Jan 26, 2013

Pineapples Surprising Health Benefits

Pineapples are believed to have originated in Brazil. Christopher Columbus and his crew were thought to be the first Europeans to taste this delicious fruit and export it back to Europe. It was later grown in hothouses throughout Europe and originally was a very expensive fruit that only the nobles and royal families could afford to enjoy. Pineapple gets its name from a description of the reproductive organs of conifer trees, known as their pinecones.

A man named James Dole, living in Hawaii was first to recognize a global market for pineapple and cultivated vast plantations of pineapple to be exported to the world, mostly as a canned product. South East Asia is now the main supplier of pineapples to the global market. In early historical America, pineapples were often given as a gift of friendship. This article discusses the nutritional properties of pineapple and the health benefits of consuming this delicious fruit.

Nutritional Properties of Pineapples

Pineapples are a rich source of nutrients and low in calories at only 80 calories per cup. It is a rich source of dietary fiber including pectin. They contain natural sugars (fructose) that do not cause a spike in insulin when consumed. Insulin spiking foods initially cause a burst of energy but you quickly crash after eating them and need to refuel with food again. They also contain powerful antioxidants including vitamin C and have a small percentage vitamin A and beta-carotene.

They are a rich source of the B vitamins including folates, thiamin, pyridoxine and riboflavin. From a mineral perspective they are a good source of copper, manganese and potassium. It also contains small amounts of protein, healthy fats, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. From a chemical perspective, pineapples contain bromelain, malic acid, alpha- hydroxyl acid and citric acid. Bromelain has been proven to be a mild anti-inflammatory, is a blood thinner and also exhibits anti-cancer properties.

Health Benefits of Pineapple
  • Powerful Antioxidant

    A cup of pineapple contains 131 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps to rid the body of free radicals. Free radicals are the by product of food metabolism and they can cause the inflammation of healthy tissue in the body. Inflammation is the precursor to many serious disease processes including heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C also protects our DNA from damage by blood toxins and pollutants. It also helps to boost the immune system, reducing the incidence of coughs, colds, influenza and infections.
  • Treatment for Gout

    Gout is thought to be caused by a build up of uric acid crystals in the blood causing extreme pain in the large toes of the foot. Consumption of pineapple has been shown to decrease uric acid levels in the blood, effectively preventing painful gout flare-ups.
  • Anti-Inflammatory

    Bromelain, a chemical in fresh pineapple exhibits mild anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming pineapple can help treat mild forms of arthritis, sports injuries and inflammation post surgery. By reducing inflammation, pain levels are also reduced.
  • Healthy Bones and Cartilage

    One cup of fresh pineapple contains 76 percent of the daily recommended dosage of manganese. Manganese is important for the growth of healthy bones and cartilage. It is also required for collagen formation and wound healing. Manganese rich foods like pineapple can be used to ensure healthy, glowing, facial complexion and to accelerate healing times of wounds.
  • Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance

    Pineapples are low in calories per cup and can be included in any weight loss diet. They are considered a nutrient dense food with few calories. A source of fiber, when pineapple is consumed it takes longer to digest in the stomach, causing a feeling of fullness for longer. This effectively stems hunger and prevents the risk of snacking on unhealthy foods. Fiber also helps to prevent constipation and stimulates the bowels towards the elimination process, aiding to remove fat from the body. Being 87 percent water, pineapples also contribute to stemming off hunger, increases your water intake and it is well known that consuming water regularly throughout the day can also lead to weight loss.
  • Beauty Treatment

    Crushed fresh pineapple can be used as a mask for the face and to soothe and soften the feet. The vitamin C in pineapples can help slow the ageing process reducing the prevalence of fine lines and wrinkles. Many of today’s anti-wrinkle creams contain vitamin C, bromelain and alpha-hydroxyl acid as found in pineapples. Concentration levels of these two ingredients are higher in commercial creams compared to pineapples but masks made with crushed pineapples can have some beneficial effects for the skin. Pineapple masks can cause a rash in some sensitive people hence it is recommended to test a small area of skin first, before applying liberally. Pineapple is also has a mild exfoliating effect on the skin and can be used to help remove calluses and smooth rough skin of the feet. After soaking the feet in crushed pineapple, use a pumice stone to remove the dead skin.
  • Other

    There are some early studies showing that pineapples may help prevent heart disease, cancer, lead toxicity, cataracts, stroke and lower blood pressure. Although studies are only in their infancy, pineapples are showing some promise in these areas.
In conclusion, fresh pineapple is best consumed to retain the nutrient benefits. Cooking destroys much of its health benefiting nutrients and chemicals. Beware that many canned products contain added sugar which is not as healthy as fresh pineapple. When choosing a fresh pineapple to consume, choose one that is considerably heavy for its size and one that has dark green leaves.

Once the pineapple has been sliced, it keeps for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Eating pineapple makes a healthy snack, one you can consume without guilt and without packing on the kilos. You will also know that you are nurturing your body with many of the nutrients it requires and providing yourself with some protection from many disease processes.


University of Maryland Medical Center Bromelain Retrieved January 18,2013
Feminists Womens Health Center.Org Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc. Pineapple: Natures Healing Fruit Retrieved January 18,2013
Kerala Agricultural University Dr P.P Joy Benefits and Uses of Pineapple Retrieved January 18,2013


I agree with your points that pineapples has many health benefits and good source of nutrients. Thanks for sharing information with other....
fresh pineapple

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