What’s better than biting into a luscious, juicy pineapple during a picnic with friends or family on a hot summer day? The fruit is great on its own, or the perfect ingredient to treat you and your loved ones to a summer sorbet, pineapple and mango salsa, tropical fruit smoothie, or fresh-baked pineapple cake. No matter how you choose to enjoy pineapple, you’ll be happy to know that the list of health-related benefits of pineapple is as numerous as the fruit’s juiciness.
Pineapple contains many important vitamins and micronutrients. It’s also low in calories and fat. This makes it a delicious snack you can enjoy without exceeding your daily limit, while helping you get more important antioxidants in your diet. Read on to learn more about what happens to your body when you eat pineapple and all the juicy, science-backed benefits of this wonderful fruit. Plus, for healthier eating tips so you can pick out good-for-you fruits, be sure to check out the 7 Scientific Facts About Blueberries.
Check out the nutritional info for pineapple
Before we dive into all the potential benefits of eating pineapple, let’s take a look at what’s actually in this sweet, tart, summer-friendly fruit. According to the USDA, one cup of raw pineapple contains:
- 82.5 calories
- 21.6 grams of carbohydrates
- 16.3 grams of sugar
- 2.3 grams of fiber
- <1 gram of protein
- <1 gram of fat
- 78.9 mg Vitamin C
- 19.8 mg magnesium
- 1.53 mg manganese
- 29.7 mcg folic acid
As you can see, this fruit is low in calories and fat, and provides good amounts of vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and folic acid. It’s also fairly high in sugar — but that’s to be expected with most fruits. Thankfully, all of these sugars are completely natural, so you can enjoy your sweet tooth without worrying about added sugar. Now, without further ado, here are seven ways pineapple is good for your body.
1. You may have better digestion.
You may not be aware of this fact, but pineapple has been found to support digestive health. This is due to an enzyme called bromelain found in the fruit and stem of pineapples.
“Bromelain serves many functions in your body,” says Beth Berger, RDN, CDN, CLT“It’s a digestive enzyme that helps break down food, especially protein, and it also aids in the digestion of nutrients.”
according to Rachel Fine, RDN, From the founders of To The Pointe Nutrition, pineapple’s bromelain and high fiber content are a winning combination to support quality digestion.
“The bromelain in pineapple and its fiber are two nutrients that aid digestion,” says Fine. “Bromelain, a digestive enzyme, and fiber help delay the absorption of sugar, which leads to a steady rise in blood sugar and ultimately longer-lasting energy levels between meals and snacks.”
2. You’ll be ingesting an enzyme that helps relieve arthritis.
Arthritis is a condition in which the joints of the body become swollen and inflamed, often causing a lot of pain and discomfort. This condition usually occurs in older adults, and unfortunately there is no cure. Because there is no cure, treating arthritis is all about minimizing discomfort and pain. Interestingly, bromelain — an enzyme found in pineapples that aids digestion — has been found to help relieve pain associated with arthritis.In fact, according to published in Clinical Rheumatologyoral supplementation with bromelain helped participants relieve arthritis pain after just six weeks.
3. You’ll get more vitamin C.
Everyone knows they need vitamin C, but many people regularly eat oranges or orange juice to get their daily dose. What you may not know, however, is that one cup of pineapple contains more vitamin C (79 mg) than regular oranges (69 mg), and almost as much as one cup of oranges (96 mg). Regarding the high vitamin content of pineapple, the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg for adult women and 90 mg for adult men.
“Pineapples are rich in vitamin C, a vitamin that is great for skin health, collagen production, iron absorption, and several other processes in the body,” says Jesse Feder, RDN, CPT, With my Crohns and Colitis team. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, and studies have found a possible link between this vitamin and a lower risk of chronic disease.
4. It can support your immune system.
Pineapple is packed with vitamins and nutrients, and the fruit is known to help your body fight off a cold or other ailment.
“Pineapple helps treat colds and coughs caused by bromelain, which has remarkable anti-inflammatory and mucolytic properties,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a supplement in balance. “The mucolytic effect of bromelain means that it breaks down the mucus, which can be the underlying cause of the cough, and completely removes it. If the mucus is not removed, it continues to be an irritant.”
As mentioned earlier, another benefit of pineapple is that it is rich in vitamin C, a vitamin that can help keep your immune system healthy.
5. It can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Another useful benefit of pineapple is its natural sweetness, which allows the fruit to overcome sweet tooth cravings without overwhelming calories or added sugar. This naturally sweet taste and high fiber content make it the perfect snack on your weight loss journey.
“Pineapples are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and water, which can help keep you feeling full and are a great choice for a healthy snack,” says Feder. “This helps prevent you from overeating or snacking too much during the day.”
In fact, one cup of pineapple has just 82 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of fiber and 16 grams of natural sugar. If you pair it with some high-protein Greek yogurt, you’ll have a complete snack to help you reach your weight loss goals.
6. Rich in antioxidants.
In addition to containing the antioxidant bromelain, manganese and vitamin C, pineapples are also rich in so-called flavonoids. This antioxidant is found in many fruits and vegetables that help fight damage from inflammation, viruses, and oxidative stress, including kale, berries, citrus fruits, and even red wine.According to published in foodThe antioxidants found in pineapple are known as “conjugated antioxidants,” meaning they produce effects that last longer than ordinary antioxidants.
7. You’ll get plenty of manganese.
Manganese is a micronutrient that contributes to bone health, blood sugar regulation and disease prevention. For example, one study found that when combined with zinc, copper, and magnesium, manganese may help improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women. Additionally, your body needs manganese to help break down sugar in your blood, according to the National Institutes of Health. So it’s no surprise that some studies have linked lower levels of manganese to diabetes — a disease directly affected by blood sugar levels and insulin. Manganese is also a powerful antioxidant that has been found to help reduce disease risk by fighting free radical damage.
When you first see that a cup of pineapple contains only 1.5 mg of manganese, you might think that’s not enough to lower your manganese levels. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily allowance for this nutrient is only 2.3 mg — which means you only need one serving of pineapple and you’re pretty much done!