Have you ever heard of the alkaline diet? According to its proponents, alkaline fruits, vegetables and other foods with a high pH support health and well-being, while acidic foods promote the onset of chronic diseases. Based on its pH value, pineapple juice is acidic and should be consumed sparingly.
Pineapple juice has a pH value of 3.5, which is considered acidic. Current research, though, doesn't support the health claims behind alkaline diets, so there's no reason to stop eating this fruit.
Alkaline Diet: Healthy or Hype?
Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what healthy eating looks like. There are hundreds of diets and eating patterns, and each claims to be the best.
The alkaline diet, for example, is based on the idea that maintaining appropriate pH levels in the body is crucial for optimal health and disease prevention. Its advocates say that a balanced meal plan should be largely based on alkaline and neutral foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Meat, eggs, dairy and other acid-forming foods should be limited or avoided altogether.
According to a September 2014 review published in BioMed Research International, maintaining a normal physiological pH level supports overall health. In normal conditions, your blood pH should be 7.4. Even the slightest imbalance may lead to acidosis or alkalosis. These conditions affect every system in your body and can be fatal if left unaddressed.
Considering these facts, it seems to make sense to switch to an alkaline diet. Health professionals have a different opinion, though. The American Institute for Cancer Research states that the body's pH balance is regulated by the kidneys, lungs and other vital organs. Food acidity or alkalinity has no impact on your risk of cancer.
Furthermore, UC San Diego Health reports that alkaline diets are not nutritionally sound. While it's true that fruit and vegetable consumption supports health and well-being, this has nothing to do with the actual pH in food. An alkaline diet may actually lead to nutrient deficiencies in the long run.
Contrary to popular belief, this eating pattern doesn't protect against cancer, fractures or osteoporosis. In fact, it may affect bone health due to its low content of protein and calcium, warns the Royal Osteoporosis Society.
Is Pineapple Juice Alkaline?
Perhaps you want to try an alkaline diet anyway — just to see how your body reacts or to improve your eating habits. In this case, it makes sense to choose alkaline fruits and veggies while limiting acid-forming foods.
Beware, though, that not all fruits are alkaline. According to Clemson University, pineapple has a pH value between 3.2 and 4.0. Foods and beverages with pH values below 7 are acidic, reports Oklahoma State University. Those with a pH value of 7 are classified as neutral. A pH value above 7 is alkaline.
These numbers indicate that pineapple is acid-forming. The same goes for its juice, which has a pH value of 3.5, according to Oklahoma State University. Acidic beverages with pH levels lower than 4.0 may cause dental erosion and tooth loss.
Other fruits and fruit juices, by comparison, have the following pH values:
- Red Delicious apples: 3.9
- Apple juice: 3.4 to 4.0
- Bananas: 4.5 to 5.2
- Figs: 4.6
- Fresh lemons: 2.2 to 2.4
- Canned lemon juice: 2.3
- Limes: 1.8 to 2.0
- Oranges: 3.1 to 4.1
- Orange juice: 3.6 to 4.3
- Strawberries: 3.0 to 3.5
- Cranberry juice: 2.3 to 2.5
- Grapes: 3.4 to 4.5
- Mangoes: 3.9 to 4.6
- Honeydew melon: 6.3 to 6.7
- Prune juice: 3.7
- Grapefruit juice: 3.0
As you see, most fruits have an acidic pH, so it's easy to understand why the alkaline diet doesn't really make sense. Most plans consist of about 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acidic foods, which limits your choices. Health organizations worldwide emphasize the benefits of fruit consumption. An alkaline diet is pretty low in fruits, which may result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Pineapple Juice — A Nutrition Powerhouse
From a nutritional standpoint, there's no reason to eliminate pineapple juice from your diet. As long as you consume it in moderation, it's unlikely to harm your teeth or cause you to pack on pounds. This beverage is chock-full of vitamins, antioxidants and bioactive compounds that promote overall health. A single serving (1 cup) boasts nearly 30 percent of the recommended vitamin C intake.
Pineapple juice provides 133 calories and 32 grams of carbs, including 25 grams of sugars per serving. It's a good source of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc and manganese. Calcium, for example, plays a key role in bone health, hormone production, nerve transmission and vasodilatation. Magnesium contributes to over 300 reactions in the body, including DNA and protein synthesis, glycemic control and muscle function.
Pineapple is also the only dietary source of bromelain, an enzyme that supports protein digestion, fights inflammation and may protect against cancer. This naturally occurring compound may be just as potent as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to a January 2017 review published by Aga Khan University.
- BioMed Research International: "Importance of pH Homeostasis in Metabolic Health and Diseases: Crucial Role of Membrane Proton Transport"
- American Association for Clinical Chemistry: "Acidosis and Alkalosis"
- American Institute for Cancer Research: "Alkaline Diets"
- UC San Diego Health: "pHear pHactor: Debunking the Alkaline Diet"
- Royal Osteoporosis Society: "The Alkaline Diet"
- Clemson University: "pH Values of Common Foods and Ingredients"
- Oklahoma State University: "The Importance of Food pH in Commercial Canning Operations"
- American Dental Association: "The pH of Beverages in the United States"
- USDA: "Why Is It Important to Eat Fruit?"
- USDA: "Nutrition Facts for Pineapple Juice Canned or Bottled Unsweetened Without Added Ascorbic Acid"
- Clinical Nutrition Research: "The Role of Calcium in Human Aging"
- NIH: "Magnesium"
- NCBI: "Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review"
- Aga Khan University: "Therapeutic Uses of Pineapple-Extracted Bromelain in Surgical Care - a Review"
- Joslin Diabetes Center: "How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels?"
- USDA: "Nutrition Facts for Pineapple"