If you enjoy the sweet and tangy taste of pineapple juice, we’ve got some excellent news for you.
Your favorite refreshing drink can do wonders for your health. Pineapples are rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers.
The health benefits of pineapple juice include boosting immunity, fighting inflammation, promoting healthy digestion, cancer prevention, and strengthening bones.
Read on to know why this drink makes a healthy addition to your diet.
The nutritional profile of pineapple juice
One cup (250 grams) of unsweetened pineapple juice with added ascorbic acid, contains (1) –
- Calories: 132
- Carbohydrates: 32 grams
- Sugar: 25 grams
- Protein: 1 grams
- Vitamin C: 110 mg (183% DV)
- Folate: 45 mcg (11% DV)
- Vitamin B6: .3 mg (13% DV)
- Thiamin: .1 mg (10% DV)
- Manganese: 1.3 mg (63% DV)
- Copper: .2 mg (9% DV)
- Potassium: 325 mg (9% DV)
- Magnesium: 30 mg (8% DV)
History of pineapple
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) was named for its resemblance to a pine cone. Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493. He called it ‘pina de indes,’ which means pine of the Indians.
Over the years pineapple made its way to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Columbus also introduced the pineapple to Spaniards, who brought it to the Philipines and Hawaii.
Magellan discovered pineapples in Brazil in 1519. By the year 1555 pineapple was being exported to England. It also spread to Asia and the West Indies.
Pineapples were introduced to Hawaii in the 1770s, and their commercial production began in the 1880s. Today Hawaii produces 10 percent of the world’s pineapple crop.
Health benefits of pineapple juice
1. Boosts immunity
Pineapple juice is a rich source of vitamin C, which helps to increase the granulocyte count in the blood.
Granulocytes are the white blood cells that are responsible for fighting off bacteria and viruses in the body.
During a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, children between the ages of 6 to 12 years were given canned pineapple juice to drink every day for nine weeks.
The results showed a decrease in both bacterial and viral infection in these children.
According to the study, the production of granulocytes also increased in children who took pineapple juice (2).
2. Fights inflammation
The high concentration of bromelain found in pineapple juice is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme, which means it can digest proteins. It helps fight pain and reduce swelling, and it contains chemicals that prevent the blood from clotting.
The high levels of essential and non-essential amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamin A in pineapple juice also help in reducing inflammation.
3. Promotes healthy digestion
Having bromelain-rich pineapple juice along with your meals can help break down protein faster, which helps speed up digestion and reduce constipation and bloating.
Pineapple juice also contains dietary fiber that is crucial for healthy digestion. Fiber assists in preventing constipation, gas build-up, and diarrhea.
Some research has also shown that bromelain can help treat ulcerative colitis and E. coli infections (4).
4. Prevents cataracts
Pineapples are an excellent source of vitamin C. One cup of unsweetened pineapple contains 110 mg of this vitamin.
Recent studies have shown that a higher intake of vitamin C can reduce the risk of cataract. Higher intake of vitamin C can also prevent cataracts (5).
Pineapples also contain beta-carotene, vitamin A, potassium, and manganese, that help in fighting cell damage that may lead to macular degeneration in the elderly.
5. Improves cardiovascular health
Pineapple juice is a rich source of potassium and bromelain, which helps improve cardiovascular health by preventing blood clotting, easing the tension of blood vessels, and promoting circulation.
Pineapple juice also contains copper, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells.
High sodium and low potassium diet can lead to hypertension. Pineapple juice is low in sodium and high in potassium and can be an excellent addition to your daily diet.
Besides, pineapple juice can also lower your cholesterol levels.
6. Fights cancer
Antioxidants and bromelain in pineapple juice can help prevent cancer.
According to a study that was published in the International Journal of Peptide Research and Therapeutics, bromelain from fresh pineapple juice has the potential to induce anticarcinogenic effects through apoptosis in ovarian and colon cancer cells (6).
Pineapple juice also contains beta carotene, which may lower the risk of prostate cancer (7).
Another study from Japan showed that people who ate more food containing beta-carotene had a lower risk of developing colon cancer (8).
7. Improves oral health
Oral surgeons sometimes suggest drinking pineapple juice for a few days before dental surgery.
Pineapple juice contains bromelain, which aids in the reduction of swelling, inflammation and also reduces bruising.
According to a study published in the Italian Journal of Dental Medicine, bromelain is useful in lessening the inflammation symptoms in oral surgery patients (9).
Pineapple juice also contains astringents that help tighten gum tissues, fix loose teeth, and retracted gums.
8. Strengthens bones
Drinking pineapple juice can also help to strengthen bones. Just one glass of this juice can provide 73 percent of your daily requirement of manganese, which is vital for building strong bones and tissues (10).
Manganese and magnesium deficiency is linked to osteoporosis. Pineapple juice contains these minerals along with calcium, copper, and zinc, all of which help in preventing bone loss in postmenopausal women.
9. Prevents asthma
Pineapple juice contains bromelain, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain can help treat respiratory problems linked to asthma and allergies.
It also has mucolytic features that help to break up and expel mucus.
Pineapple juice also contains beta-carotene, which can reduce the risk of exercise-induced asthma.
According to a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publication, people who have bronchial asthma were given 100 ml of pineapple juice diluted with water, twice a day for 90 days.
The results showed that consuming pineapple juice improved the peak expiration flow rate of the participants (11).
10. Prevents premature aging
Pineapple juice is a rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. These antioxidants help repair tissues, fight sun damage, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin texture. Vitamin C also helps in collagen formation, which provides strength and structure to the skin (12).
11. Promotes fertility
Pineapple juice contains several beneficial minerals and vitamins and enzymes that can boost fertility in both men and women.
Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, which, according to a study, can boost sperm quality in heavy smokers.
Pineapple is also a good source of manganese, which is known to boost sperm quality and increase sperm mobility.
Pineapple also contains beta carotene, copper, zinc, and folate that can help boost fertility in both men and women.
12. Prevents anemia
Pineapple juice is also rich in iron, which is vital for people suffering from anemia. Fresh pineapple or fresh pineapple juice contains iron, which helps in the formation of red blood cells and prevents anemia.
Side effects of pineapple juice
Pineapple juice can cause an allergic reaction in some people due to the presence of bromelain.
The symptoms include diarrhea, stomach disorders, tenderness in the mouth, lips, and tongue.
Bromelain can also interact with some medications like blood thinners, antibiotics, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.
Pregnant women should also avoid drinking pineapple juice as it can lead to uterine contractions, which may cause miscarriage.
The acidity of pineapples can lead to heartburn and reflux.
People with latex allergy are more likely to be allergic to pineapple as well.
How to make fresh pineapple juice?
The key to making fresh pineapple juice is picking the right pineapple. Choose a pineapple that has yellow to brown skin.
Do not use a green or a dark brown skinned pineapple. A ripe pineapple will have a strong sweet smell.
- Ripe pineapple: ½
- Ground black pepper: one pinch
- Salt: One pinch
- Water: ½ cup
- Ice cubes: 5 to 6 pieces
Wash the pineapple and remove its outer skin with a knife. Cut half of this pineapple into small pieces.
Put these pineapple pieces in a blender and add ½ cup water. Blend till the pineapple turns into a fine puree.
Strain this puree with the help of a fine mesh strainer. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pout it into glasses and add ice cubes.
Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493. He called it ‘pina de indes,’ which means pine of the Indians.
During those days pineapples were considered to be exotic fruits. This tropical fruit is now commonly available and is valued not only for its taste but also for its many nutritional benefits.
Pineapple juice is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, thiamine, manganese, copper, magnesium, and bromelain.
It helps boost immunity, fights inflammation, promotes healthy digestion, prevents cataracts, improves cardiovascular health, prevents cancer, strengthens bones, prevents asthma and premature aging, and promotes fertility.