8 Stunning Health Benefits Of Pineapple, Nutrition & Risks 2023
The pineapple plant is a tropical fruit in the Bromeliaceae family and can grow quite large. Some cultures use the pineapple as a symbol of good luck. The fruit originated in South America and was named pineapple because it resembled a pinecone. Spanish conquistadors spread its seeds around the world in the 16th century, and now it is one of the most widely-grown fruits in the world, from Hawaii to Thailand to the Philippines.
Complementary and integrative health (CIH) may use this exotic fruit for various ailments, such as to improve digestion. Not only is it delicious, but its health benefits make it an easy choice. It is considered one of the superfoods for healthy hair and healthy skin. The nutritional benefits of eating it daily will also boost immunity, improve heart health, and fight inflammation.
Let’s learn more about pineapple benefits.
8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Pineapple
- Improve immunity
- Lower risk of cancer
- Improve eye health
- Improve gut health
- Improve metabolism
- Reduce risk of heart disease
- Improve mental health
- Elevate sex drive
Health Benefits Of Eating Pineapple
Pineapple is a natural source of vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity to fight inflammation and fight off infections, such as bacterial infections. As cold and flu season ramps up in the winter, having another immunity-booster tool right in the kitchen is a plus.
One cup of cut pineapple boasts a significant amount of vitamin C, known for its antioxidant properties and ability to fight cell damage. A small number of studies have looked at how eating pineapple daily may reduce the inflammation from sinusitis and swelling of the passages in the nose. The bromelain it contains is excellent for your immune system.
Lower Risk of Cancer
Pineapple contains important vitamins and has antioxidant properties that fight cancer cells. These vitamins and minerals help healthy tissue grow and may also assist the body in fighting cancer.
The fruit also contains anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in the fight against cancer.
Because inflammation is an aggravating factor in cancer metastasis, bromelain’s ability to suppress this inflammatory response fights the proliferation of cancer cells.
Improve Eye Health
The vitamins and minerals in pineapple also lead to a significantly lower risk of macular degeneration. This is an eye disease that often affects older people and can cause vision loss.
According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, the condition, more prevalent in females, is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. Proper nutrition is important in maintaining eye health, so the pineapple’s rich nutrients, including carotenoids, can play a pivotal role in the prevention and dietary therapy for macular degeneration.
Improve Gut Health
Pineapple can add more fiber to your diet and help to improve digestion. It also contains the essential component bromelain, which has been shown to improve intestinal health. Fiber is an essential addition to most people’s diets, helping to aid digestion and prevent constipation. This fruit has a significant amount of fiber, making it a natural choice to add to your well-balanced diet.
One cup of pineapple will deliver 10% of your body’s daily fiber needs. Fiber also helps to prevent hunger during the day, so more fiber can aid in staving off the need for snacking.
Sometimes your body does not produce enough digestive enzymes, due to pancreatic insufficiency or other reasons. Products such as bromelain supplements can add digestive enzymes to your diet. The digestive enzymes it contains are why it is used as a meat tenderizer.
The nutritional value of pineapple slices will boost metabolism with manganese, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Pineapple juice, too, can be beneficial, providing the anti-obesity benefits of aiding body metabolism. One cup of pineapple juice also contains more than 100% of what your body should have in the trace element manganese.
Pineapple benefits also include weight loss, which decreases your risk of diabetes.
Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease
Pineapple can help to fight heart disease with its anti-oxidant and lipid-lowering properties. Diet and exercise can play a major role in controlling high blood pressure and having a significantly lower risk of heart disease, so including healthy choices like pineapple for its other heart benefits is a good idea.
Improve Mental Health
Enjoy pineapple and notice an improvement in your mental health. Another nutrient in pineapple is the amino acid tryptophan, which our bodies use to produce serotonin, sometimes thought of as the “happy hormone.” Pineapple also contains dopamine, considered the “reward” neurotransmitter.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries messages from the brain to the nervous system working to stabilize your mood. Amino acids, combined with other nutrients like vitamin B, are essential elements to ensure energy reserves and positive mood hormones.
Elevate Sex Drive
Add pineapple to your diet to help your reproductive system thrive. More pineapple benefits female sexuality, and how it benefits males sexually by improving erectile dysfunction is clear: Bromelain helps maintain testosterone levels. And as an anti-inflammatory, it may aid in male sexual hormone production.
Vitamin C and thiamine are also in pineapple and may help boost testosterone levels. In addition, the antioxidants found in pineapple are beneficial for sexual health.
Pineapple, while low in calories, has an impressive nutrient content. You can get more pineapple products now without added sugar, and many grocery stores carry this delicious exotic fruit.
It contains an enzyme called bromelain, and the benefits of bromelain are highly valuable.
While not as well-known as the vitamin C or potassium that the fruit supply, pineapple is the only known source of bromelain, a group of digestive enzymes found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple. Pineapple is also high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and fiber.
Common side effects of eating pineapple may include:
- Upset stomach and diarrhea
- Increased blood sugar
- Increased absorption of certain medications such as antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, blood pressure medication, blood thinners
Checking with your healthcare provider or pharmacist is recommended to make sure any interaction is not an issue for you.
Adding Pineapples To Your Diet
Because of its versatility, there are many ways to eat pineapple and there are many healthy pineapple recipes. Some examples include
- Mixed fruit salad
- Fried rice
- Hawaiian pizza
- Grilled pineapple
- Raw pineapple
- Meat tenderizer
Bromelain is a natural meat tenderizer that works well on tough meat cuts, such as flank steak. By adding pineapple to marinades and sauces, and making sure not to marinade for too long, which can break down meat too much, pineapple can both flavor and tenderize the main course on your dinner table. And while the evidence is not concrete on all of the benefits of bromelain, the enzymes seem beneficial, and its unique ingredient, bromelain, is only found in the pineapple.
Unfortunately, in processing the fruit to make juice or canned pineapple, the bromelain is stripped out, decreasing the other essential nutrients, making fresh pineapple chunks the better choice. Processing also removes fiber which helps to keep blood sugar from spiking, so people with diabetes should consume fresh or frozen raw pineapple.
The Bottom Line
Pineapple packs serious rewards, and its impressive health benefits and delicious natural sweetness make it an easy and safe regular addition to anyone’s diet. It contains a robust nutrient profile, including the unique bromelain, which is not found in other fruits or vegetables. With few risks and many ways to consume it, pineapple should be a go-to choice for your next meal.
While the many health benefits of pineapple are clear, there are some downsides for certain people with specific health conditions. For example, pineapple may not be ideal for anyone living with diabetes. People with diabetes are encouraged to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet.
You should always speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or adding any supplements.
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