- Jan 20, 2018 -
Pineapples are tropical fruit that are rich in vitamins, enzymes and antioxidents. They may help boost the immune system, build strong bones and aid indigestion. Also, despite their sweetness, pineapples are low in calories.
Pineapples are members of the bromeliad family, and one of the few bromeliads to produce edible fruit, according to the biology department at Union County College. The fruit is actually made of many individual berries that fuse together around a central core. Each pineapple scale is an individual berry.
Pineapples’ nutritional benefits are as fascinating as their anatomy. “Pineapples contain high amounts of vitamin C and manganese,” said San Diego-based nutritionist Laura Flores. These tropical treats are also a good way to get important dietary fiber and bromelain (an enzyme).
“As well as having high amounts of manganese, which is important for antioxidant defenses, pineapples also contain high amounts of thiamin, a B vitamin that is involved in energy production,” Flores said.
One cup of fresh pineapple chunks has 82 calories, 21.7 grams of carbohydrates, 2.3 grams of fiber and 16.3 grams of sugar. One cup of drained, canned pineapple chunks has 109 calories, 28.2 grams of carbs, 2.4 grams of fiber and 25.8 grams of sugar. The calories, carbs and sugar in canned pineapple are higher than in fresh pineapple because the canned fruit is typically packed in fruit juice.
Per cup, canned pineapple has slightly more calcium, magnesium and potassium than fresh pineapple. The phosphorus and sodium levels of the two variations of pineapple are identical, and the iron and zinc levels are virtually identical. Pineapple's mineral values, in general, don't significantly help you work toward your daily recommended amounts. One cup of fresh or canned pineapple, for example, offers 21 or 29 milligrams of calcium, respectively, of the 1,000 milligrams adults need each day.
Fresh and canned pineapple have significantly different levels of vitamin C. A cup of fresh pineapple has 78.9 milligrams of the vitamin, while the same amount of canned pineapple has 17 milligrams. A serving of fresh pineapple provides a significant amount of your recommended daily intake of the vitamin; women should consume 75 milligrams and men should aim for 90 milligrams. Fresh pineapple is also higher in folate and niacin, with 30 micrograms and 0.8 milligram, respectively, compared to 9 micrograms and 0.5 milligram in canned pineapple. Women should get 14 and men 16 milligrams of niacin per day. Adults should get 400 micrograms of folate daily.
Making Your Choice
When trying to decide whether to eat fresh or canned pineapple, consider how each type of the fruit impacts your personal health choices. If you strive to eat a low-sugar or low-carb diet, fresh pineapple is a better choice. Although most people get enough vitamin C in their diets, fresh pineapple is a healthier choice if your diet doesn't include many vitamin C-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.