- Benefits of pineapple include easing digestion, boosting immunity, and helping with weight loss.
- Many of pineapple’s benefits come from bromelain, an enzyme that acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Pineapple is also low in calories and high in vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Pineapple is the fourth most popular fruit in America — and with good reason. It can be enjoyed on its own, or in fruit salad, desserts, smoothies, and even savory salads or stir-fries. But pineapple isn’t just a tasty ingredient.
In ancient times, this tropical fruit was used in different cultures for medicinal purposes, primarily, as an extract applied to wounds for reducing inflammation. Today, we now know pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties that also may have cancer-fighting potential.
Here are just a handful of pineapple’s science-backed health benefits.
1. Packed with nutrients
A single one-cup serving of pineapple chunks contains:
Meanwhile, manganese is an essential mineral for brain and nerve function, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
It’s also worth noting that one cup of pineapple contains 8.3 milligrams of the amino acid tryptophan. According to Christensen, this particular amino acid is a precursor to the feel-good, mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin.
2. Eases digestion
“When you combine the fiber and bromelain, they work as a team to encourage optimal digestion,” says Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, registered dietitian and certified nutritionist at NYC Eat Well.
3. May help with weight loss
Thanks to pineapple’s fiber content, it may also keep you fuller for longer, thereby aiding in
efforts, says Christensen.
While there is limited research on the link between pineapple and weight loss in humans, a 2018 study in rats found pineapple juice decreased fat formation while also increasing the breakdown of fat.
4. High in antioxidants
Pineapples are rich in a variety of antioxidants like:
Some research indicates phenolic acids offer antimicrobial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory effects. Meanwhile, flavonoids have the same effects, but also offer protection and cardiovascular disease.
5. May boost immunity
The vitamin C content in pineapple may also help boost your immune system.
“Not only can vitamin C prevent certain infections but it may also help treat some, like certain respiratory and systemic infections,” says Christensen.
A 2014 study found elementary school-aged children who ate canned pineapple experienced fewer viral and bacterial infections in comparison to those who didn’t eat it.
The children who ate the most pineapple had nearly four times more disease-fighting white blood cells than the others. Researchers concluded eating 140 to 280 grams of pineapple daily may reduce infections, or at the very least, help you fight them off more quickly.
6. Soothes coughing
The bromelain in pineapple may help reduce coughing.
8 of the best home remedies to soothe a cough naturally, according to doctors
“While pineapple likely won’t be a one-stop-cure for your cough it could help to resolve some inflammation,” says Christensen. “Additionally, the hydration it provides may feel good on a sore throat.”
A 2010 review examined natural treatments for tuberculosis and cited pineapple juice as “extremely helpful” in dissolving lung mucus when mixed with a dash of pepper, honey, and salt. This may be because of bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Strengthens bones
Pineapples’ high vitamin C content is also crucial for bone health.
In fact, a 2020 review found individuals who ate foods high in vitamin C had a significantly lower risk of developing osteoporosis and a 34% lower incidence of hip fractures.
Medical term: Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle, thereby increasing the risk of fractures. It is most common in post-menopausal women.
Manganese may also reduce the risk of spinal bone loss in older women when taken with calcium,
, and copper. One 2004 study found postmenopausal women who took a supplement with this combination experienced a positive effect on bone density.
Pineapple is an antioxidant powerhouse that may bolster your immune system, strengthen your bones, and improve digestion.
Christensen says there are few drawbacks to eating pineapple. However, she cautions against eating it in excess if you have acid reflux.
“Pineapples are quite acidic, so eating large quantities may cause some to have symptoms of heartburn,” says Christensen. “Eating large amounts of fiber-containing food may also cause some GI upset, especially if a low-fiber diet is typically consumed.”
Additionally, Malkoff-Cohen says bromelain should be avoided before and after surgery, as well as if you take a blood-thinning medication since it can increase your risk of excessive bleeding.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.