The tropical fruit, Pineapple (Ananas comosus), is known for its succulent and delightful flavor and its wealth of essential nutrients.
This juicy fruit is loaded with vital vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and various beneficial compounds that shield against inflammation and illness.
There’s been a notable correlation between pineapple, its constituent elements, and numerous health benefits. Consequently, it’s natural to ponder about the unique health advantages this sweet fruit may offer to women.
The following discussion delves into the possible health benefits that pineapple can provide for women.
Pineapple may protect against osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by weakened, fragile bones due to reduced bone mass density. It’s an irreversible condition that increases your risk of bone fractures, which can be debilitating and even require surgery.
While any individual can develop it, osteoporosis is four times more common in women than men.
One nutrient 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.
Adequate vitamin C intake 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 a 34% lower incidence of hip fracture.
Just 1 cup (165 grams) of cubed pineapple provides 88% of the daily value for vitamin C. It also provides 5% of the daily value for magnesium, important for maintaining strong bones.
Thus, incorporating pineapple into your diet may benefit bone health and help prevent osteoporosis.
Summary: Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is important for supporting bone health and may reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
Pineapple may provide important nutrients during pregnancy
Despite the claim that eating pineapple can be dangerous during pregnancy, there’s currently no research to prove the notion.
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 to develop your baby’s heart, blood vessels, and skeletal and nervous systems.
One cup (165 grams) of cubed pineapple provides approximately 18% of the daily value for copper during pregnancy.
Pineapple is also a good source of several B vitamins, including:
- vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
- vitamin B9 (folate)
While they each have their individual roles, B vitamins, in general, are key for your baby’s proper growth and development.
Additionally, pineapple contains vitamin C and small amounts of iron, zinc, and calcium, which are important for a healthy pregnancy.
Summary: Pineapple is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including copper and B vitamins, essential for you and your growing baby during pregnancy.
Pineapple may have anti-breast-cancer effects
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 suggested to have anticancer effects, particularly regarding breast cancer.
While test-tube and animal studies show promising effects of bromelain in treating breast cancer, human research 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 benefit significantly.
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.
Suggested read: 8 science-based health benefits of pineapple juice
One 28-day study in mice 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.
Summary: 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.
Potential downsides of pineapple
Pineapple is considered safe for most women.
However, due to its high acidity, eating pineapple may cause increased heartburn or reflux symptoms in individuals with gastroesophageal 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, resulting from 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, you should talk with your healthcare provider about how much pineapple is safe 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 buying pineapple juice, look for 100% juice with no added sugars.
Summary: 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.
Pineapple is a delicious and healthy addition to any diet.
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Eating it may be particularly advantageous for women because its high vitamin C content supports healthy bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Furthermore, pineapple provides important nutrients, such as copper and several B vitamins, 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.