Is Pineapple Good for You?
Pineapples are a delicious, staple food in millions of homes across America. Like most tropical fruits, pineapples are highly versatile, which is why they are present in thousands of everyday products and dishes like salads, smoothies and even Mexican tacos.
Pineapples have a very recognizable taste, which can be both sweet and slightly tangy. However, pineapples offer much more than just tropical flavor. These exotic fruits provide a significant amount of health benefits you may not be aware of, including the potential to help with blood pressure, aid with digestion, alleviate certain respiratory ailments and lower blood glucose levels, just to name just a few.
The health benefits of pineapple are possible thanks to this prickly fruit’s rich nutrient content. One serving of pineapple contains a significant amount of vitamins and minerals, though this may vary depending on whether it is served in solid, dried, or juice forms.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup of raw pineapple chunks contains:
- Calories: 74
- Total Fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 2 mg
- Potassium: 206 mg
- Total Carbs: 19.5 g
- Sugars: 13.7 g
- Protein: 1g
- Vitamin: C 28 mg
- Calcium: 21 mg
Benefits of Pineapple Juice and Canned Pineapple
So is pineapple healthy? As mentioned above, it’s important to note that the nutritional profile of pineapple is different depending on how it is prepared. For example, canned pineapple is generally higher in calories and sugar. It also may contain fewer vitamins and minerals. If buying canned pineapple, look for products that are canned in pineapple juice instead of syrup. It’s also important that you opt for canned pineapple and juice variants that contain no added sugar.
Pineapple Health Benefits
Due to its rich nutritional profile, integrating pineapples into your diet can help with a wide variety of symptoms related to conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and obesity, among others.
So what is pineapple good for? The following are some of the potential health benefits of eating pineapple:
With more than 200mg of potassium per serving, pineapples are one of the best natural sources of potassium. According to various studies, high potassium intake can help with lowering blood pressure.
Controlling or lowering blood pressure levels can help prevent or delay high blood pressure, a condition commonly known as hypertension. If not managed properly, hypertension can lead to serious complications like chronic kidney disease, stroke, heart attack, heart failure and even vascular dementia.
High-fiber foods have shown to benefit individuals with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Consuming fiber-rich fruits like pineapple may help individuals with type 1 diabetes lower blood glucose levels, while those with type 2 diabetes may experience improved insulin and blood sugar levels.
One cup of pineapple chunks has about 2.5g of fiber, while a medium-size pineapple provides 13 grams, which is about half the recommended amount of fiber per day.
In addition to helping with blood glucose levels, the fiber in pineapples, along with its water content, may help promote healthy digestive function and prevent constipation and other GI-related problems.
Pineapple is also the only known natural source of bromelain, an enzyme that might play a role in various health benefits, such as helping the body digest proteins. Bromelain may also help reduce cytokines, which are inflammatory immune cells that damage the digestive tract lining. It is believed that bromelain aids with respiratory problems tied to allergies, asthma and the common cold, as it helps to break up and expel mucus.
Compared to other everyday foods, pineapples are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, all of which promote a healthy heart.
Studies have linked the vitamins in pineapple and high potassium diets to improved heart health and a reduced risk of stroke. Potassium may also provide protection against loss of muscle mass and preservation of bone mineral density. Moreover, high potassium intake can help reduce the formation of kidney stones.
Vitamins in pineapple include vitamin C, which acts as a powerful antioxidant that can help fight skin damage. When applied topically or consumed orally, vitamin C can reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C also plays an important role in the formation of collagen, the main component of skin and connective tissue.
How to Pick the Best Pineapples
Pineapples stop ripening as soon as they are picked, so it’s crucial that you learn how to choose the freshest pineapples for better taste and nutrition. Look for pineapples that feel dense, or “too heavy for their size.” Ripe pineapples will generally have the same proportion of nutrients despite their size. Avoid pineapples with soft spots and bruises, as these are signs that the pineapple may be past its freshest point. Another great tip for picking pineapples is to choose ones that smell fragrant at the stem end.
How to Add Pineapple to Your Diet
One of the most significant advantages of pineapple over other fruits is its incredible versatility. Pineapple is most commonly enjoyed in chunks as a sweet and healthy snack, or in juices and smoothies mixed with other tangy fruits like orange and passion fruit.
Dried pineapple is another common way to get your daily fix of tropical fruit and is often used as a topping or an ingredient in desserts. The best part about dried pineapple is that the dehydrating process does not detract from the fruit’s nutritional value, especially if dried under 118 degrees, making it a healthy addition if consumed in moderation.
If you are looking to add a boost of flavor and nutrients to your healthy diet, pineapples are the perfect option. This exotic, tropical fruit is delicious, low in calories and is packed with important nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. More importantly, its rich nutritional profile provides various potential health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood glucose levels.
Due to its valuable amount of nutrients and antioxidants, we use dried pineapple in our Roots of Health powders to capitalize on this fruit’s multiple health benefits. Together with other natural ingredients in our organic powders, pineapple can support a healthy immune system and overall wellness in a completely natural way.