9 Powerful Health Benefits Of Pineapple And Nutrition Facts

Reviewed by Dr. Geeta Dharmatti, M.Sc,Ph.D, Clinical Nutritionist and Registered Dietician
by Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Pineapple is a tropical fruit that is rich in important enzymes and nutrients. It has been linked to several benefits, including possible weight loss, better digestion, and treatment for inflammation.

Pineapples were also found to improve the nutritional status of children (1). They have a powerful nutritional profile and are especially rich in vitamins C and A.

In this post, we will explore the health benefits of pineapple and also discuss pineapple supplements.

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Pineapples?

A cup (165 grams) of fresh pineapple chunks contains 82 calories. It has 22 grams of carbs and 2.3 grams of fiber. Following are the other nutrients present:

  • 79 mg of vitamin C
  • 95 IU of vitamin A
  • 21 mg of calcium
  • 19 mg of magnesium
  • 12 mg of phosphorus
  • 180 mg of potassium
  • 29 mcg of folate

*Values sourced from USDA National Nutrient Database, pineapple, raw

Over the years, science has heavily researched on pineapples and the health benefits they offer. The following section talks about them in detail.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Pineapples?

Pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that offers most of its benefits. Bromelain has been found to combat cancer and fight inflammation and associated ailments. The fruit also boosts your immunity and strengthens bones.

1. May Aid Weight Loss

Studies show the possible anti-obesity effects of pineapples. Rats fed on a high-fat diet showed a reduction in body weight, body mass index, body fat accumulation, and liver fat accumulation after the intake of pineapple juice (2).

Pineapple juice was observed to decrease lipogenesis (formation of fat) and increase lipolysis (the breakdown of fats to release fatty acids) (2).

Pineapple may appear to be the ideal food to burn belly fat, although we need more research in this regard.

2. May Aid Digestion

The most important component of pineapple is bromelain, a potent digestive enzyme. Studies show that bromelain (Digestive enzyme) supplementation may help in the breakdown of proteins (3).

It can help treat pancreatic insufficiency, a digestive disorder in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough of certain enzymes the body uses to digest food in the small intestine (3).

A formula with bromelain as one of the primary ingredients could relieve excess flatulence and diarrhea (3).

3. May Help Reduce Cancer Risk

Studies have stated that bromelain in pineapples may have anti-cancer activity. The enzyme may have a direct impact on cancer cells and their environment (4).

Bromelain exhibits anti-cancer effects on colon cancer cells. Foods containing bromelain are considered good candidates for reducing the risk of colorectal cancer (5).

Bromelain can also hinder cancer progression by fighting inflammation, a primary contributor to cancer. It prevents the further generation of cancer cells by exposing them to the immune system. Various traditional and clinical reports indicate the anti-cancer properties of pineapple’s bromelain. Further studies may offer more promising results in this area (6).

In mouse studies, bromelain was also found to inhibit the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. It also could reduce the survival of these cells (7).

4. May Help Combat Inflammation

In animal studies, bromelain has been reported to have therapeutic effects on various inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel syndrome. Bromelain exposure could remove a number of cell surface molecules that contribute to inflammation (8).

Bromelain in pineapples also achieves this by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (9). These are compounds in the human system that promote inflammation, more so in the case of inflammatory bowel disease.

Pineapple extract was also found to treat other issues related to inflammation, including allergic airway disease. The fruit’s enzyme could alter the activation and expansion of specific cells of the immune system. The study was conducted on mouse cells (10).

5. May Help Treat Arthritis And Promote Bone Health

Bromelain may also aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The enzyme exhibits analgesic properties, especially in inflammatory pain in humans. It achieves this by directly influencing bradykinin, a pain mediator that causes the contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of blood vessels (11).

Pineapples also contain manganese, a mineral important in bone formation. They also contain vitamin C that supports the formation of collagen in bones. Pineapples can promote the growth of bones in the young and strengthen bones in older people (12).

The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple’s bromelain may also help treat rheumatoid arthritis pain (13).

6. May Improve Cardiac Health

Bromelain in pineapples was found to reduce the aggregation of blood platelets. This may help treat acute thrombophlebitis (a condition characterized by blood clots). However, more studies on human populations are needed to conclude the beneficial effects of bromelain on cardiovascular disease (14).

Bromelain may also break down cholesterol plaques, further promoting heart health (15). Its efficacy in the treatment of other cardiac diseases, including coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, and heart attack is yet to be proven.

7. May Promote Immunity

Bromelain in pineapples can modulate the immune system and potentially accelerate wound healing (16).

Children consuming pineapple juice also had a lower risk of contracting microbial infections. The fruit was found to increase the concentrations of the disease-fighting white blood cells by four times (1).

In another study, children with sinusitis showed faster recovery with a bromelain supplement (17).

Another study sheds light on bromelain’s potential to treat asthma symptoms. It may exert a therapeutic effect on various allergic airway diseases, including allergic asthma (18).

8. May Enhance Recovery

The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple’s bromelain can aid recovery. This is especially true in case of a much-needed recovery after surgery. More studies are needed to establish bromelain’s effectiveness in post-surgery recovery (19).

In a study, bromelain intake significantly reduced pain in patients undergoing dental surgery. The enzyme offered similar relief as other anti-inflammatory drugs (20).

Bromelain was also found to reduce feelings of fatigue. It reduced muscle damage and improved recovery across consecutive days of cycling (21).

9. May Improve Skin Health

There is limited research in this aspect. The vitamin C in pineapples may benefit the skin. The vitamin promotes collagen production and may protect the skin from damage (1).

Pineapples are amazing-looking fruits with equally amazing benefits. There is no reason you shouldn’t add them to your diet. But how do you do it?

How To Add Pineapples To Your Diet

Pineapples are affordable and easy to eat. In addition to their goodness, they taste delicious too. You can enjoy pineapples in the following ways:

  • Add a sliced pineapple to your morning smoothies.
  • Chop pineapple and add it to your evening salad.
  • Add the fruit to your homemade pizza.
  • Pineapple is a versatile fruit and can be easily incorporated into most dishes.

Having a pineapple may not be the only way to enjoy the beneficial effects of bromelain. You may also check out supplements.

A Note On Bromelain Supplements

Your health care provider may recommend bromelain supplements, depending on your requirements and health condition. A standard dose of bromelain hasn’t been established yet. We recommend you check with your doctor before taking a supplement. They would also make the appropriate suggestions on the dosage.

You can get a bromelain supplement from your nearest health food store or online.

Pineapple is a tropical fruit with a myriad of benefits. But like any food out there, it has its share of potential adverse effects.

What Are The Side Effects Of Pineapples?

  • May Cause Allergies
    In some cases, pineapples may cause allergic reactions and diarrhea. The allergies include intense itching, rashes, abdominal pain, and vomiting (22).
  • May Aggravate Asthma Symptoms
    Though some research shows that pineapple may treat asthma symptoms, in certain individuals, the fruit may have an opposite effect (23).
  • May Increase The Risk Of Bleeding
    Bromelain may inhibit platelet aggregation and prevent blood clots. This can increase the risk of bleeding in certain individuals. It may also increase menstrual bleeding. Avoid pineapples right after surgery (24). (Pineapple may enhance recovery post-surgery, but its intake must be supervised by your doctor.)

Also, avoid using bromelain along with prescription blood thinners (25).

  • Might Cause Miscarriage During Pregnancy
    Anecdotal evidence suggests that pineapples may cause miscarriage (26). Hence, stay on the safe side and avoid intake of pineapples during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please consult your doctor.

Conclusion

Pineapple can provide your body with some of the important nutrients. You may make it a part of your balanced diet. Its high antioxidant profile could play a role in disease prevention. Be wary of the allergies, though. In case you experience any symptoms, discontinue use, and consult your doctor.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How much pineapple can you eat in a day?

A cup of pineapple contains about 80 milligrams of vitamin C, which is more than the recommended dietary allowance of the vitamin. Though there is not enough information on how much of the fruit you can eat in a day, having a cup (166 grams) of it should suffice.

Is pineapple good for diabetes?

Pineapple is relatively low in sugar, so it can be good for people with diabetes. But moderation is key. Hence, please check with your doctor.

Is it good to eat pineapple at night?

Yes. Some experts believe that pineapple may also boost sleep.

Is pineapple good for your liver and kidneys?

The fruit seems to be good for both the organs. Though more extensive research is required, consuming the fruit may help boost the health of your liver and kidneys.

26 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla

Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a Senior Content Writer who specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the field for well over 4 years now. His work involves extensive research on how one can maintain better health through natural foods and organic supplements. Ravi has written over 250 articles and is also a published author. Reading and theater are his other interests.
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