Pineapples: The Nutritious Tropical Fruit
Is there any fruit that’s more “tropical” than pineapple? Whether you’re eating them straight, grilling them up, or throwing them into a salad (or a smoothie!), the golden, tropical fruits make you feel like you’re on an island, watching the surf roll in.
What about pineapple nutrition? As you may have guessed, they’re good for you, too. Raw pineapple chunks provide manganese, vitamin C, fiber, and copper. Here’s a complete overview of the nutrition contained in a cup of pineapple chunks.
Pineapple Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup, chunks
Total Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 2 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 22 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 16 g
Protein: 1 g
Vitamin C: 85% DV
Manganese: 76% DV
Folate: 7% DV
Copper: 20% DV
Benefits of Eating Pineapple
Aside from pineapple nutrition, folk medicine has associated the fruit with many potential uses, including the belief that it could ease various conditions such as seasickness or hemorrhoids. Beyond folklore, pineapples have some other potential benefits, beyond their impressive nutrient composition
1. Antioxidant-Like Compounds
Pineapple contains flavonoids and phenolic acids, which may have antioxidant-like qualities. These compounds are believed to potentially help mitigate the stress our bodies can incur from being exposed to free radicals, providing support to overall health.
2. May Aid Digestion
Pineapples are believed to aid in digestion. The fruit contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins.
When are pineapples in season?
Pineapples are delicious, sweet, pine cone-shaped plants grown most often in tropical countries like Thailand, Brazil, the Philippines, and Mexico. In the U.S., they only grow in one state: Hawaii. And, despite their name, pineapples are not related to apples at all. The plants look more like agave or yucca.
You’ll find pineapples year-round in most grocery stores, but their peak season runs from late spring to early fall. Unless you live in Hawaii or one of the countries mentioned above, it’s unlikely that you’ll find any at your local farmers market.
How do I choose a good pineapple?
A pineapple’s crown — the green leaves — should be bright green, and the pineapple should be heavy for its size. A fully ripened pineapple offers a sweet fragrance and will be reasonably firm to the touch. Avoid pineapples with bruises, soft spots, and dry leaves.
How do I store pineapples?
Pineapples can be kept at room temperature for up to five days, but they should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from heat. Store cut pineapple in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, and it should stay fresh for 2-3 days.
How do you cut a pineapple?
To enjoy all of the pineapple nutrition benefits, you could buy pre-cut pineapple in cans or fresh at the store, but cutting your own isn’t hard. In fact, we bet you could do have the whole pineapple prepped in less than 2 minutes.
Getting past the spiky exterior is the first step, and that can be tricky. First, chop off the crown and the base of the pineapple. Then, go around the edges and slice off the exterior. Cut the pineapple into quarters and then slice down the middle of each quartered section to remove the core. From there, slice the pineapple lengthwise and then turn and slice into chunks.
- Pineapple, raw, all varieties fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169124/nutrients
- Physico-chemical properties, antioxidant activity and mineral contents of pineapple genotypes grown in china pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24959679/
- Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12452674/
- Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/