Pineapples are eaten fresh, juiced, cooked and preserved and are members of the bromeliad family, and one of the few bromeliads to produce edible fruit, according to the biology department at Union County College (1).
The fruit is actually made of many individual berries that fuse together around a central core.
Each pineapple scale is an individual berry.
Pineapples are a delicious tropical fruit and its nutritional benefits are fascinating.
Pineapple has a vast number of health and medicinal benefits which include their ability to improve respiratory health, cure coughs and colds, aids digestion, aid weight lost, strengthen bones, improve oral health, boost eye health, reduce inflammation, prevent cancer, increase heart health, fight off infections and parasites, support the immune system, and increase circulation.
Nutritional Value of Pineapples
Aside from the interesting story and appearance of this fruit, it is also a storehouse of huge health benefits due to its wealth of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Keep reading as we bring 12 Amazing Health Benefits of Pineapples to you 🙂
1. Pineapples Boost Immune System
A single serving of pineapple contains half of the daily-recommended value of vitamin C, for human beings, making it one of the richest and most delicious sources of ascorbic acid (4).
Vitamin C is mainly associated with reducing illness and boosting the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and acting as an antioxidant to defend against the harmful effects of free radicals, (5).
Free radicals are dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can damage various organ systems and disrupt function, as well as cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones.
2. It Aids Digestion
Like most fruits, pineapples are a rich source of fiber, but they are special in that they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber (6).
This means that eating a healthy amount of pineapples can protect you from a vast amount of health conditions, including constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, atherosclerosis and blood clotting, as well as blood pressure.
Fiber can bulk up stool, which promotes the passage of food through the digestive tract at a normal rate, and also stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to help food dissolve.
Furthermore, it bulks up a loose stool, which helps with diarrhea and IBS. Fiber also strips the blood vessels clean of excess cholesterol and eliminate it from the body, thereby boosting cardiovascular health.
3. Boosts Fertility
Antioxidant-rich diets have been shown to improve fertility (7).
Due to the ability of free radicals to cause damage to the reproductive system, foods with high antioxidant activity like pineapples are recommended for those trying to conceive.
The antioxidants in pineapple, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, and the vitamins and minerals copper, zinc, and folate have properties that affect both male and female fertility.
4. Arthritis Management
One of the most celebrated uses of pineapple in terms of health is its ability to reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles, particularly those associated with arthritis.
Pineapples contain a relatively rare proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which is primarily associated with breaking down complex proteins, but it also has serious anti-inflammatory effects, and has been positively correlated with reducing the signs and symptoms of arthritis in many test subjects (8)
5. Cancer Prevention
In addition to the antioxidant potential of vitamin C in the battle against cancer (9).
Pineapples are also rich in various other antioxidants, including vitamin A, beta carotene, bromelain, various flavonoid compounds, and high levels of manganese, which is an important co-factor of superoxide dismutase, an extremely potent free radical scavenger which halts the process of cell damage and prevents several types of cancers (10).
Pineapple has directly been related to preventing cancers of the mouth, throat, and breast.
6. Tissue and Cellular Health
One of the commonly overlooked benefits of vitamin C is its essential role in creating collagen (11).
This is partly the reason why it is seen as a healing vitamin, because collagen is the essential protein base of blood vessel walls, skin, organs, and bones.
High vitamin C content helps you heal wounds and injuries to the body quickly, along with defending against infections and illness.
7. Strong Bones
Although pineapples are not famous for having a strong calcium content, which is immediately associate with bone health, it does have an impressive amount of manganese, which is another trace mineral that is essential in the strengthening of bones, as well as their growth and repair (12).
Manganese is the most prominent mineral in pineapple, and a single serving can deliver more than 70 percent of your daily requirement of this essential mineral.
It also contains other essential minerals required for a healthy and strong body (13).
8. Positive Effect on Blood Pressure
Pineapples are a valuable source of many minerals, and potassium is among them.
Higher amounts of potassium and lower amounts of sodium in pineapples help maintain normal blood pressure levels (14).
Potassium is one of the most important minerals in our body, and potassium deficiency can result in a wide array of health hazards.
One of the most important functions of potassium is as a vasodilator, meaning that it eases the tension and stress of the blood vessels and promotes blood circulation to various parts of the body.
When your blood vessels relax, your blood pressure is reduced and the flow of blood is less restricted. Due to ease of blood flow, plaque formation in the arteries and other blood vessels are prevented.
This helps people prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
9. Coughs, Catarrh and Colds
In addition to having lots of vitamin C, pineapple’s bromelain may help reduce mucus in the throat and nose (16).
The special enzyme, bromelain, is also connected with the reduction of phlegm and mucus build up in the respiratory tracts and sinus cavities (17).
It, therefore, prevents the illnesses that cause phlegm and mucus build-up, while also treating them by loosening those materials and helping you eliminate them from your body if you’ve already contracted an illness or infection (18).
These disorders can be prevented by eating pineapples regularly (19).
10. Oral Health
Along with the antioxidant compounds that protect against oral cancer, pineapples also have astringent properties, which strengthen gums and make sure that your teeth do not become loose (20).
Astringent agents help to tighten up tissues and tone the body so things like tooth loss, hair loss, and muscle weakness or skin loosening does not occur.
Pineapples are very powerful astringents and are often prescribed as a natural remedy to fix loosening of teeth or the retraction of the gums.
11. Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a condition in which adults lose their vision. Beta-carotene present in pineapples improves vision (21).
Macular degeneration affects many elderly people, and beta carotene can help to delay this vision problem (22).
Keeping proper amounts of beta-carotene in your diet from fruits and vegetables is essential if you want to properly see the world well into your old age.
The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapples come in handy in treating a lot of conditions.
They also help in reducing inflammation in bronchial tubes, which generally arises due to bronchitis (23).
Word of Caution
The benefits of eating pineapple are quite clear, but there is always something about foods that should be cautioned against, and pineapples are no exception.
The bromelain in pineapples is primarily a meat-tenderizing enzyme, which is why it is so helpful in the digestion of tough foods. Because pineapple is a great meat tenderizer, eating too much can result in tenderness of the mouth, including the lips, tongue and cheeks.
But, it should resolve itself within a few hours.” If it does not, or if you experience a rash, hives or breathing difficulties, you should seek a medical help immediately. You could have a pineapple allergy.
Bromelain and vitamin C are powerful chemicals, and are in high proportions in pineapple, and an “overdose” can lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, heartburn, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea.
Also, bromelain has been known to cause skin rashes and excessive menstrual bleeding (24), so pregnant women should avoid excessive pineapple, as the high levels of bromelain can actually lead to a miscarriage in rare cases.
Bromelain can also interact with some medications. Those taking antibiotics, anticoagulants, blood thinners, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, insomnia drugs and tricyclic antidepressants should be careful not to eat too much pineapple.
Eating unripe pineapple or drinking unripe pineapple juice is dangerous (25).
Eating plenty of pineapple cores can also cause fiber balls to form in the digestive tract.