Fruits are generally packed with several essential nutrients and antioxidants. However, during pregnancy, there are some fruits that you might consider twice before eating regularly. Such a controversial fruit is pineapple.
Pineapple is named after its pinecone shape and popular for its sweet flesh. Pineapple is a tropical fruit that originated in the tropical and subtropical regions of South America. In 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the pineapple back to Europe with him from his visit to Guadeloupe. From there, the Portuguese voyagers carried it to Africa and India.
Pineapples can be an easy replacement for candies due to their natural sweetness. However, what makes pineapple widely accepted is not only its sweet taste but also its rich vitamin, mineral, enzyme and antioxidant content. They are extremely beneficial for human health and can be consumed regularly to avoid several health issues.
100 gm of pineapple have:
- 86% water
- 50 calories
- 13.12 gm carbohydrates
- 0.54 gm protein
- 0.12 gm fat
- 1.4 gm fiber
- 109 mg potassium
- 13 mg calcium
- 12 mg magnesium
- 47.8 mg Vitamin C
- 18 µg folate
- 3 µg Vitamin A
- 0.112 µg vitamin B6
Pineapple also has other minerals like zinc, copper, sodium and phosphorus; nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
The Many Health Benefits of Pineapple for Kids and Adults:
Promotes digestion: Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain in them which can break down protein easily. With the help of this enzyme, pineapples can promote good digestive health and can treat indigestion. Pineapple is also a rich source of fiber. This high fiber content makes pineapple ideal for optimal gut health.
Protects from cold: Pineapples are a good source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to build a strong immunity system to fight cough and cold. Pineapples also have anti-inflammatory properties which can promote immunity against infections by suppressing inflammation.
Controls high blood pressure: Potassium can help lower high blood pressure levels. Pineapples are high in potassium and low in sodium. 100 gm of pineapple has about 109 mg potassium and only 1 mg sodium. This potassium to sodium ratio makes pineapple optimal for reducing hypertension or high blood pressure.
May help with arthritis: Most types of arthritis are related to the inflammation in the joints causing severe pain. Bromelain in pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the pain in joints.
Benefits of Consuming Pineapple during Pregnancy:
Pineapples are a good source of all those vitamins and antioxidants which are needed while you are pregnant. Not only that, it can be a healthy replacement for sweets during pregnancy. Here are some of the benefits of consuming pineapple:
Strengthens immune system: You need a strong immune system to protect yourself along with your baby during pregnancy. Rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, pineapples may strengthen your immunity system and may protect you from any kind of viral or bacterial invasion.
Helps with indigestion and constipation: You do not want an upset stomach during your pregnancy. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain which can aid digestion. Pineapple also can help in relieving digestion as it has an ample amount of dietary fiber.
Treats morning sickness: The digestive enzymes in pineapple prevent issues like nausea and vomiting. Pregnant women often suffer from morning sickness during the early phases of their pregnancy. Eating pineapple may help them in keeping the morning sickness symptoms at bay.
Promotes foetal development: Manganese plays a vital role in foetal development. It helps in the bone and cartilage development of the foetus. Pineapples are a good source of dietary manganese and can help you regulate your daily intake.
Risk of Consuming Pineapple during Pregnancy:
- It is popularly believed that you should avoid pineapple during pregnancy as it can lead you to miscarriage or early labour due to the proteolytic enzyme bromelain. However, it may not be the case as the ripe flesh of pineapple does not contain an excessive amount of bromelain. Still, you should always eat pineapple in moderation during pregnancy.
- Bromelain can irritate your mouth and lips as it digests protein. If you are having such symptoms, you should restrict your pineapple consumption.
- In some women. Pineapple can cause diarrhoea because of its high fiber and bromelain content. Therefore, they must be consumed carefully.
- Pineapples are essentially acidic food. Due to their high acid content, they can promote acidity and heartburn if consumed in an excessive amount. You should consult your doctor before eating pineapple regularly if you have heartburn issues.
The Tasty Way of Including in Your Diet:
You can easily eat fresh pineapple to satisfy your sugar craving during pregnancy. If you find it difficult to slice pineapple, you can also turn to canned versions. Pineapple can also be used in several delicious recipes.
- You can use pineapple slices as toppings on your favourite oatmeal.
- Sundries pineapple chunks can be an easy and healthy way to substitute sugary candies.
- You can make pineapple smoothies using pineapple slices, banana, milk/ yogurt and ice cubes.
- If you want a healthy dessert option, you can prepare a healthy fruit salad with pineapple and other fruits.
- Pineapple fried rice is a great option to try if you are craving something sweet for lunch.
Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Pineapples:
- 1/3rd of the world's pineapples are produced in Hawaii. 75% of pineapples sold throughout Europe are produced in Costa Rica.
- Pineapple leaves can be planted to generate more pineapples.
- Pineapples can take up to 3 years to grow. The plant can live for 50 years.
- Pineapples are a collection of berries fused to form the central stalk.
Even though there are many controversies around the safety of pineapple during pregnancy, they are not scientifically backed most of the time. Also, you cannot ignore the number of health benefits they can offer during your pregnancy. A moderate intake of pineapple in pregnancy should not harm you. However, if you have some doubts, consult your doctor before making pineapple a regular in your diet.