The Health And Weight Loss Benefits Of Pineapple
Pineapple is a delicious and sweet fruit that contains Vitamin C in ample quantities that will not only enrich your body, but also provide your immune system all the fight it needs to wade off nasty diseases like flu, cold, cough, etc. Also, pineapple is rich in antioxidants.
Pineapple is also a fantastic fruit for weight loss. ‘the natural weight loss food’ as it is popularly code-named, pineapple contains zero fat and contains very little calories – making it a ‘low energy density fruit.’ This means that pineapple is juicy and sweet while containing only very few calories. For instance, depending on the size, two slices of juicy and succulent pineapple contains around 80 calories and is rich in essential minerals and vitamins.
Pineapple also ranks as the fifth fruit with the highest water content – containing around 87% of water, with only melons, grapefruits and strawberries boasting of more. Fruits that contain a generous amount of water can aid weight loss in two ways; by increasing the total body water intake and by filling up the stomach faster, which should translate in less appetite to eat and ultimately lesser calorie intake.
Once you throw fibre into the mix – to literally keep things moving smoothly – combined with the already water-filled pineapple, what you have is the ultimate weight loss fruit.
Also, ongoing studies on bromelain – an enzyme found in pineapple – have been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is also said to enhance digestion which is essential to weight loss. Furthermore, bromelain is also alleged to improve skin elasticity and increase muscle strength. Although not backed by any substantial scientific evidence, some studies have suggested that pineapple can indeed help to prevent or reduce cellulite.
How Pineapple Aids Weight Loss
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, helps to prevent weight gain by reducing inflammation which can make leptin – the weight growth hormone ineffective.
Pineapples contain ample amounts of minerals, dietary fibre, vitamins and phytonutrients. There are around 70 – 80 calories in one cup of pineapple, and since pineapples are quite filling, your appetite will be suppressed for an extended period.
Pineapple aids digestion. Pineapple contains numerous phytonutrients and enzymes which helps to cleanse the colon and aid digestion. This will ultimately lead to reduced bloating and weight loss.
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples also enhances the absorption of nutrients, suppresses appetite and slows down bowel movement.
Pineapple contains vitamin B1 which can help you to stay active and energetic throughout the day. Vitamin B1 is a cofactor to the enzymatic process necessary for the production of energy. You tend to accumulate lesser amount of toxins and your metabolism rate increases when you stay active. This can also encourage weight loss.
If you feel the urge to munch on a snack or feed your appetite, simply have a few slices of pineapple, as it is guaranteed to fill you up quickly due to its high fibre content. This will keep the hunger pangs away for a while. Similarly, nutritionists opine that it is better to take pineapple without other food. This is mainly because pineapple contains an abundant amount of an enzyme known as bromelain. Bromelain is said to aid your digestive process, in addition to its anti-inflammatory benefits. It is best to take pineapple alone so as not to miss out on the anti-inflammatory benefits of bromelain.
Pineapple is also rich in a variety of minerals such as thiamine, manganese and copper. These minerals are rich in antioxidants which helps to fight against free radicals. Also, manganese also has bone strengthening properties.
Due to pineapple’s high-water content, it is also said to aid weight loss. Foods that contain a high-water content will usually fill you up faster, thus suppressing your appetite to eat more.
Another golden reason why pineapple is a great weight loss companion is that it follows the number one weight loss rule, which is eating less and curbing your appetite.
How to choose a ripe pineapple
Too many a time you are faced with the terrible situation of buying a pineapple only to slice it open and realise that there is next to nothing left to eat. However, this shouldn’t stop you from missing out on the benefits of this excellent fruit. But, you must first learn to identify and choose delicious and ripe pineapple. Looks can be deceiving; this saying holds true for pineapples too. The colour of pineapple has nothing to do with how ripe or sweet it is. Pineapples exist in various shapes and sizes, regardless of whether it’s ripe or unripe.
Instead, allow your nose to do the seeing. Ripe pineapple always emanates a strong aroma from its base. Again, look out for pineapples that are heavy and dense, this way, you are sure that it contains a lot of pulp. Remember, unless you want it to rot, do not let pineapple ripe when you take it home.
Exciting ways to add pineapple to your diet
As a dessert – serve with a bit of ice cream or on its own. Pineapple is the perfect dessert as it contains only a few calories. Also, you can try a Spiced Pineapple Dessert if you desire something extra but healthy.
Blend fresh strawberries, pineapples and other fruits for a healthy and filling smoothie.
On the BBQ – grill some pineapple and add it to a salad or try it on its own, its quite tasty either way. To do this, toss some slices on the grill and turn until they are a little charred.
For salad – add a bit of fun twist to your greens by adding tinned or fresh pineapples.
For breakfast – fruit salad is an easy to prepare and quick breakfast meal.