten fresh, it is also used to make jams, salads and add a sweet-sour crunch to burgers. Although it is thought that its plant is a short, stout stem, it is capable of growing to a great height.
The fruit develops from many small fruits fused together around the central core. Its pulp is juicy and fleshy with the stem serving as a supporting fibrous core. The outer skin features a rough, tough, and scaly rind. As the fruits ripen, the colour may change to yellow, orange-yellow or reddish. The juicy flesh may range from creamy white to yellow and it has a mix of sweet and tart taste with rich flavour.
Pineapple abounds in health benefits, apart from lending its taste to great recipes such as golden fish with pineapple plum sauce and pineapple and chicken rice. It is a rich mineral fruit which contains approximately 82 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium, 22 grams total carbohydrate (including 16 grams sugar and 2.3 grams fibre) and 1 gram protein. It provides 131% of your vitamin C, 2% of vitamin A, 2% of calcium and 2% of iron. Other important vitamins and minerals present in the fruit include thiamin, bromelain enzyme, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, manganese and potassium and antioxidants and polyphenols, such as beta-carotene.
Some of the claimed health benefits of pineapple include:
Pineapples, a rich source of antioxidants, fight against free radicals in the body, which helps prevent cell damage.
The abundant content of vitamin C and bromelain in the fruit helps fight against microbial infections. They are also believed to ease cold and cough.
Rich amount of manganese in the fruit helps bones and connective tissues.
Vitamin C and its strong antioxidant effect in pineapple boosts the immune system.
Freshly crushed pineapple wedges can be used to exfoliate skin. It is the natural way to eliminate dead skin. The exfoliating property and collagen synthesising nature of pineapple makes it a natural foot scrub.
Vitamin A deficiency causes dry and brittle nails. Vitamin B deficiency causes the nails to crack and split. Pineapples, a rich source of both these Vitamins, help ease infections, and strengthen and soften nails.
The enzymes present in this fruit enrich the hair follicles by rendering necessary vital nutrients. This improves the elasticity and thickness of hair.
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