Pineapple contains nutrients and beneficial compounds, such as vitamin C, manganese, and enzymes, to help aid digestion. Eating pineapple may help boost immunity, lower cancer risk, and improve recovery time after surgery.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical fruit. It contains nutrients, antioxidants, and other compounds, such as enzymes that can protect against inflammation and disease. It’s commonly eaten baked, grilled, or freshly cut.

Pineapple and its compounds are linked to several health benefits, including improvements in digestion, immunity, and recovery from surgery.

Here are eight health benefits of pineapple.

1. Highly nutritious

Pineapples are low in calories (kcal) but highly nutritious. Just 1 cup (165 grams) of pineapple chunks contains the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 82.5 kcal
  • Fat: 0.198 grams (g)
  • Protein: 0.891 g
  • Carbs: 21.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.31 g
  • Vitamin C: 78.9 milligrams (mg), 88% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Manganese: 1.53 mg or 109% of the DV (for women) and 2.3mg or 66% of the DV (for men)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.185 mg, 11% of the DV
  • Copper: 0.181 mg, 20% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 0.13 mg, 11% of the DV
  • Folate: 29.7 micrograms (mcg), 7% of the DV
  • Potassium: 180 mg, 4% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 19.8 mg, 5% of the DV
  • Niacin: 0.825 mg, 5% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid: 0.351 mg, 7% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 0.053 mg, 4% of the DV
  • Iron: 0.478 mg, 3% of the DV

Pineapples also contain trace amounts of phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and vitamins A and K.

This fruit is also particularly rich in vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C is essential for immune health, iron absorption, and growth and development, while manganese offers antioxidant properties and aids in growth and metabolism.

Antioxidants help prevent oxidation in your body, which may help ward off inflammation that can lead to cancer and other chronic diseases.


Pineapples are especially rich in vitamin C, manganese, and numerous other vitamins and minerals.

2. Contains antioxidants

Pineapples are not only rich in nutrients, but they also contain antioxidants — molecules that help your body ward off oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is caused by an abundance of free radicals, unstable molecules that cause cell damage often linked to chronic inflammation, weakened immune health, heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Pineapples are especially rich in antioxidants called flavonoids and phenolic compounds. One study of rats showed that pineapple’s antioxidants may have heart-protective effects, though human research is lacking.

Moreover, many of the antioxidants in pineapple are considered bound antioxidants, producing longer-lasting effects.


Pineapples are a rich source of antioxidants that may reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

3. May aid digestion

You’ll often find pineapple served alongside meats and poultry in countries such as Brazil.

This fruit contains a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain that may ease the digestion of meat.

Bromelain breaks down protein molecules, meaning your small intestine can more easily absorb them.

This is especially helpful for people with pancreatic insufficiency, a condition in which the pancreas cannot make enough digestive enzymes. Bromelain is also widely used as a commercial meat tenderizer because it breaks down tough meat proteins.

One test-tube study found that bromelain reduced inflammatory markers in digestive tissue, though further research is needed.

Pineapples are also a good source of fiber, which aids digestive health.


Pineapples contain bromelain, a group of digestive enzymes that help break down protein and aid digestion.

4. May reduce your risk of cancer

Cancer is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Its progression is commonly linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

Several studies note that pineapple and its compounds, including bromelain, may reduce cancer risk by minimizing oxidative stress and reducing inflammation.

Some studies show that bromelain may also help treat cancer that has already developed.

For instance, one test-tube study found that bromelain suppressed the growth of breast cancer cells and stimulated cell death.

Overall, more human research is necessary.


Pineapple contains compounds such as bromelain that may have anticancer effects, although far more human studies are needed.

5. May boost immunity and suppress inflammation

Pineapples have been used in traditional medicine for centuries.

They contain various vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, such as bromelain, that may collectively improve immunity and reduce inflammation.

In a 9-day study from 2014, 98 healthy children ate either no pineapple, roughly 1 cup (140 g) of pineapple, or roughly 2 cups (280 g) of pineapple daily.

Those who ate pineapple had a significantly lower risk of viral and bacterial infections. Also, the children who ate the most of this fruit had almost four times more disease-fighting white blood cells than the other groups.

However, further research is needed to support these findings.


Pineapples have anti-inflammatory properties that may help enhance your immune function.

6. May ease symptoms of arthritis

Arthritis affects more than 54 million U.S. adults. Many types of arthritis exist, but most involve joint inflammation.

Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties may provide pain relief for those with inflammatory arthritis. One study found bromelain supplements to be as effective in easing osteoarthritis in the lower back as regular pain treatment.

In another study in people with osteoarthritis, a digestive enzyme supplement containing bromelain helped relieve pain as effectively as common arthritis medicines.

Still, more research is needed on this.


The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple may relieve symptoms of arthritis, though more human studies are necessary.

7. May speed recovery after surgery or strenuous exercise

Eating pineapple may reduce the time it takes to recover from surgery or exercise.

While this fruit helps replenish carb stores after exercise, some of its benefits are also due to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain.

Several studies have shown that bromelain may reduce the inflammation, swelling, bruising, and pain that often occur after surgery, including dental and skin procedures. It may likewise reduce markers of inflammation.

It may even reduce discomfort, pain, or swelling after dental surgery.

Bromelain may also speed muscle recovery after strenuous exercise by reducing inflammation around the damaged muscle tissue.

Nonetheless, more research is needed on this.


Bromelain in pineapples may reduce inflammation, swelling, and discomfort after surgery. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also aid recovery after strenuous exercise.

8. Easy to add to your diet

Pineapples are sweet, convenient, and easy to add to your diet.

The fresh fruit is easy to find in many grocery stores and markets, even out of season. You can buy it canned, dehydrated, or frozen year-round.

You can enjoy pineapple alone, in smoothies, salads, or homemade pizzas. Here are a few fun recipe ideas that feature pineapple:

  • Breakfast: smoothie with pineapple, blueberry, and Greek yogurt
  • Salad: tropical roast chicken, almonds, blueberries, and pineapple atop lettuce or other greens
  • Lunch: homemade Hawaiian burgers (beef burgers with a pineapple ring)
  • Dinner: pineapple fried rice and seitan
  • Dessert: homemade pineapple whip (frozen pineapple chunks blended with a splash of coconut milk and a dash of lemon juice)

Fresh, stir-fried, blended, or roasted, pineapple works well in numerous dishes. You can find it canned, fresh, dehydrated, or frozen in most stores year-round.

Pineapples are not a common allergen. Eating them is considered very low risk unless you have a known pineapple allergy. In that case, you should avoid pineapple and its extracts.

However, even in people without an allergy or diabetes, eating too much pineapple — more than a few servings per day — may have unintended side effects.

For instance, bromelain may affect blood clotting. So, people who take blood thinners should eat pineapple in modest amounts.

Those sensitive to bromelain may also experience tongue burning, itching, nausea, or diarrhea — though these downsides are anecdotal and haven’t been studied scientifically.

Some people say that eating a lot of unripe pineapple causes stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea. Again, this hasn’t been studied, but it’s always best to select ripe pineapple. The flesh should be light to medium yellow.


Pineapple is widely considered safe, though a small percentage of people may have an allergy to it. People who have diabetes or take blood thinners should be mindful of portion sizes when eating pineapple.

Does eating pineapple burn belly fat?

One study found that daily pineapple consumption reduced weight gain. However, more research is needed on whether pineapple burns belly fat.

What are the benefits of pineapple in a woman?

Pineapple may protect against osteoporosis, provide vital nutrients during pregnancy, and have anti-breast cancer effects. However, more research is needed.

The bottom line

Pineapples are delicious, versatile, and contain many nutrients and antioxidants.

Their nutrients and compounds have been linked to various health benefits, including improved digestion, a lower risk of cancer, and osteoarthritis relief. Still, more research is needed.

You can eat this fruit blended, roasted, sauteed, or fresh — on its own or in any number of dishes.

Just one thing

Try this today: Craving pineapple, but yours isn’t yet ripe? To ripen your too-green pineapple, place it in a paper bag. Placing a banana in the bag as well may speed up the process. The bag traps ethylene gas emitted by the fruit and accelerates ripening.

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