Pineapples: The Pros and Cons
Pineapples are by far one of my favorite fruits to eat or combine with tasty dishes and desserts. After reading through an email I recieved this morning from my mom I decided to try and set the record clear. First, I'll start with the benefits of pineapples followed by the negatives.
- Sweet taste
- Makes great pineapple upside down cake
- Rich source of Manganese, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Thiamine. Pineapples actually contain over 90% the Daily Value (DV) of Manganese, which is needed for strong bone growth, and Vitamin C, which obviously helps boost your immune system amongst other maintenance qualities to your body.
- Contains a rare enzyme called bromelain which is used to break down proteins. The benefit is that this enzyme can help your digestive health in breaking down some of the excess in your digestive track and flushing it out of your system. Also, when using pineapples or their juice for marinating meat, this enzyme is solely responsible for breaking down the proteins in meat and therefore giving it that more tender texture.
- Furthermore, bromelain helps to trigger an anti-inflammatory response. This is seen to be quite useful for those who have just competed in an event or marathon or even an intense day at the gym, as this will help to reduce delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS usually sets in between days 1-2 after a physical bout of exercise and is the culprit of why you walk so stiff-legged after doing a day of squats and lunges.
- Pineapples are very acidic, which is good in that if you have a cold with a productive cough or sore throat, this quality of the fruit will help to reduce the production of mucous.
- Lastly, pineapples have been proven to reduce the risk of blood clots by thinning the blood. This is one reason why you will almost always see flight attendants have a full stock of pineapple juice, and I guess they make good cocktails too :)
- Hard to open/peel
- Doesn't have a very long shelf life
- Although pineapples are a rich source for many nutrients, if you take in over 90% of your DV with one serving of pineapple. The chances of you going over that daily recommendation are quite high. Not to say that I've ever heard of any known cases of, "Vitamin C overdosing," it can cause you to get quite sick. As anything you need to have a balance and moderation.
- Pineapples are also extremely high in sugar. And although they are natural sugars, mainly sucrose and fructose, the spike in sugar content from over-eating pineapple in one sitting, or eating pineapple on a daily basis for even as little as 3 days, will cause blood insulin levels to plummet sending your blood sugar up way higher than it needs to be. Also, this same effect can take place if using too many servings of fruits in a day. Recommended daily serving of fruit is 2.
- The enzyme bromelain breaks down proteins. This is bad news for any athlete or person wanting to gain or maintain muscle size and strength. Proteins are needed to help rebuild muscles after exercise. If you don't feed your muscles while they're in the rebuilding phase, then you will end up losing strength and setting yourself up for failure. When muscles don't rebuild, you don't perform, and in fact you increase your risk of injury when trying to use a muscle that hasn't been given time and nutrients to rebuild and recover. Therefore, the consumption of pineapple to help with DOMS is a foolish thing to do as you are doing more damage than good.
- Furthermore, bromelain when breaking down excess proteins in the digestive track can easily lead to uncontrolled passing of wastes such as diarrhea. Or can be disruptive in the over-consumption of proteins in the stomach which will fool your body into thinking it has ingested something that it needs to throw back up.
- The high acidity of pineapples stops mucous production because it burns through the mucous membranes in your mouth, throat, stomach, and anything else it touches. This is what contributes to the roof of your mouth feeling "raw" after eating pineapple and can be an added culprit to stomach aches.
- Lastly, although thinning your blood sounds good for people with high cholesterol, or are in a fixed position such as flying for a long period of time, this can be dangerous for those who are already taking blood thinners, hemophiliacs, or have other blood clotting complications.
Bottom line "In Moderation" is the key to any successful and healthy diet. You can use this for almost any and all foods aside from the way you prepare them (fish, carrots, honey, chocolate, pineapples,...). Thank you for reading! If you have any further questions on this article or have recommendations for further articles to come, please comment below!