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Indigenous to South America, the pineapple is a tropical fruit that’s uber sweet and delicious. Considered one of the most economical fruits, the pineapple is vast in size and cheaper by the pound than most other fruits. Besides being rich in vitamins and minerals, pineapple is rich in an enzyme called bromelain. Significantly, bromelain is responsible for many of the health benefits associated with pineapple. Take a look.
Important Note: As with all scientific claims, research is constantly evolving. The claims made herein indicate scientifically-based assertions steeped in the most current research as of the date of this publication.
Packed With Nutrients
One of the greatest benefits of eating pineapple is that it’s nutrient dense. Packed with vitamins and minerals that are integral to overall health, the pineapple is a wise addition to a well-rounded diet. Fraught with hefty amounts of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, copper, folate, niacin, and iron, pineapple is a source of so many of your daily required nutrients. Furthermore, pineapple is packed with biomedical compounds such as phenolic compounds and flavonoids that are often used in essences, supplements, and homeopathic remedies. According to studies, pineapple is ranked third after banana and citrus fruits in nutrient density. Best of all, whether consuming pineapple whole or juiced, the nutritional makeup doesn’t change much.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. There’s simply no denying the nutritional composition of pineapples. With so many vitamins and minerals in a single serving of this wonderful fruit, it makes a great addition to one’s daily diet.
Chock Full of Antioxidants
Significantly, pineapples are chock full of flavonoids and phenolic acids, two antioxidants that are integral to warding off chronic disease. Antioxidants have long been linked to fighting disease and though there’s no recommended daily intake, it’s simply recommended by nutritionists that we are mindful of eating antioxidant-rich whole foods each day. Though the research on the exact benefits of the antioxidants in pineapples is young, initial research suggests that this fruit can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. Moreover, the flavonoids in pineapple can potentially negate tissue damage and fibrosis. Much of the research touting the positive effects of the antioxidants, especially the flavonoids, in pineapples contain studies on rats. Though there’s a positive outlook in this regard, human studies are lacking.
General Consensus: 2.5/5 and here is why. Yes, pineapples are rich in antioxidants and yes, their antioxidants are linked to anti-inflammation and the reduction of risk for some diseases. However, the flavonoids specific to pineapples haven’t yet proven their benefits in humans. Watch out for future studies.
Aids In Digestion
Pineapples are packed with bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein. Both in and out of the human body, pineapple has long worked as a meat tenderizer. For instance, many meat recipes call for fresh pineapple or pineapple juice in marinades. The pineapple helps to soften or tenderize meat to make it easier to masticate. Similarly, consuming pineapple can help the body to more easily digest ingested meats. Some studies also suggest that consumption of bromelain through pineapple may aid in digestive disorders such as acid reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and lactose intolerance. Although the bromelain in pineapple certainly tenderizes the meat and can aid in the digestion of proteins, there’s just not enough research to support the claim that it’s useful in remediating such disorders.
General Consensus: 3.5/5 and here is why. Study after study indicates that bromelain innately breaks down meat proteins; therefore, pineapple is a great digestive aid in this regard. However, more research is needed to determine its usefulness in treating digestive disorders.
Pineapples have long been used in traditional medicines for their vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Specifically, bromelain, the same enzyme that aids in the digestion of meats, is linked to enhanced immunity and diminished inflammation. One powerful study showed that children who ate two cups of pineapple daily for nine days presented a lower risk for viral and bacterial infections than those who ate none. This same study showed that the children who had eaten the pineapple also recovered more quickly from such infections than those who didn’t. Another interesting study (though much more research is required in this case) has connected the bromelain in pineapple to reducing symptoms associated with Covid-19. Essentially, the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain are conclusively connected to reducing inflammation which has long been connected to improved immunity.
General Consensus: 4.5/5 and here is why. Bromelain has consistently presented as an anti-inflammatory enzyme that’s beneficial to immunity. Pineapple, if eaten as a regular part of one’s diet, can certainly improve immunity.
Alleviates Symptoms of Arthritis
Once again, the enzyme bromelain that’s ever present in the composition of pineapple, is linked to alleviating symptoms of arthritis. Bromelain is influential in reducing inflammation which is one of the symptoms of arthritis. Moreover, the bromelain in pineapple is said to decrease the swelling and pain associated with arthritis. Several enlightening studies show a definitive connection between bromelain and the symptoms of arthritis, however, more research is indicated to determine dosage requirements, types of arthritis, and the effects of long-term bromelain consumption.
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. Pineapple as a palliative to arthritis symptoms is a promising notion. Surely, pineapple, specifically the bromelain in pineapple, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Although some studies show a clear connection between pineapple and arthritis, more research is needed to say for certain.
Has Healing Properties
Once again, the bromelain enzyme present in pineapple is said to have healing properties. The significant enzyme is linked to tissue and wound healing. In fact, in Europe bromelain is used in oral and topical formulas to treat surgical wounds and debridement of burns. Moreover, pineapple contains manganese which is also linked to wound healing. Further, pineapple is fraught with vitamin C which helps to prevent infection a facet that further facilitates optimal healing. Finally, in one study, pineapple waste such as peels and cores were used topically, with success, to stave off infection and facilitate wound healing. A bonus to such uses of pineapples is the reduction of waste.
General Consensus: 4.5/5 and here is why. There are hundreds of studies linking the enzyme bromelain to the facilitation of wound healing. Furthermore, vitamin C has long been connected to healing and averting infection. Lastly, the fact that pineapple enzymes are routinely used in European wound treatments lends credence to the claim that pineapple has healing properties.
Boosts Weight Loss
Pineapple is purportedly an excellent food for weight loss and here’s why: For starters, pineapple is low in calories and carbohydrates per serving. In fact, a one-cup serving of pineapple contains approximately 70 calories and about 22 grams of carbohydrates. Additionally, bromelain which is an enzyme that aids in digestion, also helps to metabolize belly fat. Another weight-loss attribute of pineapple is that it’s loaded with fiber and water both of which are known to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time than foods not high in fiber.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Pineapple is a nutrient-dense, low calorie, high fiber, hydrating fruit that makes for a much wiser dietary option than alternative sweet snacks.
Like many fruits and vegetables, pineapple is extremely hydrating. Pineapple consists of nearly 90% water. If you find it difficult to meet your daily water intake goals, pineapple is a sweet and palatable way to keep your body hydrated. The importance of hydration can’t be overstated; hydration transports nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, lubricates joints, protects organs, controls body temperature, and so much more. Along with all of its other health benefits, the water content in pineapple can help you maintain hydration.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
General Consensus: 1/5 and here is why. This seems to be an old wives’ tale. There’s no scientific data supporting the claim that eating pineapple can induce labor. Despite women all over the country trying to do so, the notion is unsubstantiated.
May Treat Cancer
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. There are many current studies researching pineapple as a beneficial supplement in cancer patients. However, these ongoing studies have yet to draw a definitive conclusion. This is a field of study you’ll want to keep a watchful eye out for.