Health Benefits Of Pineapple


Did you know that a pineapple a day could keep the doctor away? These sweet tropical fruits are high in fibre and are nutrient-dense, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes and minerals. This means many benefits come with eating pineapples, from improved digestion to more robust immunity. This article will explore the health benefits of eating pineapples and teach you how to incorporate the powerful fruit into your diet.

What are pineapples?

Pineapples (Ananas comosus) are medium-sized fruits which are eaten all over the world. They have a characteristically tough leathery rind which encloses the yellow, juicy flesh that tastes sweet and relatively tart. These bromeliaceae plants also have distinctive green spikey leaves on top of the pineapple fruit.

The name pineapple is misleading because the fruit is neither a pine nor an apple. It got its name from the European colonialists that first encountered the fruit in Latin America because of its pinecone-like appearance.1 Apple was a collective name used to describe exotic, foreign fruit.2 For instance, pomegranates were originally described as seeded apples, peaches were called malum persicum by the ancient Romans, and that meant Persian apples, and a range of European societies described potatoes as ground apples. While the fruit’s English name may be misleading, ananas comosus is more accurate as it refers to fragrant, excellent fruit.3

Many health benefits come with eating pineapples because the fruit is packed with antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C and B6 and integral minerals like manganese, potassium and thiamine.4 The next section of this article will detail the benefits of increasing your pineapple consumption.

Health benefits of pineapple

  1. Anti-inflammatory properties that boost immune health

It would help if you stocked up on pineapples during flu season because eating more of these fruits can significantly lower your risk of contracting bacterial and viral infections.5 This is because it’s rich in the enzyme complex Bromelain6, which behaves as an antihistamine, which supports your body’s immune response.7 Bromelain reduces swelling and pain caused by inflammation, promoting faster recovery from illnesses like sinusitis.6 Furthermore, it supports the generation of white blood cells8, enabling rapid infection recovery. The anti-inflammatory effect of bromelain is supported by ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which is also in pineapples and is a potent antioxidant that promotes recovery from bacterial and viral infections.5

In ancient Latin societies, pineapples were used for medicinal purposes to address different ailments.10 New studies are taking advantage of the medicinal properties of pineapple-derived bromelain to treat diseases coronavirus9 and even cancer.6 Whilst it needs further research to understand its longer term benefits, there is nothing to suggest that adding pineapple to your diet would be negative.. 

2. Aid digestion

In addition to effectively promoting immunity, pineapples support digestion in two main ways. Firstly, the anti-inflammatory enzymes help digest protein in your diet.5, 6 Once broken down, these proteins become amino acids which are integral for building muscles, producing hormones, repairing damaged tissue, and maintaining hair, skin and nail health. This property is especially beneficial for people with pancreatic issues because their natural protease production pathway is inhibited. Therefore, eating more pineapples can support this digestive process. Also, bromelain makes pineapples excellent at tenderising meat because the molecule breaks down collagen in meat's connective tissue11, making it easier to chew. Secondly, pineapples are rich in fibre which supports gut health and regulates bowel movements.5 

3. Supporting cardiovascular health

Bromelain also promotes cardiovascular health.5,12 The enzyme breaks down cholesterol, thereby preventing the formation of plaques,12,13 which could cause atherosclerosis. This cardiovascular condition can cause strokes, myocardial infarctions and other heart diseases. Additionally, bromelain supports cardiovascular activity by preventing the formation of blood clots by inhibiting fibrin production.12 This significantly lowers the risk of experiencing a stroke or a heart attack. Pineapples also contain copper and a higher potassium-to-sodium ratio4 that promotes blood pressure regulation and, ultimately, cardiovascular health.

4. Promotes skeletal and oral health

Pineapples are rich in manganese, an integral mineral for bone health as it improves bone density.5,14 In addition to manganese, pineapples contain minerals like zinc, copper and calcium, promoting bone health. Furthermore, the vitamin C in the fruit promotes collagen formation, which is vital for strong bones.5 The manganese in pineapples is also advantageous for your gums, so eating more of the fruit for oral health is advisable.15 However, pineapples are acidic, so you should rinse your mouth with some water after eating them to prevent dental erosion.16

5. Promotes eye health

Pineapples lower your risk of experiencing macular degeneration17 This is an age-related condition characterised by the progressive worsening of eyesight. Pineapples have high levels of antioxidants like vitamin C that helps to prevent degeneration18, and promotes eye health. Furthermore, the bromelain you get from eating pineapples breaks down collagen floaters, disrupting vision.19

6. Other benefits

There are other benefits associated with increasing your pineapple intake, although more research is needed to understand them fully. Firstly, pineapples are rich in antioxidants; therefore, eating more of the fruit is linked to a decreased risk of cancer, healthy skin appearance, and reproductive health.20 Secondly, the fruit is a good source of amino acids like valine and leucine, which are effective energisers.21 And finally, pineapples are an excellent remedy for nausea; this is why the fruit eases motion and morning sickness.5

Nutrients we can get from pineapple

Suppose you decide to include pineapples in your 5-a-day fruit portions. In that case, the NHS classifies the fruit as a "large fresh fruit" of which you should have a slice daily of approximately 160 g. Below is the composition of this portion:

  • Sodium: 1.66 mg
  • Potassium:181 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 21.7 g
  • Fibre: 2.32 g
  • Sugars: 16.4 g
  • Protein: 0.896 g
  • Vitamin C: 79.3 mg
  • Calcium: 21.6 mg
  • Manganese: 1.54 mg

How to include pineapple in our diet

The best way to include pineapple in your diet is to have it fresh. As explained above, the NHS recommends having a 160 g slice as part of your daily fruit intake. It would be best if you always opted for fresh pineapples over canned ones because the processing involved with the latter can reduce the fruit's beneficial properties.22 Furthermore, canned pineapples are typically suspended in a sugary syrup, which increases your daily sugar intake and can make you more susceptable to conditions like diabetes and liver damage.23 If you have to choose canned pineapples, try to go for those stored in water or juice.

Nonetheless, feel free to get creative with your pineapples. You don’t have to limit yourself to a daily pineapple slice to reap the benefits of this powerful fruit! You can have them in smoothies, salads or even on pizza.

How much is enough?

You are advised to have a 160 g serving of pineapple daily. Although the quantity at which the fruit would be in excess is not clear, too much pineapple a day can affect your blood sugar regulation and your dental health. Therefore, you should eat the fruit in moderation.

Side effects

If you experience a tingling, burning sensation while eating pineapples, do not be alarmed, as this is not an allergic reaction. The interaction between bromelain, pineapple acid and the mucus coating inside your mouth causes this irritation. If you drink some water or dairy, the stinging sensation should subside, and you can continue to enjoy your fruit. However, if you experience a typical allergic reaction after eating pineapples with symptoms like hives, swelling and obstructed breathing you should seek medical attention and avoid the fruit.


Adding pineapples to your diet has numerous health benefits. The tropical fruits are sweet and nutritious, with an interesting origin story and a range of health benefits outlined in this article. 


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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Brenda Ayebare

Master of Science- MSc, Global Public Health and Policy, Queen Mary University of London

My name is Brenda, and I am an aspiring healthcare communications professional from Uganda. I have a life-science background with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical science, along with experience as a medical laboratory technologist and a molecular biology research assistant. I pursued my Master’s in Global public health and policy because I am passionate about applying the knowledge generated through life-science research. As a medical writing intern with Klarity health, I aim to apply my life science and public health expertise to enrich your understanding of different diseases, therapeutic areas and lifestyle decisions. I hope you enjoy reading this article and learning from it! presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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