Pineapple is a juicy, delicious, tropical fruit. It’s packed with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other helpful compounds that can protect against inflammation and disease. While pineapple and its compounds have been linked to several health benefits, you may wonder whether this sweet fruit offers any advantages for women.
Osteoporosis is a disease that’s characterized by weakened, fragile bones due to a reduction in bone mass density. It’s an irreversible condition that increases your risk of bone fractures, which can be quite debilitating and even require surgery.
While any individual can develop it, osteoporosis is four times more common in women than in men. One nutrient that’s important for bone health is vitamin C, which has been shown to stimulate the production of bone-forming cells and protect bone cells from damage.
In fact, adequate intake of vitamin C has been linked to higher bone mass density and a reduced risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture. One review of 13 studies found that individuals who ate vitamin-C-rich foods more often had a significantly lower risk of developing osteoporosis and 34% lower incidence of hip fracture.
Just 1 cup (165 grams) of cubed pineapple provides 88% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C. It also provides 5% of the DV for magnesium, which is also important for maintaining strong bones.
Thus, incorporating pineapple into your diet may benefit bone health and help prevent osteoporosis.
Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is important for supporting bone health and may reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
Despite the claim that eating pineapple can be dangerous during pregnancy, there’s currently no research to prove the notion. In fact, pineapple can be a very nutritious addition to your diet while pregnant.
While needed in small amounts, copper is a mineral that’s essential for red blood cell formation. During pregnancy, your copper requirements increase to 1 mg per day to support the increase in blood flow that occurs during pregnancy.
Copper is also needed for the development of your baby’s heart, blood vessels, and skeletal and nervous systems. One cup (165 grams) of cubed pineapple provides approximately 18% of the DV for copper during pregnancy.
Pineapple is also a good source of several B vitamins, including:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
While they each have their individual roles, vitamins B in general are key for the proper growth and development of your baby.
Additionally, pineapple contains vitamin C and small amounts of iron, zinc, and calcium , all of which are important for a healthy pregnancy.
Pineapple is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including copper and B vitamins that are essential for both you and your growing baby during pregnancy.
Anti Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women, accounting for approximately 25% of all cancer diagnoses in women. Pineapple contains small amounts of bromelain, an enzyme that’s been suggested to have anticancer effects, particularly in regards to breast cancer.
While test-tube and animal studies show promising effects of bromelain in treating breast cancer, research in humans is needed to confirm these properties.
Furthermore, as these studies use concentrated amounts of bromelain, the amount found in pineapple is likely too small to have a significant benefit. Early research has also suggested a link between breast cancer progression and pineapple vinegar, which is high in antioxidants and made by fermenting pineapple juice.
Studies found that daily treatment with pineapple vinegar significantly reduced the progression of breast cancer tumors. However, this effect has not yet been confirmed in humans.
Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple, and pineapple vinegar have been linked to the slowed progression of breast cancer in animal and test-tube studies. However, research in humans is needed to confirm these effects.
Pineapple is considered safe for most women. However, due to its high acidity, eating pineapple may cause an increase in heartburn or reflux symptoms in individuals with gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Additionally, if you experience any allergic symptoms after eating pineapple, it’s important to call your healthcare provider. Potential signs of allergies include:
- itching or swelling of your mouth
- difficulty breathing
- hives or rashes on your skin
- congested or runny nose
If you have a latex allergy, you may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to pineapple. This is referred to as latex-fruit syndrome and the result of pineapple and latex having similar proteins.
The bromelain found in pineapple has also been shown to increase the effect of certain medications, including:
- blood thinners
As a result, if you take one of these medications, it’s recommended to talk with your healthcare provider about how much pineapple is safe for you to consume. Finally, many commercial pineapple juices contain large amounts of added sugars.
Diets high in sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. As a result, frequently drinking sweetened pineapple juice could harm your health. If you’re buying pineapple juice, look for 100% juice with no added sugars.
The high acidity in pineapple may worsen symptoms in people with GERD. Moreover, some people may be allergic to pineapple, and the bromelain in pineapple may interact with certain medications. Plus, pineapple juice may be high in added sugars.
The Bottom Line
Pineapple is a delicious and healthy addition to any diet. Eating it may be particularly advantageous for women because its high vitamin C content plays an important role in supporting healthy bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Furthermore, pineapple provides nutrients, such as copper and several vitamins B that are important during pregnancy.
If you want to incorporate this tropical fruit into your diet, try adding frozen pineapple to smoothies or grilling fresh pineapple rings for a healthy dessert.