Does Pineapple Juice Help With Swelling

SummaryPineapple juice contains bromelain, a group of enzymes that may help reduce inflammation caused by trauma, injuries, surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis. However, more juice-specific studies are needed.

Pineapple Juice: Are There Health Benefits?

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

  • Vitamin C 50%
  • Iron 6%
  • Vitamin B6 0%
  • Magnesium 0%
  • Calcium 3%
  • Vitamin D 0%
  • Cobalamin 0%
  • Vitamin A 1%

Native to South America, pineapples are now cultivated in warm climates globally. Most of the world’s supply is grown in Thailand.

Pineapple is rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s also the only major dietary source of bromelain, an enzyme that has been used for centuries to treat a range of ailments. Modern research has studied bromelain’s effects and supports several of pineapple’s potential health benefits.

Pineapple juice packs a concentrated amount of these nutrients into a single serving. Because it’s naturally sweet, most pineapple juice contains little to no added sugar. Store-bought pineapple juice often contains added ascorbic acid, which is another name for vitamin C. Pineapples are naturally high in this immune-boosting vitamin, but the added ascorbic acid helps preserve the juice’s flavor and color.

It’s also easy to make pineapple juice at home. Just be sure to use a fully ripened pineapple because it can be toxic when consumed raw.

For hundreds of years, pineapples were used as a symbol to convey wealth and high status, but today they’re found at supermarkets around the world. Bottled pineapple juice is also widely sold in stores and is often available freshly juiced at restaurants and cafes.

Nutrition Information

A 1 cup serving of unsweetened pineapple juice contains:

  • Calories: 133
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 32 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 25 grams

Pineapple juice is a good source of:

Pineapple juice is also a great source of beta-carotene and vitamin A. These antioxidants promote healthy skin, heal wounds, and may reduce premature skin aging.

Potential Health Benefits of Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice has a range of vitamins and minerals that can boost your immunity. It’s high in vitamin C, which can help protect your body against the common cold. It also contains enzymes that have been shown to activate a healthy immune system response.

Research has found other health benefits to drinking pineapple juice:

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Pineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain, which triggers your body’s ability to fight pain and reduce swelling. It’s used as a treatment for inflammation and sports injuries and may be effective in reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Heart Health

Bromelain may also break down blood clots and cholesterol deposits in your arteries, which can support healthy blood flow and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Cold and Allergy Relief

The bromelain in pineapple juice may also thin mucus that causes congestion in the sinuses or chest. Together with its anti-inflammatory properties, pineapple juice may relieve symptoms of the common cold and allergies.

These properties have led researchers to study its ability to treat asthma. While research is ongoing, studies have found a link between bromelain intake and the reduction of airway inflammation, a primary symptom of asthma.

Good Vision

The vitamin C and antioxidant content in pineapple juice may reduce your risk of vision loss. Pineapple juice contains high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin A, all of which reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a condition that causes age-related cataracts and vision problems.

One study also found that pineapple juice reduces the occurrence of eye floaters, which are small shapes or spots that impair your vision.

May Aid Digestion

The enzymes in pineapple juice help break down protein in your gut, which can help reduce constipation, gas, and bloating. Bromelain also has antibacterial properties that can protect your gut from diarrhea-causing bacteria like E.coli and reduce gut inflammation.

More research is needed to confirm these digestive effects since studies have focused on the effects of concentrated bromelain higher than the amount found in pineapple juice.

Potential Risks of Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice’s high nutrient content can cause health problems for people with certain medical conditions.

Talk to your doctor to find out if pineapple juice is a good addition to your diet. Consider the following before drinking pineapple juice:

Allergies

Some people are allergic to pineapple, which can cause a rash, hives, or breathing difficulties. Avoid pineapple juice if you experience these symptoms when eating pineapple.

Stomach Problems

High amounts of vitamin C can cause nausea, diarrhea, or heartburn. Likewise, bromelain can cause diarrhea, excessive menstrual bleeding, or a skin rash if you consume too much.

Pineapple’s acidity may also increase heartburn symptoms in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Toxicity

You should only drink pineapple juice made from ripened pineapple. Unripe pineapple can be toxic to humans and can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting.

Kidney Disease

People with kidney disease should speak to their doctor before drinking pineapple juice to ensure its potassium content is safe for their diet.

Tooth Decay

Pineapple juice’s sugar and acid content can damage tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities.

Show Sources

Antioxidants (Basel): “Nutrients for Prevention of Macular Degeneration and Eye-Related Diseases.”

Biomedical Reports: “Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications.”

Biotechnology Research and Innovation: “Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review.”

Cell Immunology: “Bromelain exerts anti-inflammatory effects in an ovalbumin-induced murine model of allergic airway disease.”

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS: “Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology, and medical use.”

Dermato-Endocrinology: “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Pineapple Juice.”

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies.”

International Urology and Nephrology: “Potassium metabolism in patients with chronic kidney disease.”

ISHS: “THE PINEAPPLE INDUSTRY IN THAILAND”

Journal of American Science: “Pharmacologic vitreolysis of vitreous floaters by 3-month pineapple supplement in Taiwan: A pilot study.”

Mayo Clinic: “Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?”

Mount Sinai Hospital: “Bromelain.”

Nature Genetics: “The bracteatus pineapple genome and domestication of clonally propagated crops.”

Nutrition & Food Science: “Vitamin C content during processing and storage of pineapple.”

PLOS ONE: “Obesity and Dental Decay: Interference on the Role of Dietary Sugar”

Purdue University: “Pineapples.”

University of Nebraska: “Allergenic Foods and their Allergens.”

How Helpful Is Drinking Pineapple Juice For Wisdom Tooth Surgery Pain?

It has the potential to be beneficial, but there are other, better options.

Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, shopping, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Women’s Health, Self, Prevention, Forbes, Daily Beast, and more.

Updated on December 8, 2022
Medically reviewed by

Brian T. Luong, DMD, is an orthodontist at Anaheim Hills Orthodontics and Santa Ana Orthodontics and Chief Dental Officer at Become Aligners.

Wisdom teeth removal surgery is a procedure that plenty of people go through. The American Dental Association (ADA) lists a slew of reasons you may need to remove your wisdom teeth, including tooth pain, an infection, damage to your neighboring teeth, cysts, and more. One of the most interesting methods of prepping for recovery from wisdom tooth surgery involves a 2021 TikTok hack that had people drinking pineapple juice before surgery—in hopes that it will reduce pain and inflammation post-op.

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Keeping in mind that the surgery requires anesthesia and that recovery can take a few days, it’s more than understandable to want to do what you can to set yourself up for a quick and easy recovery.

Does Pineapple Juice Soothe the Pain From Wisdom Teeth Surgery? Here's What Experts Say , Shot of a young woman suffering from toothache while sitting in the dentist’s chair

Wisdom Tooth Surgery

Wisdom tooth surgery—or wisdom tooth extraction—is when your dentist or oral surgeon removes your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are also known as your third molars. They are the final tooth on both the upper and lower jaws, Your wisdom tooth may break through your gums between ages 17 and 25. However, some people do not have these teeth break all the way through their gumline.

The goal of the surgery is to help prevent complications—tooth pain or infections—that can happen from leaving those teeth in your mouth.

You’ll be put under sedation for the procedure. An oral surgeon will then make an incision in your gums to expose the tooth and bone, remove the tooth and bone’s connective tissue, remove the tooth, and stitch the wound closed.

“Dentists frequently have to remove bone and even cut the tooth,” Mark Wolff, DDS, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, told Health. “That’s traumatic, to say the least.”

Afterward, you may have some swelling, bleeding, discomfort, and bruising for a few days, Dr. Wolff said, but everyone reacts differently to the surgery.

Pineapple Juice and Reducing Swelling

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is an anti-inflammatory. Based on that, people claim that drinking a lot of the stuff should help reduce swelling and pain after surgery.

An Advances in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery study published in July 2021 compared the use of 500 mg of bromelain (twice per day) to 50 mg of diclofenac sodium (three times per day) in treating swelling and pain for the five days after the participants’ wisdom tooth surgeries.

The researchers of the July 2021 study found that those who used bromelain initially had higher pain scores, swelling, and trismus—also known as lockjaw. Still, there was no statistically significant difference between both remedies for the effects of the surgeries.

There is a caveat to consider: “Studies looking at bromelain for reduction of pain and swelling after wisdom tooth extraction [showed bromelain has] been in supplement form and not from food sources,” Jessica Cording, RD, author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety, told Health.

In other words, these people didn’t actually have pineapple juice: They had bromelain extract. Additionally, most research has focused on the effects of bromelain after wisdom tooth surgery, not before it.

An October 2021 study did find that fresh pineapple juice before and after facial surgery procedures “significantly reduced post-surgical pain, swelling, and ecchymosis [skin discoloration caused by bleeding below the skin]”—but wisdom tooth extraction was not noted as one of the surgeries.

Still, it is difficult to compare things like pain and swelling after a person has wisdom tooth surgery, given how differently everyone reacts to it, Dr. Wolff said.

“There is some data that bromelain can act as a weak anti-inflammatory agent,” Jamie Alan, PharmD, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University, told Health. “However, take this in context. Pineapple juice is really acidic. This is going to actually set off an inflammatory cascade in your mouth.”

This means the juice will not make your mouth feel great before you go into surgery; instead, it may likely cause your mouth to hurt more.

And, if you happen to try this hack after your surgery, you could be in a world of pain, with the acid in the pineapple reacting to the wounds in your mouth, Alan pointed out.

Risks

While drinking pineapple juice is mainly harmless, a few things can go south here. One is that TikTokkers had recommended you drink 64 ounces of pineapple juice before your wisdom tooth surgery—that’s a lot.

“I’d be more concerned about the glycemic impact—blood glucose impact—of drinking large amounts of fruit juice being detrimental to the healing process,” Cording said. Your body needs to process a lot of sugar in the juice quickly, and you could face serious energy spikes and crashes afterward, making you feel terrible.

“There’s also the possibility of digestive discomfort,” Cording added. Stomach aches, heartburn, and diarrhea are all possibilities.

Finally, if you decide to drink pineapple juice, you could be putting your oral health at risk too. Both sugar and acid can do damage to your teeth, causing cavities and weakened enamel (the hard part of your teeth). That’s why it would be important to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after drinking pineapple juice or similar drinks—no matter how much.

Set Yourself Up for a Successful Recovery

Dr. Wolff said one of the best things you can do is take an NSAID like Motrin or Aleve to help reduce swelling after surgery. “That does fairly well for pain, too,” Dr. Wolff said. “If you can reduce the swelling, you will likely reduce the pain.”

Putting ice on the side of your face can also help with the swelling and pain, Dr. Wolff said. You’d want to use ice for the first day or so then start using a warm compress later.

Saltwater or hydrogen peroxide gargles can also help with swelling, Alan added, noting that you shouldn’t swallow these. You might consider rinsing your mouth a few days after the surgery or as directed by the provider who completed the surgery.

A Quick Review

Getting your wisdom teeth removed is a common procedure that can leave you with pain, discomfort, or swelling. Some individuals have suggested that drinking pineapple juice before wisdom tooth surgery can reduce swelling.

However, there’s no concrete data that confirms this remedy will be helpful for anyone and everyone. So, those who desire to try it should know that it comes with risks—and that there are other better ways to recover from a wisdom tooth procedure.

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Does Pineapple Juice Help With Swelling

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8 Emerging Benefits of Pineapple Juice

It’s made from pineapple fruit, which is native to South America and crops are grown in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, India, China, and the Philippines.

Many cultures use the fruit and its juices as a traditional folk remedy to treat or prevent various ailments ( 1 ).

Modern research has linked pineapple juice and its compounds to health benefits, such as improved digestion and heart health, reduced inflammation, and perhaps even some protection against cancer. However, not all evidence has been conclusive.

Here are 8 science-based benefits of pineapple juice, based on the current research.

Does Pineapple Juice Help With Swelling

1. Rich in nutrients

Pineapple juice provides a concentrated dose of various nutrients. One cup (250 g) contains around ( 2 , 3 ):

Pineapple juice is particularly rich in manganese, copper, and vitamins B6 and C. These nutrients play an important role in bone health, immunity, wound healing, energy production, and tissue synthesis ( 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 ).

It also contains trace amounts of iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, choline, and vitamin K, as well as various B vitamins ( 2 , 3 ).

Summary

Pineapple juice is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. It’s especially packed with manganese, copper, vitamin B6, and vitamin C — all of which play important roles in the proper functioning of your body.

2. Contains additional beneficial compounds

In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, pineapple juice is a good source of antioxidants, which are beneficial plant compounds that help keep your body healthy ( 8 ).

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Antioxidants help neutralize unstable compounds known as free radicals, which can build up in your body due to factors like pollution, stress, or an unhealthy diet and cause cell damage.

Pineapple juice also contains bromelain, a group of enzymes linked to health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, improved digestion, and stronger immunity ( 10 ).

Summary

Pineapple juice is rich in antioxidants, which help protect your body from damage and disease. It also contains bromelain, a group of enzymes that may reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and boost immunity.

3. May suppress inflammation

Pineapple juice may help reduce inflammation, which is believed to be the root cause of many chronic diseases ( 10 ).

This may largely be due to its bromelain content. Some research suggests that this compound may be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — but with fewer side effects ( 1 ).

In Europe, bromelain is approved for use to reduce inflammation caused by trauma or surgery, as well as to treat surgical wounds or deep burns ( 11 ).

In addition, there’s evidence that ingesting bromelain before surgery may help reduce the level of inflammation and pain caused by surgery ( 1 ).

Some studies further suggest that bromelain may help reduce pain and inflammation caused by a sports injury, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis of the knee ( 1 ).

That said, research has yet to test the direct effects of pineapple juice on inflammation.

Therefore, it’s unclear whether the bromelain intakes achieved through drinking small to moderate amounts of pineapple juice would provide the same anti-inflammatory benefits as those observed in these studies.

Summary

Pineapple juice contains bromelain, a group of enzymes that may help reduce inflammation caused by trauma, injuries, surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis. However, more juice-specific studies are needed.

4. May boost your immunity

Pineapple juice may contribute to a stronger immune system.

Test-tube studies suggest that bromelain, a mixture of enzymes naturally found in pineapple juice, may activate the immune system ( 1 , 10 ).

Bromelain may also improve recovery from infections, such as pneumonia, sinusitis, and bronchitis, especially when used in combination with antibiotics ( 1 , 12 ).

However, most of these studies are dated, and none have examined the immunity-boosting effects of pineapple juice in humans. Therefore, more research is needed to confirm these results.

Summary

Some research suggests that pineapple juice may contribute to a stronger immune system. It may also help increase the effectiveness of antibiotics. However, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.

5. May help your digestion

The enzymes in pineapple juice function as proteases. Proteases help break down protein into smaller subunits, such as amino acids and small peptides, which can then be more easily absorbed in your gut ( 10 ).

Bromelain, a group of enzymes in pineapple juice, may particularly help improve digestion in people whose pancreas cannot make enough digestive enzymes — a medical condition known as pancreatic insufficiency ( 10 ).

Animal research suggests that bromelain may also help protect your gut from harmful, diarrhea-causing bacteria, such as E. coli and V. cholera ( 1 , 10 ).

Moreover, according to some test-tube research, bromelain may help reduce gut inflammation in people with inflammatory bowel disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis ( 10 ).

That said, most studies have investigated the effect of concentrated doses of bromelain, rather than that of pineapple juice, and very few were conducted in humans. Therefore, more research is needed.

Summary

The bromelain in pineapple juice may aid digestion, guard against harmful, diarrhea-causing bacteria, and reduce inflammation in people with inflammatory bowel disorders. However, more research is needed.

6. May promote heart health

The bromelain naturally found in pineapple juice may also benefit your heart.

Test-tube and animal studies suggest that bromelain may help reduce high blood pressure, prevent the formation of blood clots, and minimize the severity of angina pectoris and transient ischemic attacks — two health conditions caused by heart disease ( 1 , 13 ).

However, the number of studies is limited, and none are specific to pineapple juice. Therefore, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.

Summary

Some research links the bromelain naturally found in pineapple juice to markers of improved heart health. However, more pineapple-juice-specific studies are needed.

7. May help fight certain types of cancer

Pineapple juice may have potential cancer-fighting effects. Again, this is likely in large part due to its bromelain content.

Some studies suggest that bromelain may help prevent the formation of tumors, reduce their size, or even cause the death of cancerous cells ( 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 ).

However, these were test-tube studies using concentrated amounts of bromelain that were much higher than those you’d ingest from drinking a glass of pineapple juice. This makes it difficult to project their results to humans.

Therefore, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.

Summary

Test-tube studies suggest that concentrated amounts of bromelain may help protect against cancer. However, it’s currently unclear whether pineapple juice offers similar benefits in humans.

8. May reduce asthma symptoms

Pineapple juice may also be effective in alleviating symptoms associated with asthma. In an animal study, researchers found that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory effects may be beneficial to people living with asthma ( 19 ).

Additionally, pineapple and its fruit contains vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce bronchoconstriction—a symptom of allergic asthma. And in cases of moderate to severe asthma attacks exacerbated by a cold, vitamin C was beneficial ( 2 , 3 , 20 ).

Summary

Pineapple contains bromelain and vitamin C, and they may be beneficial in reducing asthma symptoms.

Possible precautions

Pineapple juice is generally considered safe for most people.

That said, bromelain, a group of enzymes naturally found in pineapple juice, may enhance the absorption of certain drugs, especially antibiotics and blood thinners ( 1 ).

As such, if you are taking medications, consult your healthcare provider or registered dietitian to make sure it’s safe to consume pineapple juice.

This beverage’s acidity may also trigger heartburn or reflux in some people. Specifically, those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may want to avoid consuming large amounts of this beverage ( 21 ).

Despite its potential benefits, it’s important to remember that pineapple juice remains low in fiber yet high in sugar.

This means it’s unlikely to fill you up as much as eating the same quantity of raw pineapple would. Therefore, it may promote weight gain in some people ( 22 ).

What’s more, while drinking small amounts of juice has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, drinking more than 5 ounces (150 mL) per day may have the opposite effect ( 23 ).

Therefore, it may be best to stick to the dietary guidelines of limiting juice consumption to half of your daily fruit intake. Furthermore, when you have juice, stick to 100% pure varieties free of added sugars ( 24 ).

Summary

Pineapple juice is low in fiber yet rich in sugar, and drinking too much may lead to weight gain or disease. This beverage may also interact with medications and trigger heartburn or reflux in some people.

The bottom line

Pineapple juice contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds that may protect you from disease.

Studies link this beverage to improved digestion, heart health, and immunity. Pineapple juice or its compounds may also help reduce inflammation and perhaps even offer some protection against certain types of cancer.

However, human studies are limited, and it’s unclear whether the effects observed in test tubes or animals can be achieved by small daily intakes of pineapple juice.

Moreover, this beverage remains low in fiber and rich in sugar, so drinking large quantities each day is not recommended.

Last medically reviewed on March 5, 2021

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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