Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is an incredibly delicious and healthy tropical fruit.
It originated in South America, where early European explorers named it after its resemblance to a pinecone (1).
This popular fruit is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and other helpful compounds, such as enzymes that can fight inflammation and disease.
Pineapple and its compounds have been linked to many health benefits, including aiding digestion, boosting immunity and speeding up recovery from surgery, among others.
Here are 8 impressive health benefits of pineapple.
1. Loaded With Nutrients
Pineapples are low in calories but have an incredibly impressive nutrient profile.
One cup (5.8 ounces or 165 grams) of pineapple chunks contains the following (2):
- Calories: 82.5
- Fat: 1.7 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 21.6 grams
- Fiber: 2.3 grams
- Vitamin C: 131% of the RDI
- Manganese: 76% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDI
- Copper: 9% of the RDI
- Thiamin: 9% of the RDI
- Folate: 7% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 5% of the RDI
- Niacin: 4% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid: 4% of the RDI
- Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI
- Iron: 3% of the RDI
Pineapples also contain trace amounts of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, zinc and calcium.
They are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese, providing 131% and 76% of the daily recommendations, respectively.
Vitamin C is essential for growth and development, a healthy immune system and aiding the absorption of iron from the diet. Meanwhile, manganese is a naturally occurring mineral that aids growth, maintains a healthy metabolism and has antioxidant properties (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Pineapples are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese.
2. Contains Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
Not only are pineapples rich in nutrients, they are also loaded with healthy antioxidants.
Antioxidants are molecules that help your body combat oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is a state in which there are too many free radicals in the body. These free radicals interact with the body’s cells and cause damage that is linked to chronic inflammation, a weakened immune system and many harmful diseases (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Pineapples are especially rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids and phenolic acids (7Trusted Source).
What’s more, many of the antioxidants in pineapple are bound. This allows the antioxidants to survive harsher conditions in the body and produce longer lasting effects (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
Pineapples are a good source of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Many of the antioxidants in pineapple are bound, so they may have longer lasting effects.
3. Its Enzymes Can Ease Digestion
Pineapples contain a group of digestive enzymes known as bromelain (10Trusted Source).
They function as proteases, which break down protein molecules into their building blocks, such as amino acids and small peptides (11Trusted Source).
Once protein molecules are broken down, they are more easily absorbed across the small intestine. This can be especially helpful for people with pancreatic insufficiency, a condition in which the pancreas cannot make enough digestive enzymes (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
For example, one study showed that participants with pancreatic insufficiency experienced better digestion after taking a digestive enzyme supplement containing bromelain, compared to taking the same digestive enzyme supplement without bromelain (14Trusted Source).
Bromelain is also widely used as a commercial meat tenderizer due to its ability to break down tough meat proteins (13Trusted Source).
Pineapples contain bromelain, a group of digestive enzymes that breaks down proteins. This may aid digestion, especially in those with pancreatic insufficiency.
4. May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Cancer is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth.
Its progression is commonly linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Several studies have shown that pineapple and its compounds may reduce the risk of cancers. This is because they may minimize oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
One of these compounds is the group of digestive enzymes called bromelain. Test-tube studies have shown that bromelain may also help fight cancer (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
For instance, two test-tube studies showed that bromelain suppressed the growth of breast cancer cells and stimulated cell death (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Other test-tube studies show that bromelain suppresses cancer in the skin, bile duct, gastric system and colon, among other areas (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).
Test-tube and animal studies have found that bromelain may stimulate the immune system to produce molecules that make white blood cells more effective at suppressing cancer cell growth and eliminating cancer cells (16Trusted Source).
That said, pineapple contains much less bromelain than supplements do. More human-based research is needed before any conclusions can be made.
Pineapple contains compounds that reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are linked to cancer. One of these compounds is the enzyme bromelain, which may stimulate cell death in certain cancer cells and aid white blood cell function.
5. May Boost Immunity and Suppress Inflammation
Pineapples have been a part of traditional medicine for centuries (13Trusted Source).
They contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes like bromelain that may collectively boost immunity and suppress inflammation (23).
One nine-week study fed 98 healthy children either no pineapple, some pineapple (140g) or lots of pineapple (280g) daily to see if it boosted their immunity.
Children who ate pineapples had a significantly lower risk of both viral and bacterial infections. Also, children who ate the most pineapple had close to four times more disease-fighting white blood cells (granulocytes) than the other two groups (24Trusted Source).
Another study found that children with a sinus infection recovered significantly faster while taking a bromelain supplement, compared to a standard treatment or combination of the two (25).
What’s more, studies have shown that bromelain can reduce markers of inflammation (26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).
It’s believed that these anti-inflammatory properties aid the immune system.
Pineapples have anti-inflammatory properties that may boost the immune system.
6. May Ease Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis affects over 54 million adults in the US alone (29Trusted Source).
There are many types of arthritis, but most of them involve inflammation in the joints.
Since pineapples contain bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s commonly thought that they may provide pain relief for those with inflammatory arthritis (30Trusted Source).
In fact, research from as early as the 1960s shows that bromelain was used to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a type of arthritis that involves inflammation of the joints (31Trusted Source).
Several recent studies have looked into the effectiveness of bromelain for treating arthritis.
One study in patients with osteoarthritis found that taking a digestive enzyme supplement containing bromelain helped relieve pain as effectively as common arthritis medicines like diclofenac (32).
Furthermore, one review analyzed bromelain’s ability to treat osteoarthritis. It concluded that bromelain has the potential to relieve arthritis symptoms, especially in the short term (30Trusted Source).
However, it’s not clear if bromelain can be a long-term treatment for arthritis symptoms. Longer studies are needed before recommending bromelain to relieve arthritis symptoms.
The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple may provide short-term symptom relief for people with common types of arthritis.
7. May Speed Recovery After Surgery or Strenuous Exercise
Eating pineapples may reduce the time it takes to recover from surgery or exercise.
This is largely due to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain.
Several studies have shown that bromelain may reduce the inflammation, swelling, bruising and pain that often occurs after surgery. It also seems to reduce markers of inflammation (33Trusted Source).
For example, one study showed that those who consumed bromelain before a dental surgery had significantly reduced pain and felt happier than people who did not. In fact, it appeared to provide a similar amount of relief as common anti-inflammatory medicines (34Trusted Source).
Strenuous exercise can also damage muscle tissue and cause surrounding inflammation. Affected muscles cannot produce as much force and are sore for up to three days.
Proteases like bromelain are believed to speed up the recovery of damage caused by strenuous exercise by reducing inflammation around the damaged muscle tissue (35Trusted Source).
One study tested this theory by providing participants a digestive enzyme supplement that contained bromelain after 45 minutes of strenuous exercise on the treadmill. Those who took the supplement had less inflammation and maintained more strength afterward (35Trusted Source).
Several other studies have shown that bromelain can speed up recovery from damage caused by exercise (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).
The bromelain in pineapples may reduce the inflammation, swelling, bruising and pain that occurs after surgery. Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties may also aid recovery after strenuous exercise by reducing tissue inflammation.
8. Delicious and Easy to Add to the Diet
Pineapples are sweet, convenient and easy to incorporate into your diet.
They are very affordable and available year-round in many American markets, as they can be purchased fresh, canned or frozen.
You can enjoy them on their own or in smoothies, salads or on homemade pizzas.
Here are a few easy recipe ideas that use fresh pineapple:
- Breakfast: Pineapple, blueberry and Greek yogurt smoothie
- Salad: Tropical roast chicken, almond, blueberry and pineapple salad
- Lunch: Homemade Hawaiian burgers (beef burgers with a pineapple ring)
- Dinner: Baked ham with pineapple and cherries
- Dessert: Pineapple fruit salad
Pineapples are delicious, accessible and easy to add to the diet.
Interesting Facts About Pineapple:
Pineapple is good for your overall health, but what makes this fruit healthy is what we will come to in this article. However, here are some interesting facts that you need to know about this healthy fruit.
- It is derived from the Spanish word pina meaning pine cone that was used in 1398. 300 years later it was called pineapple in order to identify the fruit individually.
- It was discovered on the island of Guadalupe in 1493 by Europeans.
- It was treated as a luxurious fruit because of the sort of prestige that it had.
- The skin of pineapple is used to make alcohol, animal food and vinegar.
Pineapple Nutrition Facts:
All of you know that pineapple is good for our overall health, but the question is in what way is this fruit good for us and what is that substance that makes this fruit a must-add food to your diet? Well, here are some pineapple nutrition facts that you need to know.
Pineapple Health Benefits
Well, all of us know that this fruit is good for our overall health and you can consume this fruit by slicing it or by making juice out of it. Here are some pineapple health benefits that you need to know.
1. Treats Cold and Cough:
If you are suffering from a bad cold, then you need to make it a point to eat pineapple. This is because this healthy fruit contains bromelain 1 which is an enzyme that has inflammatory properties that can fight infections and kill bacteria. Eating it regularly can prevent you from a cough and cold. Well isn’t this a tastier option for you to get rid of that horrible cold and cough?
2. Strengthen Bones:
Pineapple is rich in manganese that helps in strengthening your bones. All you need to do is to add this fruit to your everyday diet and this will help you maintain a strong body and keep your bones strong and healthy. Manganese maintains good bone strength and when it is combined with zinc, copper and calcium this substance can be super healthy. Thus, pineapple has all the components and this is why this fruit can aid in stronger bones.
3. Good For Teeth:
Eating pineapple is said to strengthen your gums and keep your health strong. Your teeth and bones are made up of calcium and pineapple do have good content of it. It also does have manganese that also helps in strengthening bones and teeth. Just drink pineapple juice every day and stay healthy.
4. Prevents Cancer:
A pineapple a day can keep cancer away and this is true in the case of this healthy fruit. All you need to do drink pineapple juice every day and reap the benefits of it. The best thing about this fruit is that it slows down cell damage and makes you look younger. This fruit has loads of antioxidants in it that can protect you from a wide range of diseases and fights some dangerous organisms that are may affect you.
5. Aids In Digestion:
Gulping down all of those tasty dishes can sometimes make you feel heavy and lead to indigestion. All you need to do is to drink some pineapple juice or eat it and you get rid of that stomach ache. Pineapple has a rich source of bromelain, dietary fibre and vitamin C that helps in good digestion.
6. Good for your Eyes:
Regular consumption of pineapple can reduce your risk of macular degeneration which is diseases that affects the eye as you get older. However, this healthy fruit has a high source of vitamin C and several antioxidants that can aid in good vision.
7. Reduce Symptoms of Arthritis:
Arthritis involves severe pain in the joints which is primarily caused due to inflammation. Pineapple contains bromelain which is said to have major anti-inflammatory property and all you need to do is to make pineapple juice and drink it. This will ease joint pain and prevent you from arthritis.
8. Prevents Hypertension:
If you are suffering from hypertension, then make it a point to start eating pineapples regularly as this fruit has high amounts of potassium and lower amounts of sodium that can maintain blood pressure and make you feel relaxed most often. This is the best natural way you can control your blood pressure level.
9. Reduces Risk of Blood Clots:
Bromelain being the major substance in pineapples will reduce your risks of blood clots. Thus, you need to make this healthy fruit your good time pass snack. It can benefit your health in many possible ways and so make it a point to consume this fruit very often.
10. Contain Antioxidants:
Pineapples are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that have the ability to prevent you from diseases that your body is prone to. Your body is prone to a lot of diseases as you age and as a result, this can cause chronic inflammation and weaken your immune system. Pineapple has antioxidants that can boost your immune system and protect you from many diseases.
11. Prevents Nausea:
Pineapple contains digestive enzymes that can reduce nausea. This is because of its bromelain enzyme that will take away nausea, morning sickness and can be very beneficial especially for pregnant women. How difficult can it be for you to sip a glass of pineapple juice? What are you waiting for? Go grab a glass of pineapple juice and stay healthy.
12. Natural Energiser:
Pineapple contains valine and leucine which are two substances that are very important for the growth and repair of muscle tissue. Drinking one glass of pineapple juice can help you overcome fatigue and boosts your stamina to keep you running the whole day. The best thing about this fruit is that it will keep you hydrated the entire day and provide all the energy you would need to run yourself.
13. Stress Buster:
Pineapple has serotonin which is a natural stress buster that keeps your hormones and nerves relaxed. All you need to do is to eat or drink some pineapple juice and this will keep you healthy. When you are stressed you can end up inviting a lot of health problems. Thus, you can beat that stress by drinking just one glass of pineapple juice.
Pineapple Benefits for Skin
Pineapple is good for your overall health and similarly, it is also good for your skin and hair too. If you are suffering from acne, skin rashes or skin damage, then you need to consume this healthy fruit which will rejuvenate your skin and make it look clean and fresh. Here are some health benefits of consuming pineapple for the skin.
14. Treats Acne:
Pineapple juice has loads of vitamin C and antioxidants that can treat acne, sun damage and uneven skin toning. Bromelain is a content that can fight against inflammation and swelling in your joints. If you would want to look fair, then all you need to do is to consume 1 glass of pineapple juice that will help you beat all those scars caused by acne. It will also keep your skin hydrated and make your skin clear.
15. Anti-Ageing Properties:
The older you get your skin begins to lose its glow and you will begin to develop wrinkles. However, pineapple can make you look younger and delay cells from dying. It’s rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C is said to boost your immunity and keep you energetic. The best thing about consuming pineapple juice is that it will make your skin smooth and add that extra layer of youngness over it. You can also add a few drops of lemon to it and this will multiply your benefits of anti-ageing.
16. Prevents Pimples:
Drinking pineapple juice means that you are in taking Alpha-hydroxy acid which is the main substance that delays the death of cells, thus aiding in anti-ageing capabilities. All you need to do is to apply some pineapple juice over your face and let it dry for 5 minutes. Once this is done, you can rinse it off with some water and this will flush away the toxins from your face, thus making your skin look vibrant and clean.
17. Treats Black Spots:
Pineapple can reduce black spots on your face and in order to achieve this, you need to rub some slices of pineapple over your black spots. You need to keep it on your face for 5 minutes and wait till it could dry. Once this is done you can wash it away with some water and this will nourish your skin and make it look young.
Pineapple Benefits for Hair
Pineapple is said to be rich in vitamin C and can aid in hair growth. Its rich source of antioxidants has the ability to prevent you from any sort disease that you may be prone to. Vitamin C gives your hair an extra layer of silkiness and makes it look thick. Here are some benefits of eating pineapple for your hair.
18. Softer and Shinier Hair:
Pineapple contains vitamin C that is responsible for softer and shinier hair. Bromelain enzyme is a substance found in pineapple that contains anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. It’s a high source of antioxidants not only benefits your skin, hair and health but also boosts your immunity.
19. Thick Hair:
Pineapple has hair thickening properties that will make your hair strong and avoid hair fall. The enzymes present in this fruit has vital nutrients that can enrich your hair follicles. This will improve the thickness and elasticity of your hair.
20. Cures Inflammation in Scalp:
If you are suffering from severe itching all you need to do is t try some pineapple and this will give you instant relief. This healthy fruit is said to ease inflammation in your scalp and prevents unwanted hair fall. So, make it a point to drink pineapple juice and get rid of hair fall.
Pineapple Healthy Recipes:
Well, you may get used to eating raw pineapples and if so here are some tasty mouth-watering recipes that you can add to your diet.
1. Chocolate Dipped Pineapple:
Dipping some freshly chopped pineapple in chocolate and eating can get you addicted to it. However, here is what you need to have at first.
Here are some ingredients that you will need in order to make this tasty dish.
- 1 peeled and neatly chopped pineapple
- Dark Chocolate; and
- 1 cup of toasted coconut flakes.
How to Make Chocolate Dipped Pineapple?
- Firstly, you will have to take a bowel and place some dark chocolate on it. Then heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds and make sure that it has turned to liquid.
- Remove it out of the microwave and stir it well and again place it back into it for another 30 seconds. Make sure that the dark chocolate has turned into liquid.
- Then take the sliced pineapples and dip it in the chocolate liquid and add some toasted coconut flakes on it and have a bite. This will let your taste buds drench in it.
2. Pineapple Fried Rice:
Have you ever wondered how you could possibly make pineapple fried rice and relish its taste? There are certain things in which you need to keep in mind while preparing this, but before that, you need to know what you need to prepare this healthy dish.
Here is what you will need in order to get yourself a dish of tasty pineapple fried rice.
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon of ginger powder
- ¼ tablespoon of white pepper
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 neatly sliced onion
- 2 carrots neatly peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup of frozen corn
- ½ cup of frozen peas
- 3 cups of brown rice
- 2 cups of freshly sliced pineapple
- 2 sliced green onions
How to Prepare Pineapple Fried Rice?
Now that you have all your things ready, here are simple instructions that you need to follow in order to get yourself a tasty dish of pineapple fried rice.
- Firstly, take a small bowl and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, whiter pepper and ginger powder and keep it aside.
- Now take another pan and add some olive oil and heat it on a medium flame.
- Then add some garlic and onion to the pan and cook it for 4 minutes.
- Now add some carrots, peas and corn and stir it constantly until all the vegetables get tender. You need to cook this for 4 minutes.
- Now add the pineapple, rice, green onions and constantly stir it well for 2 minutes. Your tasty and healthy dish of pineapple fried rice is ready to be consumed.
3. Pineapple Smoothie:
If you prefer having liquid for your breakfast, then you need to try out pineapple smoothie and stay healthy. This drink is said to curb your appetite and keep your stomach full for a few hours so that you do not develop cravings.
Here is a list of ingredients that you would need to prepare your glass of healthy pineapple smoothie.
- ½ medium banana
- 1 cup of frozen pineapple
- ½ cup of crushed ice
- ½ cup of greek vanilla yoghurt
- One and a half cups of fat-free coconut milk
How to Prepare Pineapple Smoothie?
Now that you have all your ingredients ready, here is how you need to prepare this tasty and healthy drink to make your breakfast complete.
- Firstly, you need to add the pineapple, banana, yoghurt and ice and blend it together. Then you will have to add some milk and make sure that it turns to a smooth liquid.
- While adding milk, you need to add a ¼ cup at a time and boil it for 20 seconds and then add some more.
- Now pour it in a glass and drink it up.
4. Tropical Pineapple with Oats:
Before heading to work in the morning, it is compulsory that you have your breakfast. There are few of us who do not like to eat anything but drink something. You need to know that eating can be more beneficial than drinking something in the mornings as this can aid in faster health benefits. Tropical pineapple with oats can be prepared within 10 minutes and this is one fast way in which you can prepare a healthy breakfast before you leave.
Here is what you need to get your tropical pineapple oats meals ready.
- 1 cup of oats
- One fourth (1 ¼) cups of almond milk
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- One and a half (1 ½) teaspoons of vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 neatly chopped pineapple
- ¼ cups of toasted coconut flakes.
How to Prepare Tropical Pineapple with Oats?
Here is what you need to keep in mind while preparing your healthy dish of tropical pineapple with oats.
- Firstly, add the oats including almond milk and coconut milk to a pan and heat it on high till it boils.
- Once this is done, reduce the heat and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Now you need to add the chia seeds, sugar, salt and vanilla and stir well.
- Once this is done cook it for another 5 minutes and your healthy dish will be ready.
- Now can add the sliced pineapples to the oats and mix it. You can also add some toasted coconut flakes for better taste. Your dish is ready to be eaten.
Now that you know the multiple health benefits of eating pineapple and making juice out of it, here some of the frequently asked questions that will shed some insight into some the risks that are associated with this fruit if it is consumed in excess.
1. What happens if you eat too many pineapples?
Off course consuming pineapples are good for your overall health, but this fruit must not be consumed in excess as it can lead to several health problems such as:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Skin Rashes
- Excess menstrual flow
- Swelling in your cheeks and mouth
Note: Bromelain is a major substance that is found in pineapples and this has its merits and demerits probably if you do not consume this fruit in excess. So make sure that you drink only one glass of pineapple juice every day and this will do you good.
2. Can you eat pineapple in empty stomach?
Well, the answer is no because this can make you feel very uncomfortable if you do not have the habit of consuming pineapples for every breakfast. Make sure that you complete your breakfast and then consume some fresh pineapple juice and this would do you good. Consuming it on empty stomach can result in acidity.
Pineapples are a good fruit that can aid in good digestion, make your skin good-looking, and give a soft and silky touch to your hair, but it can also cause many health problems if this fruit is consumed in excess. Follow some of the above-listed recipes and you can get to cook many dishes of this fruit and reap the benefits out of it. So, keep in mind that you just need to consume one glass of pineapple juice a day and this will do you good.