Pineapple juice is a popular base for smoothies and cocktails, and a person can even use it to tenderize meat. It contains a rich assortment of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

People have long used pineapple as an ancient home remedy for digestive issues and inflammation.

Researchers have also looked into its potential immune benefits and its ability to reduce healing time.

In this article, we examine some of the benefits that pineapple juice can provide, as well as some of the precautions that people should take. We also offer some tips on adding pineapple juice into the diet.

two glasses of pineapple juice. Share on Pinterest
Pineapple juice may help boost the immune system.

In a 2014 study that took place in the Philippines, researchers examined the effects of pineapple on 98 children of school age.

The children who ate canned pineapple every day developed fewer viral and bacterial infections than those who did not eat any of this fruit.

The participants who did develop an infection in the group that ate pineapple had a shorter recovery time.

While this is a limited study, the results suggest an association between pineapple intake and a more effective immune response to infection.

Bromelain is an enzyme that is present in the pineapple stem and juice. It helps the body break down and digest proteins. In capsule form, bromelain may reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain after surgery, according to a clinical trial from 2018.

However, consuming pineapple and pineapple juice will not provide enough bromelain to heal wounds as a standalone medical treatment.

Standard procedures in the processing of pineapple juice severely decrease the amount of bromelain that it provides.

Despite this, when people consume it as part of a high fiber diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, pineapple juice might promote improved digestion.

In a laboratory study from 2015, researchers exposed cancer cells to fresh pineapple juice. They found that juice from the core, stem, and flesh suppressed the growth of ovarian and colon cancer cells.

However, further studies in humans are necessary before scientists can confirm any connection between pineapple juice and cancer prevention or treatment.

Pineapples also provide a good quantity of beta carotene. In a 2014 study with 893 participants, people who ate more foods containing beta carotene showed signs of a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Pineapple juice contains vitamin C and beta carotene. These antioxidants can help reduce wrinkles, improve overall skin texture, and minimize skin damage from sun and pollution exposure.

Vitamin C also helps with the formation of collagen, which is a common protein in the body that gives the skin its strength and structure.

Read more about the importance of vitamin C here.

The vitamin C content of pineapples may help preserve eye health.

A 2016 study found that diets rich in vitamin C can reduce the risk of cataract progression by one-third. The researchers examined the effects of these diets on 1,027 pairs of female twins in the United Kingdom.

The fluid inside the eye contains vitamin C. A diet containing plenty of vitamin C may help maintain that fluid and prevent the breakdown that leads to cataracts.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one cup of canned, unsweetened pineapple juice weighing 250 grams (g) contains:

One cup of pineapple juice is also an abundant source of several vital vitamins and minerals, including:

  • manganese
  • vitamin C
  • thiamine
  • vitamin B-6
  • folate

Pineapple also contains the following nutrients:

People should pay attention to serving size when pouring out fruit juices. Although these drinks are rich in vitamins and minerals, they also contain high levels of carbohydrates and sugars.

Pineapple juice has a naturally sweet but tart flavor. It is most healthful to choose pineapple juice that does not contain added sugar.

People can make pineapple juice at home to get the most nutritional benefit from it. Processing and storing juice often decreases its nutritional content.

By making juice at home, a person can be sure that it contains no added preservatives or sweeteners and that they are getting the maximum nutritional benefit from the ripe fruit.

Some people may experience tenderness or discomfort in the mouth, lips, or tongue after consuming pineapple juice due to the presence of bromelain.

Exposure to extremely high amounts of bromelain can cause rashes, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Bromelain can also interfere with certain medications, including some drugs in the following classes:

People who take these medications regularly should speak with their doctor about which foods they should exclude from their diet.

The acidity in pineapples and other tropical or citrus fruits can cause an increase in heartburn or reflux symptoms in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Consuming too much potassium can be harmful to individuals whose kidneys are not fully functional. If a person's kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, this mineral can cause a condition called hyperkalemia. This medical problem can be fatal in some people.

Excess potassium can also interfere with beta-blockers, a medication for heart disease and anxiety.

People with a latex allergy are more likely than others to be allergic to pineapple. Latex allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include the following:

rashes or hives

Anyone who experiences these symptoms after consuming pineapple juice should see a doctor.

Q:

Does pineapple juice make smoothies more healthful?

A:

I’d recommend using the whole pineapple fruit instead of pineapple juice in smoothies. Using whole fruits provides more benefits as they include fiber and other nutrients. If using pineapple juice, be sure to use the kind without added sugar.

Miho Hatanaka, RDN, LD Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.