Whether it is a cocktail, salad, cake, dessert, or puddings, pineapple is a tropical fruit that never disappoints us. But ever wondered what happens if you consume too much of it? Shockingly, there are serious risks that it can cause to your body.
Eating too much pineapple (more than 1.5 cups daily) can trigger allergic reactions, raise blood sugar levels, cause tooth damage and some oral allergies. It also contains bromelain, which, when consumed more than 12 g per day, can increase the absorption rate of antibiotics and risk of bleeding.
But this shouldn’t stop you from eating pineapple as it also has got some very beneficial health benefits. Now, let’s get started with the detailed pros and cons of eating tropical fruit.
Side Effects of Eating Too Much Pineapple
As per Dr. Alan Khadavi, MD, eating excessive amounts of pineapple can cause allergies such as anaphylaxis, oral allergies and mucosal irritation. These allergies happen due to the meat-tenderizing properties of the fruit. They cause it to trigger allergic reactions in the body.
Even though, it may not seem alarming at first and most reactions settle within a few hours. But in the case of anaphylaxis, you can also go into a state of shock. So, consult a doctor immediately if that happens. Most of the time, a person experiences tenderness or swelling on the lips and a tingling sensation on the throat.
|Type of allergy||Why does it happen?||Symptom||Precautions|
|Mucosal Irritation||Acidic nature of the fruit and due to bromelain enzyme.||Burning & soreness in oral mucosa and tongue.||Cook pineapple before eating, pair with dairy products or sprinkle salt.|
|Oral Allergy Syndrome||The immune system confuses the protein in fruit with birch tree pollen.||Irritation or itching.||Heat it before eating.|
|Anaphylaxis||Bromelain causes IgE mast cell degranulation.||Swelling, vomiting, cough and diarrhea.||Do an IgE lab testing or fresh food skin testing with pineapple|
Rise in Blood Sugar Levels
Eating pineapple can also raise blood sugar levels as it is high in natural sugars. Actually, most fruits contain carbohydrates and these can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
The impact of fruits on your blood sugar level can be understood by glycemic index (GI) scores. If the fruit has a lower glycemic index, then your blood sugar levels remain stable. But in the case of pineapple, the glycemic index is medium and this can affect the levels.
According to Medical News Today, raw pineapple has an index score of 66. A cup of pineapple (165 g) contains 16 g of sugar. American Heart Association recommends 36 g sugar consumption for men and 25 g for women per day. Considering you will intake sugar from other food also, your sugar blood levels will definitely rise.
Some of the symptoms that you may experience are headaches, increased thirst and frequent urination. The best way to control your sugar levels is by eating the fruit in moderation and pairing it with low glycemic index score food, proteins or healthy fats.
Reactions From Bromelain
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple. It can cause reactions and increase the number of certain antibiotics absorbed by the body. Pineapple should never be consumed with blood-thinners as the risk of bleeding increases. This is the particular reason why doctors strictly advise against eating the fruit before or after surgery.
Some of the symptoms that one can experience due to the reactions caused by bromelain are diarrhea, indigestion and nausea. It can also cause excessive menstrual bleeding.
To reduce the reactions, you can soak pineapple in salted water for at least an hour before eating. Actually, salt inactivates bromelain and neutralizes the sourness of oxalic acid. Grilling and cooking can also help break down the enzyme.
The highly acidic nature of the pineapple can cause tooth damage and results in desensitization of the teeth. It softens the enamel and ultimately decays the teeth.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is by drinking pineapple juice instead of eating it. You should always drink after finishing the juice and use a straw for drinking it as it avoids direct contact with your teeth.
Two main symptoms which you may experience after eating the tropical fruit are tooth pain and sensitivity.
Interference With Drugs
Pineapple can also interfere with medicines or drugs. You should never eat fresh pineapple with antibiotics like amoxicillin and tetracycline as they can increase the side effects of the medications.
You may experience chills, fever, dizziness and chest pain when you eat the fruit with your medicines.
Health Benefits of Eating Pineapple
You must have decided that you would avoid including pineapple in your diet but wait, the fruit has got some amazing health benefits.
- Pineapple has a lot of antioxidants like phenolics and flavonoids. These help to prevent or fight chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.
- It also has a high source of Vitamin C. This is very beneficial for a healthy heart and fighting the formation of free radicals, which can cause cancer.
- It contains a high amount of enzyme bromelain, which breaks down proteins into their building blocks. This helps in relieving asthma and ensures good digestion.
- One cup of pineapple contains nearly 2.5 mg of manganese which is very good for bone health, metabolism and regulates blood sugar levels.
- It also has a good amount of thiamin (Vitamin B-1) that helps the body generate energy from nutrients.
The nutritional breakdown of 1 cup (165 g) pineapple is mentioned below:
|Total Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||19.5 g|
|Vitamin C||28 mg|
Note: The above data has been referenced from a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
How Much Of A Pineapple Should You Eat Per Day?
U.S. Department recommends eating 2 cups of fruits per day for women aged 19 to 30 and men aged above 19, whereas for women aged above 31, 1.5 cups are recommended. In the case of pineapple, the serving should be no more than 1.5 cups per day. Serving can also vary depending on whether you are allergic to the fruit or not.
Diabetic people should intake only 1 cup as it contains 16 grams of sugar. It’s better to avoid eating it if you’re allergic or diabetic.
As the old saying goes, everything in excess is bad. So, you should definitely eat every fruit but not in excess. But if you’re allergic or have any other problem, then you should first consult a doctor. Got any queries? Please post in the comment section below.