If you love pineapples, you're in good company. Pineapples are one of the world's top ten most popular fruits, with nearly 30 million tons being produced each year.1 Originating in South America and named by European explorers who believed the tropical fruit looked like pine cones, pineapples offer various health benefits and may even help support weight loss.2
9 Reasons to Include Pineapple in Your Diet
It’s well known that diets rich in fruits and vegetables can improve your overall health. Dietary guidelines across the globe recommend multiple servings of fresh fruit and veggies each day, and increased fruit and vegetable consumption has been linked to lower rates of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.3 Out of all the fresh produce you can add to your diet, pineapple, in particular, has impressive health and weight loss benefits.
Below are some of the top health benefits of pineapple:
- High in Fiber: One cup of pineapple provides almost 10% of your daily dietary fiber needs.4
- Excellent Source of Antioxidants Like Vitamin C: According to the USDA, one cup of pineapple has 100% of the recommended requirements for Vitamin C.4
- Contains Essential Nutrients: Pineapples have essential minerals like manganese and zinc.
- Good Source of Water and Electrolytes: Pineapples have a high water content and are a good source of electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, so they can help keep you hydrated.4
- Supports Healthy Digestion: Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain that can aid digestion, prevent bloating, and inhibit the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria.5
- Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Bacterial: Bromelain decreases inflammatory compounds in the body and prevents the growth of many disease-causing bacteria.5
- Boosts Immunity: Bromelain supports your immune system by activating important immune cells called T cells.5
- Reduce Joint Pain and Inflammation: Bromelain has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and improve symptoms of pain in patients with osteoarthritis.5
- Satisfies Cravings for Sugar: Pineapple has fewer calories than other snacks and desserts, and it’s also fat-free, so it makes a great way to satisfy that sweet tooth when you’re watching your calorie intake.
<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Also Read: </strong><a href="pineapple-glycemic-index">Pineapple Glycemic Index: Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits</a>.</p>
Why Is Pineapple Good for Weight Loss?
If managing your weight is one of your health goals, pineapple can be a helpful food to incorporate into your routine. Pineapple is a low-calorie food, with one cup coming in at only 83 calories. One cup of pineapple contains 22 grams of carbohydrates, and 16 grams of sugar, but it also has a good fiber content of contains 2.3 grams, which will help slow the absorption and help prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking.
Pineapple is a naturally fat-free food, making it a great option when craving a sweet treat. Another reason that pineapples can support weight loss is their high phytonutrient content. Pineapples contain phytonutrients like tannins and flavonoids, which have been found to prevent weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.6
How To Eat a Pineapple When Dieting
Pineapples can be prepared and enjoyed in countless ways. Here are some options for including more of this tropical fruit in your diet:
- Fresh pineapple chunks or slices
- Add pineapple to smoothies for natural sweetness
- Include it in salads for a tropical taste
- Use pineapple as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal
- Freeze, then blend with lime for a fresh sorbet
Is Pineapple Good for You?
Pineapple is a healthy option and can help support weight loss when it’s included as a part of a balanced diet. That being said, tropical fruits like pineapples are higher in sugar and carbs compared to some other fruits like berries. For this reason, people with diabetes may want to limit their pineapple intake or make sure to eat pineapple along with foods that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats to slow down the absorption of sugar.
As with all fruits, eating it in its natural, unprocessed form is best. Avoid pineapple juice because the high sugar content and lack of fiber will likely increase your blood sugar. For people who don’t have diabetes, pineapple can be a healthy addition to your diet as long as you’re mindful of portion sizes and avoid overeating.
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<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Learn More: </strong><a href="best-fruits-for-weight-loss">Best Fruits for Weight Loss That Will Keep You Healthy</a>.</p>
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