Pineapple is a sweet and juicy tropical fruit that may remind you of summer and good times. Enjoyed in fresh, dried, preserved, cooked, and juiced forms, pineapple is a delicious treat and a versatile culinary ingredient. It’s also rich in body-loving nutrients, antioxidants, and enzymes. Here are 10 powerful benefits of pineapple.
Promotes healthy digestion
Pineapple is the only known food source of bromelain—a group of enzymes that helps your body digest proteins by breaking them down into amino acids. The edible pineapple fruit itself has only modest quantities of bromelain, so most bromelain supplements you’ll find are derived from the plant’s stem. Check out this alive.com article to learn more about how to soothe your digestion problems with the power of plant enzymes.
Acts as an anti-inflammatory
Pineapple is high in vitamin C, which works as a powerful antioxidant to help your body fight inflammation and rid your body of free radicals that can trigger inflammation in the first place. Bromelain found in pineapple can also assist in reducing inflammation by inducing the body’s efforts to reduce swelling and pain. Pineapple’s anti-inflammatory properties have been found to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis and reduce pain following surgery and sports injuries. Check out these other 10 foods that can also help you sidestep inflammation.
Pineapple could help shorten the duration of viral and bacterial infections due to its vitamin and mineral content. The fruit’s high vitamin C content is particularly effective at helping to enhance immune function by mobilizing white blood cells. Pineapple’s enzymes have also shown benefit in fighting inflammation from infections, with studies suggesting that bromelain can kill certain viruses and bacteria. However, more human studies are needed to further understand how effective the fruit really is at this.
Helps recovery after exercise
You may want to try adding some pineapple to your next post-workout smoothie to help your body recover with pineapple’s anti-inflammatory vitamin C and bromelain content. Bromelain has been found to help speed up muscle recovery and reduce post-workout pain. A bromelain supplement can provide an even larger hit of this pain-saving enzyme than the fruit alone. Learn more with this alive.com article about recovering from exercise faster by eating the right foods at the right time.
The bromelain content in pineapple can help reduce cholesterol with its fibrinolytic activity, which breaks down cholesterol plaques in your arteries. Pineapples are also high in fiber, which works to lower levels of bad cholesterol as well, reducing the risk of heart disease in the process. In addition to eating more pineapple, check out these 10 Simple Ways to Eat More Fiber Every Day.
Speeds up healing
As an anti-inflammatory, the vitamins, antioxidants, and bromelain in pineapple can help speed healing. Research has shown that bromelain and its derivatives can work to remove dead and damaged skin in burn injuries. Evidence from animal studies also suggests that bromelain can increase the number of tendon cells after a tissue injury. To help support your body’s healing processes, try this nutrient rich and anti-inflammatory Kale Pineapple Juice.
Boosts male fertility
Pineapple may improve male fertility, thanks to its high manganese content, which can help improve the quality of sperm. Just one cup of pineapple juice provides about 1.3 mg of manganese—more than half of the daily recommended intake of manganese for men. Manganese has also been found to help protect sperm during freezing for storage. If you’re looking for more ways to help boost male fertility, check out these other natural strategies.
Fights free radicals
Rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids, pineapples provide antioxidant power to help protect your body against free radicals. In particular, the vitamin C and bromelain contents in pineapples have both been linked to a reduced risk of cancer because of their free radical-fighting powers.
Pineapple can help support your bone health. The fruit’s vitamin C content helps support collagen formation in bones, while its manganese content assists your body in building bone and connective tissue. You can learn more about nurturing lifelong bone health in this alive.com article.
Supports skin health
Pineapple is a natural source of the alpha-hydroxy acids that are used in many skin care creams to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The vitamin C in pineapple also helps support the production of collagen in the skin, promoting skin elasticity, healing, and moisture. Check out this alive.com article for more foods that offer key nutrients for skin health.