Pineapple is full of fibre, vitamins and minerals and contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain can be used to reduce inflammation and swelling — particularly of the nasal passages. Bromelain is also used as a digestive aid for osteoarthritis and to reduce soreness in aching muscles.
A pineapple is a tropical fruit known for its iconic shape – a sphere of sweet and juicy flesh surrounded by a tough, segmented skin, with a tuft of spiky green leaves on top.
The fruit is actually a collection of flowers, each with its own eye that is fused around the centre core, and it takes about three years for just one pineapple to reach full maturation.
Pineapple is naturally high in sugar and has a great taste and colour, which is why it is such a popular component of many of our fruit and vegetable based smoothies. It is difficult getting hold of large enough quantities of fresh pineapples at a good price so most of the year our pineapple comes frozen which tends to be why we use it as a smoothie ingredient rather than juicing. Blending pineapple also retains the fibre which is so important.
Nutritional benefits of pineapple
Pineapples are naturally high in fibre, an essential component of a healthy diet that helps improve digestion. Most people don’t get enough fibre, so eating pineapple can definitely help.
Pineapples are low in calories but contain a good array of vitamins and minerals including calcium, manganese, folic acid and vitamins A and C.
One cup of pineapple chunks contains the following :
Fat: 1.7 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Carbs: 21.6 grams
Fibre: 2.3 grams
Vitamin C: 131% of the RDA
Manganese: 76% of the RDA
Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA
Copper: 9% of the RDA
Thiamin: 9% of the RDA
Folate: 7% of the RDA
Potassium: 5% of the RDA
Magnesium: 5% of the RDA
Niacin: 4% of the RDA
Pantothenic acid: 4% of the RDA
Riboflavin: 3% of the RDA
Iron: 3% of the RDA
Pineapples also contain trace amounts of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, zinc and calcium. They are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese, providing 131% and 76% of the daily recommendations, respectively.
Vitamin C is essential for growth and development, a healthy immune system and aiding the absorption of iron from the diet. Meanwhile, manganese is a naturally occurring mineral that aids growth, maintains a healthy metabolism and has antioxidant properties.
One of the key phytonutrients found in pineapple is bromelain that has long been recognised for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.
Both fresh and tinned pineapple counts towards your five-a-day target, but if you regularly use the tinned variety, choose a can with no added sugar or salt. An 80g portion, or one average slice, counts as one of your five-a-day as does a portion in one of our smoothie recipes.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
Protects against cardiovascular disease
Some research has suggested that the bromelain in pineapple may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions such as thrombosis by helping to prevent blood clotting. However, more research is required before a clear link between pineapple and heart health can be established.
Pineapple is high in fibre, which is important for a healthy digestive system. There has also been some promising initial research into the anti-inflammatory effect of bromelain on ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel condition, both in mice and in human cells, however, more evidence is needed before this benefit can be proven in human studies.
Promotes healing after injury
In vitro research (conducted in a test tube) showed promising signs that bromelain may improve wound healing, although any medical use for it is probably still a long way off.
Pineapples are delicious, low in calories and loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
Their nutrients and compounds have been linked to impressive health benefits, including improved digestion, improved immunity, relief of arthritis symptoms and improved recovery after surgery and strenuous exercise.
Pineapples are also incredibly versatile and can be consumed in a variety of ways. At Barannes, we use pineapple in the following smoothies:
Ready Set Go
Avocado, Pineapple, Spinach, Spirulina, Apple
Pineapple, Spinach, Ginger, Celery, Apple
Avocado, Pineapple, Banana, Orange Juice, Bee Pollen and Coconut Water
Pineapple, Hemp Seeds, Charcoal, Apple, Kale & Coconut Milk
Pineapple, Papaya, Mango, Apples