PINEAPPLE (Ananas comosus) has been described as one of the most important commercial fruit crops in the world. The fruit is either consumed or served fresh, cooked or juiced but the most effective way to harness the nutritional and medicinal benefits of pineapple is to juice it.
The International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences 2015, vol 4, reveals that pineapple juice contains balanced sugar of 14 per cent, with a whole lot of vitamin C and citric and malic acids which help prevent the occurrence of certain diseases like cancer. It has also been proven to cure different disease conditions like diabetes, asthma, obesity, other problems of the heart and digestion.
Pineapples have been proven to help lower blood sugar in diabetic patients, since it is a fat-free fruit that is rich in fibre and vitamins. The study showed that pineapple has a higher effect on blood sugar level than most other fruits if consumed in equal quantities. It was discovered that one cup serving of fresh pineapple juice contains 1.40 grammes of fibre.
However, according to an analysis from the Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, and Exercise at the University of Sydney, Australia, fresh whole pineapple has a higher Glycaemic Index (GI) ranking of about 59 when compared to other fruits. But while the higher GI ranking might make pineapple fruit unsuitable for a diabetic patient, experts say there are ways to eat them safely. It was said that a portion of pineapples could be sticked to and paired with a protein diet in order to slow the rise in blood sugar.
In the International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, the benefits of pineapple leaves in the treatment of diabetes was analysed. It was discovered that the leaves have anti-hyperglycemic and analgesic properties that can be used as a cheaper and alternative source of medicine for reducing high blood sugar level of diabetic patients.
According to the study, fresh pineapples are rich in bromelain and bromelain has significant anti-inflammatory effects such as reducing swelling in inflammatory conditions like acute sinusitis, sore throat and arthritis.
Pineapple enzymes were used successfully to treat rheumatoid arthritis and tissue repair, which could be as a result of injuries and diabetic ulcers.
Pineapple was said in the study to cure colds, mouth, throat and bronchial infections. It likewise showed that the enzyme bromelain in pineapple acts as a natural stain remover, which helps break up plaques, thereby preventing gum diseases and ensuring that the teeth are healthy.
One of the best properties of pineapple is its diuretic function. It was observed that pineapple helps to eliminate toxins through the urine and is said to be beneficial for patients with kidney, bladder and prostate ailments.
The Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences reports that one cup of pineapple juice provides 73 per cent of the daily recommended amount of manganese and this means that the high content of manganese can help to boost fertility by enhancing the quality of sperm produced.
The study pointed to the effectiveness of using pineapple juice to treat problems of infertility. It noted that pineapple juice’s high content in manganese can also help build stronger and healthy bones and connective tissues, especially in aged people. A 1994 study suggested that manganese, along with other trace minerals, may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal woman.
Pineapples can be used as supplementary nutritional fruit for good personal health. The study shows that pineapple fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It revealed that one healthy ripe pineapple fruit can supply about 16.2 per cent of daily requirement for vitamin C and that half a cup of pineapple juice provides 50 per cent of an adult’s daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is the body’s primary water soluble antioxidant, against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Vitamin C has been identified as a powerful anti-oxidant that supports the formation of collagen in bones, blood vessels, cartilage and muscle, as well as the absorption of iron.
The study noted that up to 13 per cent of malic acid content is embedded in pineapple juice, which is beneficial to health, such that it boosts immunity; reduces the risk of toxic metal poisoning; promotes smooth firm skin and helps to maintain oral health.
Whichever way you may want to take your pineapple juice, either by mixing it with hot or cold water, a medical expert has advised that adding hot water to your pineapple makes it a more effective way to harness the nutritional and health benefits embedded in it.
According to Dr Gilbert Kwaye of ICBS Hospital, hot pineapple juice can kill cancer cells.
“Slice two or three pieces of pineapple in a cup, add hot water, it will be like alkaline water, drink it every day, it is good for everyone.”
He further stated that hot pineapple juice releases anti-cancer substances, which he said are the latest advances in effective cancer treatment. “The hot pineapple juice has the effect of killing cysts and tumours and have been proven to repair all types of cancer,” he added.
Dr Kwaye noted that pineapple juice contains amino acids and polyphenols, which he said are useful in regulating high blood pressure, preventing the blockage of inner blood vessels, adjusting blood circulation and reducing blood clots.
Similarly, the Assistant Chief Dietician, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Mrs Motunrayo Oduneye, noted that either hot or cold water can be added to your pineapple juice, depending on how you want it served.
“Anyhow you want it, you can mix your pineapple juice. The essential is that pineapple contains high and beneficial amounts of vitamin C that is good for boosting the immune system.
“The presence of hot water in the pineapple juice doesn’t deplete the nutritional and health benefits,” she added.
Mrs Oduneye disclosed that hot pineapple juice can help clear the airway for people with infections like cough or flu.
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