Is Pineapple Good For Weight Loss? (10 Little Known Benefits)

Written by Nathan | Updated on 13 November 2021

By now, most of us understand that fruits and veggies promote weight loss, but is a diet based around pineapples healthy, or is it just another online fad?This article reveals if the pineapple diet is even safe and 10 little known benefits as to why pineapple is great for losing weight…

1. Helps You Recover From Workouts Faster

Pineapple provides the body with several essential nutrients and enzymes which help the digestive system break down carbs and proteins more efficiently. Keep reading to find out more about the nutrient makeup of pineapples. 

One of the reasons pineapple is good for workout recovery is its high water content, which gives the body an extra kick of hydration. 

The natural sugars and hydration provided by a cup of pineapple make it the perfect snack after a long gym session. It can also help prevent inflammation of connective tissues, joints, and muscles to reduce soreness after a workout. 

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients when following a workout regime or  weight loss program. Without adequate protein, the body may burn away muscle rather than fat. 

Pineapple may have less than one gram of protein per cup, but it has a high quantity of an enzyme called Bromelain, which is believed to help the body digest protein faster. Bromelain has been found to be beneficial in healing sports injuries.[3]

2. Helps With the Digestion  

Pineapple has around 13 grams of fiber per whole fruit, and eating enough fiber helps improve the health of the digestive tract because it’s a natural laxative.[1]

According to the FDA men should try to eat at least 30 grams of fiber every day and women at least 20 grams. This means that one whole pineapple is around half of the recommended daily fiber for many adults.

When the digestive system can’t metabolize energy efficiently, the body tries to store fat for energy. [2] This is why proper digestion is key to losing weight.

3. Helps With Inflammation

Inflammation is the root of many ailments, and it can even make the pounds stay on for longer when trying to lose them [4]. Pineapple has anti-inflammatory benefits that aid weight loss. 

Bromelain is the key nutrient in pineapple that helps with inflammation the most. This enzyme is a natural pain reliever that reduces swelling [5]. This is beneficial both for gut health and recovering from workouts faster. 

When the digestive system is inflamed, it may not be able to break down nutrients as well as it should. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet helps the body metabolize nutrients efficiently for maximum weight loss results.

4. Lose Fat Faster

We have already talked about how pineapple helps to aid with digestion and prevents inflammation, but if we are going to answer the question “is pineapple good for weight loss” we need to also talk about how it helps burn off fat faster. 

Studies have found that eating pineapple daily helps the body gain energy from fat cells. The lipolytic and proteolytic effects of the Bromelain enzyme found in pineapple target both belly fat and overall body fat. 

5. Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential for regulating how the body metabolizes energy from nutrients [6]. Pineapple is rich in the antioxidants vitamin A and beta-carotene which have anti-aging benefits for overall wellness. Bromelain is an enzyme in pineapple that also acts as an antioxidant. [7] 

Antioxidants do not target fat in the body directly, but they do help to make sure that everything is metabolizing efficiently. This improves the effectiveness of diet and exercise. Antioxidants in pineapple may also help to prevent chronic illnesses such as diabetes that cause weight gain. [8]

6. Suppresses Appetite

One of the benefits that pineapple is known for in the fitness and weight loss community is its ability to suppress the appetite. How does pineapple suppress appetite naturally? Well, it is loaded with nutrients as well as hydration that help the body feel satisfied off of less calories. 

Sometimes people feel hungry even when they have eaten enough calories because they are actually dehydrated. [9]. In addition to drinking enough water, eating hydrating fruits such as pineapple helps get in some extra H2O. Adequate hydration helps you feel full longer.

Most people try to avoid carbs and sugar when they are on a diet, but the body needs these nutrients as building blocks to create energy. Not eating enough healthy carbs and natural sugars can lead to increased junk food cravings. 

Cravings for the unhealthy carbohydrates and sugar found in processed foods can be suppressed with a serving of pineapple which has 20 grams of carbs and 16 grams of sugar.

7. Curbs Sugar Cravings

Replacing sugary junk foods with a cup of refreshing pineapple will help to manage sugar cravings when on a diet. Pineapple has a lot of natural sugars, which give it a sweet and fruity taste. 

Too much of anything is not a good thing, so people should be mindful of the sugar and carb intake from pineapple. [10] Pineapple is not suitable for a keto diet because of its sugar content, but it’s surely better than refined sugar. When selecting a can of pineapple, look for pineapple that has no added sugar or, better yet, buy a whole pineapple instead.

8. Bromelain “The Fitness Enzyme”

According to the NCCIH, Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that helps the body break down nutrients. It is especially known for its ability to improve the metabolism of protein, which is very important for fitness.

Something else that it does, which is extremely important for losing fat, is that it encourages the body to burn energy from fat cells. These benefits are why Bromelain has come to be known as “The Fitness Enzyme”.[11]

  • Lipolysis is how Bromelain turns fat cells into energy for the body. 
  • Proteolysis is how Bromelain breaks protein down into amino acids.

9. Improves Metabolism

When the body converts food into energy, this process is called metabolism. Sometimes people have a hard time shedding extra pounds because their metabolism is not working as efficiently as it should. [12]

Pineapple aids metabolism due to its fiber and enzyme contents. When the body is digesting nutrients the way it should, the metabolism works more efficiently. An increased metabolism causes the body to burn calories at a higher rate. 

10. Vitamins & Minerals

One of the best ways to prevent food cravings, or binges, is by satisfying the body’s need for essential nutrients. Here are a dozen of the nutrients found in pineapple that are beneficial for weight loss and overall wellness.

  • Magnesium – anti-inflammatory, helps with blood pressure regulation, prevents diabetes
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1) – helps convert carbs into energy
  • Folate – helps produce healthy blood cells
  • Potassium – improves the function of the muscles and nerves for less pain after exercise
  • Vitamin B6 – increases metabolism by helping the body’s cells function optimally 
  • Iron – boosts energy, aids digestion, regulates body temperature
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) – an essential vitamin for breaking nutrients down into energy for the body
  • Manganese – regulates hormones, metabolizes fat, benefits the connective tissues of the body
  • Niacin (vitamin B3) – helps with arthritis, supports healthy brain function, helps metabolize fat and protein into energy
  • Copper – works together with iron to produce healthy red blood cells, healthy for the blood vessels and nerves, may prevent cardiovascular disease [13]
  • Beta-carotene – improves skin health and appearance, beneficial to cognitive function, good for the eyes and the lungs, and may prevent cancer [14]
  • Good carbohydrates – gives the body energy and helps to prevent cravings

Pineapple Does More Than Help You Lose Weight

Is pineapple good for weight loss? Absolutely. So far, we have discussed how the fruit helps to burn belly fat, boost the metabolism, and improve digestion which is all beneficial when trying to lose weight naturally.

The little-known benefits of pineapple go beyond just weight loss. Here are a dozen reasons why eating pineapple could be beneficial for the body in other ways.

  1. Osteoporosis and Arthritis – The enzyme Bromelain could have some powerful benefits when it comes to preventing and fighting osteoporosis and arthritis.[15] According to Wikipedia, osteoporosis is a degenerative bone condition characterized by low bone mass.
  2. Aches & Pains – Because the nutrients in pineapple help to fight inflammation, it can prevent aches and pains from inflamed joints, muscles, and tendons. 
  3. Asthma – In addition to inflammation-fighting Bromelain, pineapple is also full of a healthy dose of vitamin C.[16] These factors may help treat asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation of the respiratory system. Some people say that drinking pineapple juice can also help treat a cough.
  4. Alleviates Diarrhea & Constipation – The fiber in pineapple can help to prevent irregular bowel movements because it is a natural laxative. Because other nutrients in pineapple aid digestion as well, it is a good food to eat when treating diarrhea and constipation.[17]
  5. Helps With Acne – Beta-carotene is the compound that gives pineapple its vibrant yellow hue. This compound has many benefits for the health of the skin, such as preventing skin cancer and reducing acne. The anti-inflammatory benefits of pineapple also help to soothe irritated skin. 
  6. Organ Function – Many of the nutrients found in pineapple are essential for healthy organ function. It reduces inflammation in the gut, helps with the production of healthy red blood cells for heart health, and has benefits for the liver as well. The bromelain enzyme found in pineapple is beneficial for preventing kidney disease.
  7. Oral Health – Bromelain has a ton of benefits, including helping to reduce plaque on the surface of teeth. It can help prevent inflammation of the gums and has antimicrobial benefits. Studies have shown that dental patients benefit from having more Bromelain from pineapple in their diet. [18]
  8. Cancer Prevention – Pineapple has not yet been proven to prevent or treat cancer, but there have been some very promising studies on whether it could. [19] The fruit contains many antioxidants which prevent free radicals from forming. [20] Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, in some cases causing cancer cells to form.
  9. Boosts Immunity – Pineapple and its juice are great sources of vitamin C for the cold and flu season. Boiled pineapple skin is a folk cure for the common cold that many use. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits of pineapple help to prevent and treat viral infections.[21] Bromelain in particular, is one antioxidant found in pineapple which has been found to inhibit infection from viruses.[22]
  10. Bone Health – The manganese found in pineapple has many benefits for bone health. It works together with calcium to create strong bones. According to the NIH, too much manganese on the other hand, can cause neurological issues.[23] Luckily the amount of manganese in pineapple is trace enough that it would take eating multiple whole pineapples at once to reach that amount.
  11. Anti-Aging Benefits – The antioxidant-rich fruit can help to prevent aging by preventing free radicals from forming and damaging cells. It also improves the health of the skin to prevent visible signs of aging.[24]
  12. Prevent Macular Degeneration – Macular degeneration is an age-related disease that damages eyesight. Pineapple may be a powerful tool in preventing macular degeneration, according to some studies.[25] The beta-carotene compound found in pineapple is known to have benefits for eye health.

Is the Pineapple Diet Good for Weight Loss?

A diet called the “Pineapple Diet”, invented in the 1970’s, is gaining popularity again thanks to social media. Because it is low-calorie, packed with hydration and nutrients, and has a delicious taste, it’s a great substitute for junk food.

The pineapple diet is not intended to be used for long-term weight loss, but for those who feel their body could use a natural detox, it is an option. The diet calls for eating a large amount of pineapple every day in addition to other healthy foods.

Eating lots of pineapple daily hydrates the body and gives it ample fiber to flush out the digestive tract. The pineapple diet mostly makes water weight fall off, so it is important to maintain a healthy diet when the pineapple cleanses is complete so that the weight does not come back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic of “Is Pineapple Good For Weight Loss?”.

Can You Eat Too Much Pineapple?

Pineapple is acidic and has lots of vitamin C, so eating too much may make the mouth raw and irritated. The same could happen to the inside of the digestive tract if too much is consumed, with the high acidity causing heartburn, nausea, or even vomiting.

Unripe pineapple is toxic to humans and can cause a severe bellyache.

Bromelain is one of the most beneficial nutrients for weight loss in pineapples, but it can cause health problems if consumed in excess. One or two servings of pineapple seem to have the maximum benefits.

Is Pineapple High in Sugar?

Pineapple has about 16 grams of sugar per serving. This is considered a fruit that is high in sugar, which is why it is healthiest to consume it in moderation. People should be mindful of how the sugar content in pineapple could affect their blood sugar.

How Does Eating Pineapple Burn Belly Fat?

The nutrients found in pineapple, in particular Bromelain, are powerful for targeting belly fat. Bromelain helps the body convert fat cells into energy so that they burn off faster. Another way that pineapple may flatten the belly area is by promoting healthy digestion to prevent bloating.

How to Know When It’s Ripe or Good to Eat?

Pineapple is inedible to humans before it is ripe. A ripe pineapple will be slightly softer than an unripe one. It also will have a more intense yellow color on the outside.

Smelling the base of the pineapple is one of the best ways to tell if it is ripe. If it smells like it is sweet and ripe, then it probably is.

What Fruits Burns the Most Fat?

According to the FDA, apples, tomatoes, guava, strawberries, and kiwi are the five best fruits to burn fat besides pineapple. While the FDA doesn’t mention bananas, they’re also great for burning fat. 

Conclusion: Burn Belly Fat With or Without Pineapples

Pineapple boosts metabolism, helps with workout recovery, and aids digestion. All of these factors make it beneficial for burning fat, and it also has many nutrients to support the healthy function of all the body’s systems.

The downside to pineapple is that it has a higher sugar content than other fruits. Some people may not want extra sugar and carbs from consuming pineapples, in which case eating berries is an alternative to consider.

All it takes is one serving of pineapple a day to experience all of the benefits. The answer to the question “Is Pineapple Good For Weight Loss?” is yes; pineapples have multiple little-known nutritional benefits which contribute to healthy weight loss.

Resources

[1] NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison. August 2010. Rough Up Your Diet. NIH News in Health. 9 November 2021. Web. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2010/08/rough-up-your-diet

[2] Nam, Su Young. 29 November 2016. Obesity-Related Digestive Diseases and Their Pathophysiology. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5417774/

[3] Aiyegbusi, Ayoola I, et al. 23 January 2013. A comparative study of the effects of bromelain and fresh pineapple juice on the early phase of healing in acute crush achilles tendon injury. National Library of Medicine. 9 November 2021. Web. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21254908/

[4] Pahwa, Roma, et al. 28 September 2021. Chronic Inflammation. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/

[5] Secor Jr, Eric R, et al. 20 January 2009. Bromelain treatment reduces CD25 expression on activated CD4+ T cells in vitro. US National Library of Medicine. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2662479/

[6] Takami, Maki, et al. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. 8 August 2018. Effect of dietary antioxidant-rich foods combined with aerobic training on energy metabolism in healthy young men. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348409/

[7] Saptarini, Nyi M., et al. Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences. 30 December 2019. Antioxidant Activity of Crude Bromelain of Pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr) Crown from Subang District, Indonesia. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7020843/

[8] Al-Goblan, Abdullah S, et al. Dovepress. 4 December 2014. Mechanism linking diabetes mellitus and obesity. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259868/

[9] Thornton, Simon N. Frontiers in Nutrition. 10 June 2016. Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/

[10] Merino, Beatriz. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute Dietary Journal. 29 December 2019. Intestinal Fructose and Glucose Metabolism in Health and Disease. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019254/

[11] Dave, Sandeep, et al. PLoS One. 24 January 2012. Inhibition of Adipogenesis and Induction of Apoptosis and Lipolysis by Stem Bromelain in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265525/

[12] Tareen, Samar H.K., et al. Scientific Reports. 3 February 2020. Stratifying cellular metabolism during weight loss: an interplay of metabolism, metabolic flexibility and inflammation. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997359/

[13] Seenak, Porrnthanate, et al. BioMed Central. 7 August 2021. Pineapple consumption reduced cardiac oxidative stress and inflammation in high cholesterol diet-fed rats. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8028712/

[14] Chan, Qian-Hui. 16 August 2021. World Journal of Clinical Cases. Beta-carotene and its protective effect on gastric cancer. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8362528/

[15] Shruti (BE Biotech. & PGD Clinical Research). 26 October 2021. Pineapple for Osteoarthritis. Healthyy. 8 November 2021. Web. https://healthyy.net/arthritis/pineapple-for-osteoarthritis

[16] Secor, Eric R. Jr., et al. HHS Public Access. 6 December 2005. Bromelain exerts anti-inflammatory effects in an ovalbumin-induced murine model of allergic airway disease. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2576519/

[17] Pavan, Rajendra, et al. 10 December 2012. Biotechnology Research International. Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3529416/

[18] Tadikonda, Abhinav, et al. 1 May 2017. Journal of Experimental and Chemical Dentistry. Anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis effect of Papain, Bromelain, Miswak and Neem containing dentifrice: A randomized controlled trial. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429476/

[19] Gadi, Madihah, et al. 16 April 2016. In Vitro Antiproliferative Activity of Fresh Pineapple Juices on Ovarian and Colon Cancer Cell Lines. SpringerLink. 8 November 2021. Web. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10989-015-9462-z

[20] Chen, Qian-Hui, et al. 16 August 2021. World Journal of Clinical Cases. Beta-carotene and its protective effect on gastric cancer. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8362528/

[21] Tripathy, SSoubhagya, et al. 21 May 2021. Frontiers in Nutrition. Encapsulated Food Products as a Strategy to Strengthen Immunity Against COVID-19. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8175800/

[22] Sagar, Satish, et al. 17 January 2021. Journal of Clinical and Translational Medicine. Bromelain inhibits SARS‐CoV‐2 infection via targeting ACE‐2, TMPRSS2, and spike protein. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811777/

[23] Rolle-McFarland, Danelle, et al. 26 June 2018. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Development of a Cumulative Exposure Index (CEI) for Manganese and Comparison with Bone Manganese and Other Biomarkers of Manganese Exposure. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068959/

[24]Schagen, Silke K., et al. 1 July 2012. Dermato Endocrinology. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/

[25] Ikonne, Eleazar, et al. 10 July 2020. Heliyon. The potential health benefits of dietary natural plant products in age related eye diseases. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 9 November 2021. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7355812/

About the Author

Nathan

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.