A glass of pineapple juice makes a tasty addition to any breakfast and will provide you with a number of essential nutrients. But it shouldn't be your main beverage, since it is high in calories and sugar and low in fiber. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends eating whole fruit more often than drinking fruit juice.
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Calories and Macronutrients
An 8-ounce glass of unsweetened pineapple juice contains 133 calories, all of which come from the 32.2 grams of carbohydrates it contains. Most of these carbohydrates -- 25 grams -- come from natural sugars, and the juice only contains 0.5 grams out of the recommended 25 grams of fiber per day. Because it doesn't contain much fiber or protein, pineapple juice won't fill you up for very long.
Contains Vitamin C
Each glass of pineapple juice will give you 42 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, which you need for forming collagen. Vitamin C also helps you absorb iron from plant foods and supplements and acts as an antioxidant to limit damage to your cells from harmful free radicals.
Increases Vitamin B-6 Intake
You need vitamin B-6 to promote healthy metabolism, maintain proper immune function, form hemoglobin in red blood cells, create neurotransmitters and regulate the levels of homocysteine, high levels of which could increase your risk for heart disease. An 8-ounce glass of pineapple juice contains 13 percent of the DV for vitamin B-6.
Another nutrient provided by pineapple juice is folate. Each glass provides you with 11 percent of the daily value for this vitamin. Folate helps form DNA, regulate homocysteine levels and lower the risk for neural tube birth defects, making it particularly important for women who are pregnant or might become pregnant.
The main mineral found in pineapple juice is manganese, with 63 percent of the DV in each cup. You need this essential mineral for healing wounds, forming strong bones and a healthy metabolism. Manganese also has antioxidant functions, helping prevent damage to your mitochondria, which are the parts of cells that deal with respiration and producing energy, from free radicals.
A Better Choice
If you crave the taste of pineapple, you'd be better off eating a slice of raw pineapple. A cup of pineapple chunks only contains 83 calories and provides 2.3 grams of fiber, or 9 percent of the DV. It contains even more vitamin C, with 131 percent of the DV, and more manganese, with 77 percent of the DV, than a cup of pineapple juice.