Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Are your children eating enough fruits? Two servings of pineapple a day may boost immunity, according to study

The speakers (from left to right): Glaiza Tominio-Blogger,Mommy Musings.com; Clars Guerrero-Marketing Director, Fruits & Beverage, Del Monte Phils., Inc.; Bianca Tiam-Lee-Asst. Product Manager for Pineapple Fruits, Del Monte Phils.Inc.; Dr. Leonora Panlasigui-Dean of School of Nutrition, Phil. Women’s University and Louise Fandino-Blogger, Mommy Practicality.com

Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) is a leading producer of pineapple and other food products.
The company markets over 100 processed food and beverage variants, including pineapple solids (slices, tidbits, chunks), tropical mixes, pineapple juice and mixed drinks, tomato-based products (tomato sauce, catsup, spaghetti sauce), condiments, and pasta (spaghetti, macaroni). According to the 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, fruit consumption in school-aged children has been decreasing over the decades. Since 1978, a decline in the consumption of fruits has been noted, with the latest NNS reporting a cumulative drop by 50%.

Eating fruits is an essential part of a child’s nutrition, providing vitamins and minerals that are necessary for proper growth. With the increased vulnerability of school-aged children to infection and diseases, it is now more important than ever to include fruits to their everyday diet.

Choosing the right fruit to incorporate into the kids’ daily meals can be a bit tricky. Although all fruits are considered healthy, some are better suited to strengthening the immune system. One of these is the pineapple. According to Health.com, pineapples have one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C.  Additionally, they are available all year round, making them ideal immunity boosters for children.

More pineapples for better immunity

Food manufacturing company Del Monte Philippines notes that two servings (140g each serving) of Del Monte Pineapple a day may help stimulate the development of granulocytes – key components of the white blood cells – man’s natural line of defense against infection and disease.

The study by Dr. Leonora Panlasigui, published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, established a positive relationship between the consumption of canned pineapples and the development of a stronger immune response against bacterial and viral infection in school-aged children.
Dr. Leonora Panlasigui

The study was conducted by randomly dividing selected school children into three groups. Two groups were given regular servings of Del Monte Pineapple with varying serving sizes (1 serving and 2 servings respectively). The third group served as the control and was not given any fruit. The groups that were given pineapples showed an increase in granulocyte count, which may have helped in decreasing incidences of infection, as well as in shortening recovery time.

“Even a single serving of fruit a day could make all the difference with your child’s health,” says Dr. Panlasigui. “One serving is good, but the general consensus recommends two servings a day. It’s not that hard to build a fun, tasty habit with the kids that will benefit them in the long run. You just have to start.”

Dr. Panlasigui’s study inspired Del Monte to launch an advocacy to address the growing need for fruit intake in children. Aptly called the #DMPineappleADay, this campaign aims to raise awareness among parents all over the country about the importance of incorporating pineapples in the daily diet of their children.

“We’ve always lobbied for improvements in public health, and this advocacy holds a special place in our hearts because it’s specifically for the Filipino kids,” says Del Monte representative, Bianca Tiam-Lee. “Children should be free to play, explore, and discover new things without the hindrance of sickness.”


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