Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is an incredibly delicious and healthy tropical fruit.
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):
- 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.
2. Contains Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
Not only are pineapples rich in nutrients, they are also loaded with healthy antioxidants.
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 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
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).
Bromelain may stimulate the immune system to produce molecules that make white blood cells.
5. May Boost Immunity and Suppress Inflammation
Pineapples contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes like bromelain that may collectively boost immunity and suppress inflammation.
6. May Ease Symptoms of Arthritis
There are many types of arthritis, but most of them involve inflammation in the joints.
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).
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.
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 Die
Photo: Juanmonino/Getty Images
Pineapples are sweet, convenient and easy to incorporate into your diet.
They are very affordable and they can be purchased fresh, canned or frozen.
You can enjoy them on their own or in smoothies, salads or on homemade pizzas.