Pineapple is one of the most popular tropical fruits after bananas and is now consumed the world over. As you would expect, like most fruits, it is packed with vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients that make it a highly acceptable addition to any diet and offers many health benefits.
So let’s find out if pineapple is fattening or can it help as a weight loss food.
Nutrients in pineapple can help speed up your metabolism
Pineapples are filled with many important vitamins and minerals, some of which actually help boost metabolism and thereby help in weight loss.
The following are just some of the important micro nutrients contained in pineapples.
1. Rich source of dietary fiber
Pineapple is a good source of digestible dietary fiber, containing 9% of our total daily needs in 165 grams, which is essential for good intestinal and bowel function.
2. Filled with B vitamins
Pineapple is especially high in vitamin B1 or Thiamine (6% of total daily dietary requirements per 100 grams) and vitamin B6 (8% of total daily dietary requirements per 100 grams).
Thiamine is needed by the body for efficient oxygen transportation and increased blood circulation. It also plays a role in helping us digest carbohydrates efficiently.
Vitamin B6 plays a role in many of the body’s metabolic processes and is essential for good health and energy levels. A speedy metabolism definitely helps burn body fat faster.
Vitamins B2 and B3 are also present in significant amounts meeting 2% and 3% of the recommended daily requirements per 100 grams of pineapple respectively.
3. Rich source of vitamin C
Pineapple is a very rich source of vitamin C giving us 60% of our total daily needs in only 100 grams. Not many are aware of this, but Vitamin C plays a major role in helping the body flush out fat.
It has been found that individuals who take adequate vitamin C burn 30% more fat (source) during moderate exercise than people who are deficient.
Vitamin C is also a powerful anti-oxidant and helps clear the body of toxins and other free radicals that are created during the digestion process.
So if you are not a big fan of lemons, eating pineapples is a delicious way to boost your daily Vitamin C levels.
4. Contains energy boosting natural sugars
Pineapple has quite a high sugar content in the form of fructose, sucrose and glucose.
But it is to be noted that unlike refined sugar the ones found in pineapples and other fruits are naturally occurring sugars which do not tax your digestive system. They are easily digested and absorbed by the body.
Also, since fruits are whole foods they contain all the necessary nutrients required to efficiently digest sugars without creating any toxic byproducts that can lead to weight gain.
5. Rich in minerals
Pineapple provides many of the important minerals needed by our body for a wide variety of healthy functions. These include:
- Calcium – 1%
- Copper – 6%
- Iron – 2%
- Magnesium – 3%
- Phosphorus – 1%
- Potassium – 2%
- Zinc – 1%
(percentages are with reference to the recommended daily intake, per 100 grams of pineapple)
6. Rich in manganese
Manganese is important for the body’s energy production and for its powerful anti-oxidant properties which protect the body’s systems in many ways, is found in very high levels in pineapple. A 100 gram serving will give 70% of our recommended daily intake.
Other Health Benefits of Pineapple
In addition to being rich in nutrients, pineapples also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties because of the presence of enzymes.
1. Helps in digesting protein
Pineapple is a rich source of the substance bromelain, a group of enzymes which play an important role in helping us digest and absorb protein. For this reason pineapple is often recommended for the end of a protein heavy meal.
Eating pineapple after a protein rich mean can help in faster digestion and reduce instances of bloating and acid reflux.
2. Has anti-inflammatory properties
Additionally, bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties which are particularly useful in conditions such as sinusitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sore throats and arthritis.
It is suggested that for pineapple’s anti-inflammatory properties to be maximized, it needs to be consumed on its own and between meals to avoid it being utilized by the body for protein digestion instead.
Pineapple has been used for inducing child birth and as a pain reliever.
It is also thought that pineapple can be helpful to asthmatics due to its ability to break down mucous and keep airways free.
Is pineapple fattening?
Pineapple remains open to some debate as to whether or not it is good for weight loss diets.
As a fruit choice it does have a slightly higher sugar content than many other fruits and there is some argument that fructose can spark a chain reaction with the liver increasing the likelihood of weight gain.
However, large amounts of fructose need to be consumed in order for this to be true and the many benefits of fruit, including pineapple, still make it far more healthy than otherwise.
Pineapples are not fattening and are an acceptable part of any weight loss diet as long as they are consumed in moderation and as part of an otherwise balanced and healthy diet.
In-fact, because it contains many nutrients that boost metabolism that include Vitamin C, it can actually help oxidize fat and thereby flush fat out of your body.
The many health benefits of eating pineapple can be gained through eating it fresh, canned, dried or as a juice drink. Pineapple is a very versatile fruit, being used as a savory accompaniment or as a dessert, both of which are equally popular.