Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nature's Food: Pineapple

One serving of pineapple is about 83 calories.
The daily value in a US serving size of pineapple contains 131% Vitamin C.

Pineapples are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is best known for being an antioxidant and antioxidants fight off free radicals in the body. Free radicals come in many different forms and can affect different parts of the body. For example, cancerous cells develop from a mutation that has occurred within a cell due to excessive free radical damage. Antioxidants are believed to protect cells from free radical damage that can lead to various mutation in cells causing diseases within the body. With that said, Vitamin C can help prevent free radical damage in the body.

Vitamin C is also necessary in the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is crucial in the functionality of the body. It is essential in the creation of our skin, bones, blood cells, and organs. Notice, many skincare companies advertise products that promote collagen production in the body. This is so, because collagen keeps the skin taut (keeps it from wrinkling) because as we get older, the production of our collagen levels naturally decrease.

Vitamin C is also vital in the creation of neurotransmitters, which quite simply, give commands and instruction in the brain. Neurotransmitters deliver thoughts and feelings throughout the brain. Vitamin C also produces serotonin which (depending on its levels) is linked to depression. If there are low levels of serotonin in the brain, there is believed to be an increased likelihood of depression in the individual. It’s not yet clear whether or not pineapple itself can prevent depression, but there’s certainly no harm in eating it, just in case!

Pineapple also contains the minerals manganese, potassium and copper. It also contains the proteolytic enzyme (enzymes that help in the digestion of food) bromelain. Folates can also be found within pineapple along with other vitamins like riboflavin, thiamin and pyridoxine. No worries, I’ll be doing a separate post on each vitamin, mineral and enzyme listed because the information is substantial and quite amazing. There will indeed be separate summaries of the aforementioned.

With all that said, I’m proud to say the pineapple is my favorite fruit. I could literally eat it every day. It’s an awesome breakfast or midday treat. I often partake of it at desert rather than other hearty options and have been known to make a meal of it for lunch every now and then. Happy eating!

*As I learn more on the pineapple, I will repost with updated information. This will apply to all food post.