Top 5 Health Benefits of Pineapples + Nutrition Info and Fun Facts

Written by Dr Rebecca Harwin

Pineapples are a unique and tasty fruit formed from individual flowers whose fruitlets fuse together into this sweet, juicy and popular tropical fruit. That’s why they look as strange as they do!

The most popular member of the Bromeliaceae family, pineapples are rich in nutrients. Known to contain high amounts of manganese, thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin C, phytochemicals, and potassium, along with dietary fiber, a fresh cup of pineapple contains 82 calories and 16 grams of sugar.

In addition to all these nutrients pineapples real super power lies in the enzyme bromelain which can fight heart disease, relieve arthritic pain, and speed wound healing. This finding is especially interesting since bromelain enzyme also helps to tenderize meat, and is the reason why pineapple is a popular choice in marinades.

Read all below for all the health benefits, nutrient info, and fun facts about pineapples.

Pineapple Health Benefits

1. Pineapple may help boost cardiovascular health

Pineapple contains a compound known as bromelain. This enzyme has been shown to have antioxidant effects and can boost heart health via a reduction in blood viscosity and clot formation, and improved blood flow (1). Other anti-oxidants within this fruit, such as vitamin C, reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Pineapple can also protect against angina and reduce ischemic damage to the heart (2).

2. Pineapple boosts immune health and fights infection

According to research, consumption of pineapple can boost immunity and reduce the incidence of bacterial and viral infections (3). Pineapple’s phytochemicals and micronutrients, like vitamin C, manganese, thiamin, riboflavin, and dietary fiber act to support the immune system. Pineapple might be just what you need to reduce your infection risk and speed up your recovery from the common cold cough, fever, and upper respiratory tract infections.

3. Pineapple can relieve arthritic pain

Joint pain, or arthritis, can be a disabling inflammatory condition. While painkillers such as NSAIDs have adverse effects with prolonged use, research shows constituents in pineapple have analgesic effects comparable to medications within six weeks (4). Pineapple is thought to relieve pain by reducing inflammation and directly influencing pain mediators (5).

4. Pineapple may help us live longer

People with higher blood vitamin C levels are less likely to die from all-causes. A study published in the renowned journal, the Lancet, revealed an increase in blood levels of this important vitamin by consumption "equivalent to about 50 g per day increase in fruit and vegetable intake” was associated with a reduced risk of death from any cause by a marked 20%. With pineapple’s high vitamin C content, it’s the perfect fruit to increase longevity (6).

5. Pineapple can speed post-surgical recovery and wound healing

The proteolytic enzymes bromelain help to speed wound healing. Several studies found bromelain reduced edema, bruising, pain, and healing time following trauma and surgical procedures. This effect is true whether bromelain is consumed or applied topically. Overall, bromelain appears to speed wound healing with few side effects (6).

Nutrient Info For Pineapple

Serving size: 1 cup chopped

Top 10 Nutrients by %DV
  • Vitamin C131% DV
  • Manganese76% DV
  • Vitamin B69% DV
  • Fiber9% DV
  • Copper9% DV
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)9% DV
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate)7% DV
  • Carbs7% DV
  • Potassium5% DV
  • Magnesium5% DV
Table for Common Nutrients
Calories 83cals 4%
Fat 0.2g 0%
Protein 0.9g 2%
Carbohydrate 21.6g 7%
Sugars 16.3g ~
Fiber 2.3g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Saturated Fats 0.015g 0%
Calcium, Ca 21.5mg 2%
Iron, Fe 0.5mg 3%
Potassium, K 179.9mg 5%
Magnesium, Mg 19.8mg 5%
Vitamin A, IU 95.7IU 2%
Vitamin C 78.9mg 132%
Vitamin B-12 0μg 0%

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database - Release 28.
See the complete nutrition facts with over 150 nutrients, or the nutrition facts comparison of Pineapple vs other foods.

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Pineapple Fun Facts

  1. The pineapple was reportedly named due to its similarity in appearance to the pine cone.
  2. Pineapple was historically considered a luxury food because it was rare and perishable.
  3. Costa Rica produces a staggering 2,685,130 tons of pineapple every year.
  4. It takes at least 18 – 20 months for pineapple fruit to grow.
  5. Pineapple can be used to tenderize meat and is a popular ingredient in marinades
  6. Pineapples were first introduced to Europe by Columbus when he discovered the New World. Amazing both in taste and appearance, pineapples quickly became an expensive and exotic delicacy.
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Data Sources and References

    1. Nutrition Value and Medicinal Benefits of Pineapple
    2. Bromelain induces cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury through Akt/FOXO pathway in rat myocardium.
    3. Effects of Canned Pineapple Consumption on Nutritional Status, Immunomodulation, and Physical Health of Selected School Children
    4. Oral enzyme combination versus diclofenac in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee--a double-blind prospective randomized study.
    5. Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review
    6. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
    7. Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review