Health Benefits Pineapple - Nutrition Facts and Uses for Fresh Pineapple

The health benefits of Pineapple are clear to see in the lists of nutrients and nutrition facts.

Fresh pineapple is treasure trove of health promoting nutrients, minerals and vitamins and it is so versatile in its uses. It is best eaten fresh but the preserved fruit and juice is also very healthy.

The fruit tastes sweet when ripe, but is relatively low in calories with only 50 calories per 100 g of fresh pineapple ( about the same as 100g of apple or orange), contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.

Pineapple has a low GI and is a rich source of vitamin C and of insoluble and soluble dietary fiber such as pectin. Pineapple and pineapple juice have many outstanding health benefits in comparison with other fruits such as apples and oranges.

This article highlights these benefits and provide and table of nutrition facts and showcases the many uses from pineapple flesh and juice. Pineapple is consumed as a fresh fruit in desserts, and it is used in a wide variety of main meal dishes, and its juice is also very popular. Pineapple can be used as a diet food and as part of a whole foods diet.

History of Pineapple Trees and Biology of the Fruit

The pineapple plant is native to Paraguay in South America. The plant was carried by the local Indians up and into Central America, and eventually to the West Indies. From there is was brought to Spain and distributed throughout Europe. The pineapple belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae.

Pineapple fruits have a white or yellow flesh and a prickly outer skin that features diamond shaped pattern. Pineapple is a multiple fruit form the combination of hundreds of flowers that develop in a spiral form around an axis. Each flower produces a single individual fruits, which combine together to produce one large pineapple fruit.

Juicy flesh ranges from yellow to creamy white and has a rich mixture of tart and sweet tastes depending on ripeness. Unlike other fruits that have start reserves that are converted to sugar as the picked fruit ripens, all the sugar come from the stem of the plant.

Consequently the pineapple has to be harvested at peak ripeness, though the green color turns to yellow and the flesh sweetens as the picked pineapple ripens.

Pineapples are available fresh, canned or dried and pineapple juice is widely available.

Health Benefits and Nutrients in Pineapple Fruit

Nutrients in Pineapple Compared with Apple and Orange

NUTRIENT 100 g 100 g 100 g
Calories 50 52 47
Total Fat 0.12 g 0.17 g 0.12 g
Saturated Fat 0.01 g 0.03 g 0.01g
Sodium 1 mg 1 mg 0 mg
Carbohydrate 13.1 g 13.8 g 11.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g 2.4 g 2.4 g
Sugar 9.9 g 10.4 g 9.4 g
Protein 0.5 g 0.3 g 0.9 g
Percent Allowance Each Day
Vitamin A 1% 1% 5%
Calcium 1% 1% 4%
Vitamin C 80% 8% 89%
Iron 2% 1% 1%

Pineapple Nutrition Data

Serving 100 gNutrientPercent of Recommended Daily Allowance
Energy 50 Cal 2.50%
Carbohydrates 13.5 g 10%
Protein 0.5 g 1%
Total Fat 0.1 g <1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g 4%
Folates 18 ug 4.50%
Niacin 0.5 mg 4%
Pyridoxine 0.1 mg 9%
Riboflavin 0.02 mg 1.50%
Thiamin 0.08 mg 6.50%
Vitamin A 58 IU 2%
Vitamin C 47.8 mg 80%
Vitamin E 0.02 mg <1%
Vitamin K 0.07 ug 0.50%
Sodium 1 mg 0%
Potassium 109 mg 2.50%
Calcium 13 mg 1.30%
Copper 0.1 mg 12%
Iron 0.3 mg 3.50%
Magnesium 12 mg 3%
Manganese 0.9 mg 40%
Phosphorus 8 mg 1%
Selenium 0.1 ug <1%
Zinc 0.1 mg 1%
Carotene-ß 35 ug
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 mcg

Beneficial Nutrients in Pineapple Juice

Many Uses for Pineapples

How to Buy Pineapple

Pineapple is available fresh, dried, canned and crystallized. When choosing fresh pineapple, select one that feels heavy for its size, is yellow, not brown, is firm and has a healthy plume of fresh green leaves. The rind can be dark green, yellow, or reddish yellow ( depending on ripeness and sweetness preferences) . However avoid fruit that shows any bruising or extensive brown spots. A ripe pineapple will have a district, rather strong fragrant scent. Avoid green fruit that has little or no scent. Also any pineapples that have a withered appearance or those with leaves in the top that have turned brown.

How to Store Pineapple and Pineapple Juice

Whole fresh pineapple (un-sliced) can be kept at room temperature for several days, depending on ripeness, but it should be used as soon as possible. Whole pineapples can placed in a perforated plastic bags and kept in the refrigerator for about 4 - 5 days. Fresh pineapple can be peeled, sliced or cubed and then kept in airtight containers for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Sliced or cubed pineapple pieces can be frozen in airtight plastic bags or containers bathed in its own juice. Frozen pineapple does lose some of its flavor, unless it is frozen in sugar syrup.

Fresh ripe pineapple is a delight to use in many ways for a range of savory meals and dessert dishes
Fresh ripe pineapple is a delight to use in many ways for a range of savory meals and dessert dishes
        Source: Public Domain CC0
Grab a fresh pineapple in season and enjoy its delights. Fresh pineapple is very healthy and versatile
Grab a fresh pineapple in season and enjoy its delights. Fresh pineapple is very healthy and versatile.
        Source: Public Domain CC0
Pineapple is very popular in savory dishes such as pizzas and curries as well as sauces, relishes and salsas
Pineapple is very popular in savory dishes, cakes, flans, pies and a wide range of baked items including pizzas and curries. Pineapple can also be used for making sauces, relishes, salads and salsas.
        Source: Janine from Mililani, Hawaii [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Pineapple is great for salads, breakfast muesli, fruit salads, baked treats and many other desserts
Fresh pineapple is great for breakfast muesli, salads, fruit salad dishes, baked treats and many other desserts
        Source: Public Domain CC0
Adding pineapple boosts the nutrients in the dish
Adding pineapple boosts the nutrients in the dish and imparts a unique sweet and sour taste
        Source: Mark Pellegrinib [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commonss
Pineapple juice is widely used for marinades and for many dessert, pies and flans
Pineapple juice is widely used for marinades and for many dessert, pies and flans
        Source: Alpha [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons