Wondering if pineapple is good for you? Whether you use it in salsa, smoothies, or upside down cake, find out if pineapple is a fruit or vegetable, how many calories are in pineapple, if you can eat pineapple on a keto diet, and what health benefits, nutrition and vitamins you get from eating pineapple.
Let’s explore the wonderful world of pineapples!
Is pineapple a fruit or vegetable?
Pineapples originally came from South America, but they are now grown in many other places such as the Philippines, Thailand, India, Nigeria and China.
The pineapple is a tropical plant with edible fruit, which is what you buy and eat, so a pineapple is a fruit.
Is pineapple a citrus fruit?
There are many heated debates going on about whether pineapple is a citrus fruit or not.
The strongest arguments seem to show that pineapple is NOT a citrus. This is mainly because it belongs to the Bromeliaceae family and citrus belongs to the Rutaceae family. Other reasons are that pineapples grow from slips and suckers, not seeds, only one fruit is produced per plant unlike other citrus, and you cannot zest a pineapple like you can zest the skin of citrus fruit.
It’s interesting to note that pineapple does have citric acid in it, even though it isn’t classified as a citrus fruit.
How many calories are in a pineapple?
Pineapple is mostly made up of water, with some carbohydrates, a little protein, and barely any fat in it.
Here’s how many calories are in different portion sizes of pineapple:
- 100 g of pineapple = 50 kcal
- 1 cup of raw pineapple chunks = 82.5 kcal
- 1 whole pineapple (905 g) = 452 kcal
- 1 thick slice of pineapple (166 g) = 83 kcal
- 1 thin slice of pineapple (56 g) = 28 kcal
Source: US Department of Agriculture
The vitamins and nutrition value of pineapples
Pineapple is the only food with naturally occurring bromelain – a special group of enzymes. These enzymes are amazing little fighters and pack some of the healthiest benefits into pineapple! They help with digestion and healing, and they reduce inflammation and swelling in the body. Pineapples also contain a lot of manganese and Vitamin C.
We’ll go into all the good healthy body stuff a little later, so stick around 😊
Here’s a breakdown of the most common vitamins and minerals in a single pineapple fruit that weighs about 905 g:
- Water = 778 g
- Energy = 452 kcal
- Protein = 4.89 g
- Fats = 1.09 g
- Carbohydrates = 119 g
- Fiber = 12.7 g
- Calcium = 118 mg
- Iron = 2.62 mg
- Magnesium = 109 mg
- Phosphorous = 72.4 mg
- Potassium = 986 mg
- Sodium = 9.05 mg
- Zinc = 1.09 mg
- Manganese = 8.39 mg
- Vitamin C = 433 mg
Source: US Department of Agriculture
Is pineapple keto?
In a nutshell the answer is no, pineapple isn’t traditionally keto. It’s too high in sugar (which are carbohydrates) to be included in a strict keto eating plan.
Here’s how many carbs are in different serving sizes of pineapple:
- 1 whole pineapple (905 g) = 119 g of carbs
- 1 thick slice of pineapple = 21.8 g of carbs
- 1 thin slice of pineapple = 7.35 g of carbs
Source: US Department of Agriculture
But you can eat small amounts of pineapple if you’ve moved from keto to primal or if you’re suffering from muscle or joint problems, need to boost your immune system, or want to reduce your risk of cancer.
In fact, pineapples have so much nutritional value in them that many keto experts say it’s worth eating a thin slice every now guilt-free just for the health benefits, even if you’re on a strict low-carb diet.
If you’re adapting a recipe to be keto-friendly, then you can use pineapple essence or flavoring in place of real pineapple. Just check the bottle’s label and choose one with 0 g of carbs and sugar in it.
Do you have a pineapple allergy?
As I said a bit earlier, pineapple is full of healthy enzymes called bromelain. But did you know that pineapple juice can be used to tenderize tough meat and in marinades? If you eat too much pineapple, the enzymes could irritate your lips, inner cheeks and tongue, but this should heal within a few hours.
If your lips or inner mouth get irritated after eating pineapple and don’t heal after a few hours, or if you come out in a rash, develop hives, or struggle to breathe after eating pineapple, then get medical help. You might be allergic or intolerant to this fruit.
The health benefits of pineapples
Well here we are at the fun part: All the health benefits of eating pineapple. Pineapple is very good for you, and here are 6 reasons why:
1. Pineapple may reduce the risk of cancer
Test tube studies show that the bromelain enzymes in pineapples may actually help fight cancer in the body.
Pineapples also relieve inflammation and minimize oxidative stress, both of which are associated with the progression of cancer.
2. Pineapple may improve your digestion
The bromelain in pineapple can break down protein molecules, which is why pineapple juice can be used to tenderize meat.
Eating pineapple could help your own digestive enzymes in the digestive process.
3. Pineapple may help you fight off illnesses
Pineapples are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C.
Eating a lot of pineapple could boost your immune system and help you fight off viral and bacterial infections.
4. Pineapple may help you lose weight
I love it when natural, tasty foods are also winners in the weight loss category! Pineapple, much like coffee, can actually help you lose weight, along with a good walking program.
Pineapple has been proven to help you break down fats.
It’s also a healthy snack because it’s full of vitamins and minerals and it’s low in calories, but stick to eating small quantities as pineapple comes with carbohydrates in its natural sugars.
Speaking of which, these natural pineapple sugars can be used to satisfy a sweet tooth instead of reaching for chocolate or other unhealthy, processed, factory-made snacks. So choose a thin slice of pineapple instead of a chocolate bar.
5. Pineapple keeps your bones strong
With all that manganese, pineapple is one of the top food sources for healthy bones. Manganese is also great for reducing inflammation, regulating blood sugar and is a strong antioxidant.
Make that two slices of pineapple for me, please!
6. Pineapple prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s and Diabetes
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism, but if it carries on for too long it may cause health problems, such as heart disease, gout, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and stroke.
Pineapple is a natural anti-inflammatory, which brings down inflammation in the body. Pineapple can be eaten on an anti-inflammatory diet, as long as you aren’t allergic to this fruit.
Is pineapple acidic?
Yes, pineapple is acidic.
If you look at a PH scale, 7 is thought to be neutral. Anything below 7 is acidic and anything above 7 is alkaline.
Pineapple scores 3 to 4 on the PH scale.
Source for PH scale only: Anatomy & Physiology –
If you have acid reflux, your doctor might tell you not to eat pineapple and citrus fruit (remember pineapple isn’t categorized as a citrus 😊). But pineapple doesn’t give everyone acid reflux, so if you don’t have any negative effects then you should be okay to carry on eating pineapple.
According to experts, the only time pineapple should not be eaten is when you have an active ulcer in your stomach.
Can dogs eat pineapple?
It depends on the amount and type you’re giving your furry best friend.
According to the American Kennel Club, natural, raw pineapple is a great doggy treat in small amounts. Dogs can become constipated from the fiber or experience diarrhea from the natural sugar in pineapple if they eat too much.
Never give a dog canned pineapple as it’s far too sweet and is extremely bad for their digestive system.
If you do feed your dog raw pineapple, start with very little and watch how they react. Stick to giving them small chunks of the soft yellow flesh. The prickly skin and tough center of a pineapple may get stuck in a dog’s system, so only feed your dog the raw, soft parts of this fruit.
Source: Adapted from a photo by fir0002
Dogs are very much like you and me – different foods have different effects on us and it’s better to stay away from things that we don’t digest well.If your dog has an upset tummy after eating a little pineapple, don’t give it to them again. Choose another snack that doesn’t have the same effect.
What about eating pineapple in pregnancy?
Pineapple naturally contains bromelain, a mixture of anti-inflammatory enzymes. Some women are advised to eat pineapple or drink pineapple juice to induce labor.
Research has been done but the results are inconclusive. According to Nurse Rebecca Decker,
‘There’s no research evidence that eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice can cause miscarriage or that it can induce labor at term … as a natural induction method, eating pineapple would probably not be evidence based, but it is also not likely to be harmful unless you eat too much and get a sore mouth.’
Source: Evidence Based Birth
Please consult a professional if you have any questions or would like professional advice on this.
FAQs about pineapple
What are the benefits of eating pineapple?
Pineapple reduces inflammation, speeds up healing, boosts your immune system, can help you lose weight, reduces your risk of cancer, improves digestions, keeps your bones strong, and the list goes on.
Is it good to eat pineapple everyday?
Yes, eating a small amount of pineapple everyday is very good and healthy for you. One or two thin slices a day works well and keeps your carbohydrate and calorie intake low, but still gives you lots of benefits from the pineapple and the bromelain enzymes.
Is pineapple acidic or alkaline?
Pineapple is highly acidic, scoring 3 or 4 on the PH scale. Pineapple should not be eaten if you have an active stomach ulcer or if it causes acid reflux for you, though it does not affect every person in the same way.
What are the side effects of eating pineapple?
Pineapples are full of vitamins, minerals and healthy enzymes. Eating too much pineapple or eating unripe pineapple will give you side effects though, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and sores in the mouth and on the lips.
Can pineapple reduce belly fat?
Pineapple can help you lose weight and has been proven to burn fat. But you cannot make your body reduce fat in a certain area. However, pineapple also helps with digestion and is an anti-inflammatory, so it may make digesting food easier for you and relieve swelling in the stomach area, making your belly look smaller and feel better.
Pineapple is a tropical fruit that’s packed with vitamins, minerals and a beautiful combination of natural enzymes. Pineapple also offers amazing health benefits, such as fighting inflammation, infections, diseases, fat, and many others!
Being mostly water, pineapples are a healthy snack that should be eaten in moderation on any healthy eating plan, anti-inflammatory diet, or low-carb primal diet.
I can’t believe how many similarities there are between the anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting and antioxidant benefits of pineapple and coffee. I’m definitely including both of these in my diet for a healthy life!
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Monique is the fire behind Tiara Tribe, where she shares blogging, home, wellness & money resources with you to help you thrive in all these areas.
A full-time blogger, lifelong learner and nature & animal lover, she spends her days in online adventures and exploring the beautiful scenery in Australia, where she now lives.