Pineapple Juice & Your Health

Key Points

  • Pineapple is an excellent source of Vitamin C, Manganese, Copper, Potassium, and Magnesium
  • Pineapple and pineapple juice are both high in sugar and are acidic, which may cause problems for certain people.
  • Pineapple mixes well with other foods in meal recipes, smoothies, shakes, and juices

Pineapple juice is a delicious tropical beverage made from pineapple juice and water. Even better, the health benefits of pineapple juice are backed by evidence.

One cup (250 g) of pineapple juice contains:

  • 100% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C
  • 55% of the DV for manganese
  • 19% of the DV for copper
  • Other vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, thiamine, folate, potassium, and magnesium

Some of your favorite brands at the supermarket may also be enhanced with vitamins or contain added sugars. Pineapple can be regarded as healthy as long as it’s not consumed in excess. 

Nutrition Facts – 250g (8.8oz) Fresh Pineapple

Carbohydrates32gVitamin C91mg

Health Benefits of Pineapple Juice

Pineapple is associated with a few health benefits:

  • Helps your body fight diseases
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves immunity by reducing inflammation

However, much of the health benefits of pineapple juice come from the enzyme group bromelain. While enzymes in many fruits have been found to help digestion, Bromelain, in particular, has been used for centuries in places like South America to aid digestion.

Additionally, bromelain may help improve immunity and fight inflammation. Some research shows bromelain can help combat inflammation. Reducing markers of inflammation strengthens the body’s natural defense system, aka the immune system

Pineapples also contain several antioxidants like flavonoids and vitamin C, which fight off disease-causing free radicals in the body. 

Now here comes the caveat. While drinking fruit juice is beneficial, eating whole fruit is still the healthier option due to the juice’s low fiber content. It’s also important to note that pineapple and pineapple juice may not contain enough bromelain to notice any significant improvements in the benefits listed above. 

Negatives of Drinking Pineapple Juice 

While the previously mentioned health benefits exist for pineapple, there are some negative aspects of consuming pineapple and pineapple juice. Firstly, any fruit or fruit juice will contain more sugar than other foods. Sugar is partly what makes them so delicious! Some sugar is fine, but too much sugar can sabotage your health goals. 

Another thing to bear in mind is that pineapple is an acidic fruit, so those that struggle with acid reflux, heartburn, or especially GERD may find eating or drinking pineapple products to be uncomfortable. 

pineapple coconut smoothie

Lastly, bromelain may interact with medications like blood thinners and antibiotics, so consuming it in excess could be an issue for anyone taking these drugs. 

How Much Pineapple Juice is Too Much?

If you’re wondering if it’s healthy to drink pineapple juice every day, there are better ideas for your health. First, however, moderation is key. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans consume too much-added sugar, some of which is attributed to fruit juice. 

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars, so for a 2,000-calorie diet, that means consuming 200 calories or less. Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon, equating to roughly 50 grams or 12 teaspoons of sugar. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) has more conservative and gender-specific recommendations. The AHA recommends that men consume no more than 36 grams (9 teaspoons) and women no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons). 

A 6-ounce can of Dole pineapple juice contains 22 grams of sugar. While it is advertised as containing “no added sugar,” it’s important to understand that you are still consuming a sugar-sweetened beverage that doesn’t have the same benefits as eating the whole fruit. 

There are no dietary recommendations for how much natural sugar from fruit to consume because one doesn’t exist. The point is to include as many whole fruits and vegetables in your diet, which has been linked to positive health outcomes regardless of the natural sugars in fruit. 

Natural Versus Added Sugars

Sugar is a complex topic debated among health and fitness professionals, which goes beyond the scope of this article. However, the important thing to note is that while added sugars are generally worse for health, just because an ingredient is listed as “natural” doesn’t mean it is harmless. Generally, it’s best to try and keep sugar consumption low because when sugar isn’t used for energy, excess sugar is stored as fat. 

As mentioned above, the exception is sugar in whole fruit. It’s difficult to consume too many whole fruits and vegetables because of all their other benefits. When you eat fruit like fresh pineapple, yes, you are consuming naturally occurring sugar, but you’re also getting all the other good stuff like vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Sugar spikes blood sugar, or blood glucose, but added sugar spikes blood glucose more. Pairing fruit with protein or fat forces the body to process the sugar in it slower. For example, putting pineapple juice in your protein smoothie blended with frozen avocado chunks or making a pineapple salsa to go atop salmon are ways to pair your sugars with protein sources and healthy fat.

Pineapple Benefits for Skin 

woman applying lotion to hands

Your skin may also benefit from eating pineapple and drinking pineapple juice due to its antioxidant, manganese, and water content. 

  • Pineapple has a high water content – staying hydrated is key for healthy skin, so it’s no surprise that fruits like pineapple are regarded as good for healthy and hydrated skin. 
  • Antioxidants in pineapple are excellent for skin health – Vitamin C is perhaps the most notable antioxidant for skin health, and pineapple is loaded with it. 
  • Manganese leads to collagen production – collagen is a big player in the world of skincare since it is the molecule that helps promote skin elasticity, strength, and hydration. 

While there are some pineapple/bromelain-containing skincare products on the market, it’s a trend for people to rub pineapple on their faces. Do not apply fresh pineapple to your skin, as negative reactions could occur. Pineapple is pretty acidic, and the enzyme bromelain may react with other enzymes on your skin and cause more harm than good.

Caveat alert! As mentioned above, pineapple juice contains a lot of sugar, which is not a good thing to consume to achieve healthy-looking skin. Just make sure not to overdo it and eat or drink only the recommended amount. 

What Goes Well With Pineapple Juice? 

Pineapple has a delicious sweet and tangy flavor, making it a great addition to other fruit juices and many food and drink recipes. That means you can get the health benefits of pineapple juice by adding it to many, many things!

There is no shortage of cocktail recipes that utilize pineapple juice. If you’re looking to reap the health benefits of pineapple, though, drinking alcohol may be a bit counterintuitive. However, you can omit the alcohol in practically any cocktail recipe and make a tasty mocktail instead. 

The classic pina colada taught us that pineapple and coconut are a power couple for a tropical flavor. If you’re not after an alcoholic beverage, remove the rum, and then you have a pina colada smoothie! Coconut water is a lower-calorie alternative to coconut cream or milk but provides the same flavor combination. 

Many green juice and smoothie recipes contain pineapple to sweeten beverages primarily made with green vegetables because it doesn’t take much to immensely improve the flavor. If you’re lucky enough to have a juicer at home, fresh pressed juices are a tasty way to consume fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetable smoothies can also be made with the addition of pineapple or pineapple juice, yogurt, protein powder, or whatever else you like to add to smoothies. By making these tasty drinks at home, you’ll also be able to ensure no added sugars.

Other fruits and juices that pair well with pineapple are citrus juices like lemon and lime. Other tropical fruit flavors like mango, papaya, and banana also go well with pineapple. Don’t hesitate to get creative with this versatile fruit! 

How to Prep a Fresh Pineapple 

Chopped Pineapple in a white bowl on a cutting board

Don’t be turned off by the seemingly difficult prep work of eating fresh pineapple at home. It’s actually not very hard!

Once you get it down, you’ll never want to buy the expensive pre-packed stuff at the grocery store.

Here are the steps to successfully prepping a fresh pineapple:

  1. Give the exterior a good scrub. While yes, you’ll just be peeling the skin off soon, it’s always best practice to wash your produce because when you pierce the outside, anything on the skin will infiltrate the flesh. 
  2. Slice the ends off. Ideally, using a chef’s knife, you’ll want to chop off the green stem and the bottom of the fruit on the other end. 
  3. Peel the skin off. Stand the fruit up on the sturdiest end and use a knife to begin slicing off the prickly outside while keeping as much flesh as possible. 
  4. Core the pineapple. If you don’t have a pineapple core, you can simply slice the peeled fruit into four wedges and remove the parts of the core from each.
  5. Cut the pineapple into cubes or wedges for your enjoyment. From here, slice up the fruit however you want to eat it and enjoy. Alternatively, put it in a freezer bag to use in smoothies later. 

Final Thoughts

Pineapple is a popular tropical flavor used in many recipes due to its tart but sweet flavor. Pineapple and pineapple juice can be a great addition to a healthy diet. However, it’s important to not exceed the daily recommended amount of fruit juice to avoid consuming too much sugar. Generally, it’s best to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting a wide range of health benefits rather than focusing on single foods. 

madison wilfred

Nutritionist’s Tip

Want to know what some of the best smoothie supplements are? Madison Wilfred, our resident nutrition expert weighs in on this blog post.

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