Ripe pineapples should be yellow at the base, have no brown spots and should smell sweet at the stem end. They provide many vitamins and minerals; they are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, thiamin, manganese, potassium and dietary fiber.
The pineapple is a member of the Bromeliaceae family, which is named after the enzyme bromelain. The fruit is formed from many flowers that can be identified by the spiny "eyes" on the outside rind. Each flower produces a fruit, and as the fruits grow, they fuse together around the stem.
One average pineapple weighs about 905g. It has 452 calories and 122.17g of carbohydrates, which represents 41 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) of carbohydrates based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day. It's very low in fat (1 g) and supplies 4.8g of protein (10 percent DV). One pineapple also packs a lot of dietary fiber, providing 12.7g, or 51 percent of the daily value for fiber.
Pineapples are one of the best sources of vitamin C; one pineapple has 433mg (721 percent DV). Pineapples are a good source of vitamin B6 (1mg or 51 percent DV), folate (163mcg or 41 percent DV) and thiamin (0.7mg or 48 percent DV). They're also good sources of niacin (4.6mg or 23 percent DV), riboflavin (0.3mg or 18 percent DV), pantothenic acid (1.9mg or 19 percent DV), vitamin A (516 IUs or 10 percent DV) and vitamin K (6.3mcg or 8 percent DV).
One whole pineapple provides 977mg of potassium (28 percent DV), 118mg of calcium (12 percent DV), 2.53mg of iron (14 percent DV), 1mg of zinc (1 percent DV), 109mg of magnesium (27 percent DV) and 72mg of phosphorus (7 percent DV). Pineapples supply 1mg of copper, which doesn't sound like a lot but actually represents 50 percent of the recommended daily value. They have a very low amount of sodium (9mg).
Pineapples are nearly at the top of the list of manganese sources. One pineapple supplies 433mg, or 721 percent of the daily value of manganese. Manganese is an essential mineral that serves many important functions in the body. It's needed for metabolism, bone development and proper wound healing. The recommended average intake is 2.3mg for men and 1. mg for women. Information at the Linus Pauling Micronutrient Center recommends that you do not exceed more than 2mg a day because too much manganese can be toxic. The upper limit for daily intake of manganese is 11mg.
Pineapples are rich in bromelain, an enzyme that reduces inflammation. It also breaks down protein, making pineapple juice a good ingredient in marinades to tenderize and flavor meats.