8 Emerging Benefits of Pineapple Juice
Written by Alina Petre, MS, RD (NL) — Medically reviewed by Sade Meeks, MS, RD, Nutrition — Updated on March 5, 2021
Pineapple juice is a popular tropical beverage.
It’s made from pineapple fruit, which is native to South America and crops are grown in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, India, China, and the Philippines.
Many cultures use the fruit and its juices as a traditional folk remedy to treat or prevent various ailments (1Trusted Source).
It also contains trace amounts of iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, choline, and vitamin K, as well as various B vitamins (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
Pineapple juice is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. It’s especially packed with manganese, copper, vitamin B6, and vitamin C — all of which play important roles in the proper functioning of your body.
2. Contains additional beneficial compounds
In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, pineapple juice is a good source of antioxidants, which are beneficial plant compounds that help keep your body healthy (8Trusted Source).
Antioxidants help neutralize unstable compounds known as free radicals, which can build up in your body due to factors like pollution, stress, or an unhealthy diet and cause cell damage.
Pineapple juice also contains bromelain, a group of enzymes linked to health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, improved digestion, and stronger immunity (10Trusted Source).
Pineapple juice is rich in antioxidants, which help protect your body from damage and disease. It also contains bromelain, a group of enzymes that may reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and boost immunity.
3. May suppress inflammation
Pineapple juice may help reduce inflammation, which is believed to be the root cause of many chronic diseases (10Trusted Source).
This may largely be due to its bromelain content. Some research suggests that this compound may be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — but with fewer side effects (1Trusted Source).
In Europe, bromelain is approved for use to reduce inflammation caused by trauma or surgery, as well as to treat surgical wounds or deep burns (11Trusted Source).
In addition, there’s evidence that ingesting bromelain before surgery may help reduce the level of inflammation and pain caused by surgery (1Trusted Source).
Some studies further suggest that bromelain may help reduce pain and inflammation caused by a sports injury, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis of the knee (1Trusted Source).
That said, research has yet to test the direct effects of pineapple juice on inflammation.
Therefore, it’s unclear whether the bromelain intakes achieved through drinking small to moderate amounts of pineapple juice would provide the same anti-inflammatory benefits as those observed in these studies.
Pineapple juice contains bromelain, a group of enzymes that may help reduce inflammation caused by trauma, injuries, surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis. However, more juice-specific studies are needed.
4. May boost your immunity
Pineapple juice may contribute to a stronger immune system.
Test-tube studies suggest that bromelain, a mixture of enzymes naturally found in pineapple juice, may activate the immune system (1Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Bromelain may also improve recovery from infections, such as pneumonia, sinusitis, and bronchitis, especially when used in combination with antibiotics (1Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
However, most of these studies are dated, and none have examined the immunity-boosting effects of pineapple juice in humans. Therefore, more research is needed to confirm these results.
Some research suggests that pineapple juice may contribute to a stronger immune system. It may also help increase the effectiveness of antibiotics. However, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
5. May help your digestion
The enzymes in pineapple juice function as proteases. Proteases help break down protein into smaller subunits, such as amino acids and small peptides, which can then be more easily absorbed in your gut (10Trusted Source).
Bromelain, a group of enzymes in pineapple juice, may particularly help improve digestion in people whose pancreas cannot make enough digestive enzymes — a medical condition known as pancreatic insufficiency (10Trusted Source).
Animal research suggests that bromelain may also help protect your gut from harmful, diarrhea-causing bacteria, such as E. coli and V. cholera(1Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Moreover, according to some test-tube research, bromelain may help reduce gut inflammation in people with inflammatory bowel disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (10Trusted Source).
That said, most studies have investigated the effect of concentrated doses of bromelain, rather than that of pineapple juice, and very few were conducted in humans. Therefore, more research is needed.
The bromelain in pineapple juice may aid digestion, guard against harmful, diarrhea-causing bacteria, and reduce inflammation in people with inflammatory bowel disorders. However, more research is needed.
6. May promote heart health
The bromelain naturally found in pineapple juice may also benefit your heart.
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that bromelain may help reduce high blood pressure, prevent the formation of blood clots, and minimize the severity of angina pectoris and transient ischemic attacks — two health conditions caused by heart disease (1Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
However, the number of studies is limited, and none are specific to pineapple juice. Therefore, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Some research links the bromelain naturally found in pineapple juice to markers of improved heart health. However, more pineapple-juice-specific studies are needed.
7. May help fight certain types of cancer
Pineapple juice may have potential cancer-fighting effects. Again, this is likely in large part due to its bromelain content.
Some studies suggest that bromelain may help prevent the formation of tumors, reduce their size, or even cause the death of cancerous cells (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
However, these were test-tube studies using concentrated amounts of bromelain that were much higher than those you’d ingest from drinking a glass of pineapple juice. This makes it difficult to project their results to humans.
Therefore, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Test-tube studies suggest that concentrated amounts of bromelain may help protect against cancer. However, it’s currently unclear whether pineapple juice offers similar benefits in humans.
8. May reduce asthma symptoms
Pineapple juice may also be effective in alleviating symptoms associated with asthma. In an animal study, researchers found that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory effects may be beneficial to people living with asthma (19Trusted Source).
Additionally, pineapple and its fruit contains vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce bronchoconstriction—a symptom of allergic asthma. And in cases of moderate to severe asthma attacks exacerbated by a cold, vitamin C was beneficial (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Pineapple contains bromelain and vitamin C, and they may be beneficial in reducing asthma symptoms.
Pineapple juice is generally considered safe for most people.
That said, bromelain, a group of enzymes naturally found in pineapple juice, may enhance the absorption of certain drugs, especially antibiotics and blood thinners (1Trusted Source).
As such, if you are taking medications, consult your healthcare provider or registered dietitian to make sure it’s safe to consume pineapple juice.
This beverage’s acidity may also trigger heartburn or reflux in some people. Specifically, those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may want to avoid consuming large amounts of this beverage (21Trusted Source).
Despite its potential benefits, it’s important to remember that pineapple juice remains low in fiber yet high in sugar.
This means it’s unlikely to fill you up as much as eating the same quantity of raw pineapple would. Therefore, it may promote weight gain in some people (22Trusted Source).
What’s more, while drinking small amounts of juice has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, drinking more than 5 ounces (150 mL) per day may have the opposite effect (23Trusted Source).
Therefore, it may be best to stick to the dietary guidelines of limiting juice consumption to half of your daily fruit intake. Furthermore, when you have juice, stick to 100% pure varieties free of added sugars (24Trusted Source).
Pineapple juice is low in fiber yet rich in sugar, and drinking too much may lead to weight gain or disease. This beverage may also interact with medications and trigger heartburn or reflux in some people.
The bottom line
Pineapple juice contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds that may protect you from disease.
Studies link this beverage to improved digestion, heart health, and immunity. Pineapple juice or its compounds may also help reduce inflammation and perhaps even offer some protection against certain types of cancer.
However, human studies are limited, and it’s unclear whether the effects observed in test tubes or animals can be achieved by small daily intakes of pineapple juice.
Moreover, this beverage remains low in fiber and rich in sugar, so drinking large quantities each day is not recommended.
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