Diet and Nutrition: Health Benefits of Pineapple

  • Reviewed By: Christine Mikstas, RD, LD
Reviewed on 5/26/2021

High Seas and Vitamin C

Pineapples were originally transported from the Caribbean Islands and they are high in vitamin C that boosts the immune system.

Despite its rough exterior, the pineapple is a symbol of welcome and hospitality. This dates from the 17th century, when American colonists braved dangerous trade routes to import pineapple from the Caribbean Islands and share it with guests. Pineapple is also quite hospitable to your immune system: One cup has more than 100% of your daily value of cell-protecting, collagen-making vitamin C.

High in Manganese

Pineapple is rich in manganese that aids in metabolism, blood clotting and keeping your bones healthy.

The mineral manganese plays an essential role in the way your body metabolizes food, clots blood, and keeps your bones healthy. One cup of pineapple has more than half of the manganese you need every day. This mineral is also present in whole grains, lentils, and black pepper.

Loaded With Vitamins and Minerals

Pineapples supply vitamins and minerals including vitamin B6, copper, thiamin, folate, potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin and iron.

In addition to large amounts of vitamin C and manganese, pineapples add to your daily value of vitamin B6, copper, thiamin, folate, potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron.

Good for Digestion

Pineapples are rich in bromelain that helps digest protein.

Pineapples are the only known food source of bromelain, a combination of enzymes that digest protein. That's why pineapple works as a meat tenderizer: The bromelain breaks down the protein and softens the meat. In your body, bromelain makes it easier for you to digest food and absorb it.

All About Antioxidants

Pineapples contain flavonoids and phenolic acids, antioxidants that protect your cells from free radicals.

When you eat, your body breaks down food. This process creates molecules called free radicals. The same goes for exposure to tobacco smoke and radiation. Pineapples are rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids, two antioxidants that protect your cells from free radicals that can cause chronic disease. More studies are needed, but bromelain has also been linked to reduced risk of cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Properties

Bromelain in pineapple has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Bromelain, the digestive enzyme in pineapple, has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. This helps when you have an infection, like sinusitis, or an injury, like a sprain or burn. It also offsets the joint pain of osteoarthritis. The vitamin C in pineapple juice also keeps inflammation levels low.

Post-Workout Recovery

Bromelain in pineapple may help your muscles recover more quickly after a workout.

Intense workout? The anti-inflammatory benefits of the bromelain in pineapple can help muscles recover quicker and keep you from feeling sore.

Tingle vs. Allergy

Bromelain in pineapple may cause your mouth to tingle or burn temporarily.

Fresh pineapple can make your mouth tingle or burn. That's because our tissues are made of protein, and the bromelain in pineapple breaks down protein. This is normal. It's temporary and doesn't mean you’re allergic to pineapple. It may help to eat a dairy food along with the fruit.

The Real Pineapple Allergy

People who have a latex allergy may be allergic to pineapple.

The most common allergic reaction to pineapple is swelling, hives, or trouble breathing. If you have a latex allergy, you may also be allergic to pineapple.

How to Select a Pineapple

The end of a pineapple should smell like a pineapple, not fermented.

Smell the end of the pineapple first. Does it smell like pineapple? Good. Does it smell fermented? Keep looking. It should feel heavy and not have any soft spots or bruises.

How to Store Fresh Pineapple

Pineapple keeps for 2 to 3 days on the countertop, 5 to 7 days in the fridge and for 6 months or more in the freezer.

A ripe, whole pineapple will keep on the counter for 2-3 days. Once you cut it, it'll stay good in the fridge for 5-7 days, or in the freezer for 6 months or more. You can store it on its own or in its juice.

How to Cut Fresh Pineapple

There's a right and a wrong way to cut a pineapple.

They may be the world's friendliest fruit, but pineapples can be confusing to cut. Here's how to get from the rough skin to the juicy fruit: Cut off the top, also called the crown, and the bottom. Dig out any "eyes" left behind. Stand it up and slice off the outer skin from top to bottom. Cut it in half from top to bottom, and then cut those halves into quarters. Slice off the core from all four pieces, then cut into smaller chunks.

Diet and Nutrition: Health Benefits of Pineapple

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