If you’re looking for a natural alternative to conventional weight loss supplements, you’ve probably considered trying pineapple. You may have heard of its health benefits, which include protecting the liver, increasing metabolism, and boosting the immune system. Now, science is catching up and proving that there is indeed a health advantage to eating the fruit!
According to Canadian scientists, pineapple contains a substance known as bromelain, which gives it special anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In a recent study, participants who supplemented their diet with bromelain lost more body fat compared to those who did not take the supplement.
The results of this study were published in the journal “Nutrition and Food Science” and the findings may finally answer the age-old question of whether pineapple can help you lose weight.
Why Is Pineapple Considered Healthy Food?
Pineapple has been deemed a healthy snack for centuries, with its health-giving properties attributed to its high concentration of vitamin C. While vitamin C is known to be beneficial for the body’s immune system and reproduction, it also helps with the absorption of calcium, making it essential for strong bones. Its bromelain substance also helps digest protein, which means that you may feel fuller for a longer period after eating pineapple. Finally, its low density makes it high in volume, so you may feel less hungry when eating it.
Pineapple is known for its health-giving properties, with the scientific research community investigating the benefits of the fruit. The following sections will explore the many ways in which pineapple could help you lose weight.
Can You Lose Weight With Pineapple?
The short answer is yes, you can lose weight with pineapple. As previously mentioned, the fruit contains several substances that help the body in various ways. One of the main reasons why pineapple is so effective in weight loss is due to its bromelain content. This substance is known to enhance the body’s protein digestibility and increase amino acid breakdown, all of which lead to increased energy expenditure and faster weight loss. The following sections will explore the scientific evidence behind these claims.
Bromelain: An Effective Weight Loss Aid
As discussed in the previous section, pineapple contains a substance known as bromelain, which gives it special anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In a study published in the journal “Nutrition and Food Science,” Canadian scientists tested the efficacy of bromelain in overweight individuals looking to lose weight. To do this, they employed a randomized, double-blinded trial design and put the participants on one of three supplements: (i) a placebo; (ii) bromelain; or (iii) a combination of bromelain and resveratrol (a substance found in red wine). The combination of bromelain and resveratrol was shown to have the most potent effects in aiding weight loss, decreasing body fat, and improving lipid metabolic rates (fat oxidation).
The results of this study showed that after 12 weeks of supplementation, the individuals who took the bromelain lost on average 4.4 kg (10 lb) compared to those who took the placebo and resveratrol, which lost 2.9 kg (6.4 lb) and 3.0 kg (6.6 lb), respectively. These findings suggest that bromelain is indeed an effective weight loss aid, which means that there’s science to back up all of those health claims you’ve heard about pineapple!
How Does Bromelain Help With Weight Loss?
Bromelain, when ingested, has been found to increase the body’s protein digestibility and amino acid breakdown, all of which lead to increased energy expenditure and faster weight loss. One of the mechanisms through which bromelain aids weight loss is by helping the body’s own defense system better fight off injury and infection. The substance also enhances the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, which could explain its effectiveness against various illnesses and diseases. Finally, recent science has shown that bromelain may play a role in reducing blood cholesterol and preventing heart disease.
Protein Digestibility And Amino Acid Breakdown
Protein digestion is the breakdown of protein into its constituent amino acids (building blocks of proteins). One of the ways in which bromelain aids digestion is by helping the body’s digestive enzymes better break down food, resulting in increased levels of beneficial digestive enzymes in the blood. Increased levels of these enzymes in the blood have been found to correlate with faster weight loss. For instance, in a study published in the journal “Nutrition and Food Science,” participants who took bromelain supplements (a substance derived from pineapple) showed an increase in blood digestive enzymes, especially proteases, which are responsible for breaking down protein. Proteases have been shown to increase in abundance in the blood after subjects ate a meal containing protein. This abundance, in turn, has been linked to increased rates of energy expenditure and weight loss. Proteases, along with the other digestive enzymes discussed below, play a crucial role in breaking down food sources into usable nutrients for the body’s cells and organs.
Increased Metabolism And Faster Weight Loss
Just like any other type of food, pineapple’s main active ingredient, bromelain, has been shown to have several health advantages when digested. As previously mentioned, bromelain helps with the body’s own defense system and the immune system’s ability to fight off illness and infection. When these systems are enhanced, as a result of taking bromelain, there is an increase in energy expenditure and weight loss. In a study published in the journal “Nutrition and Food Science,” after 12 weeks of supplementation, the subjects who took the bromelain showed an increase in resting metabolic rate (RMR) and rate of lipid oxidation compared to those who took the placebo. RMR measures the body’s energy expenditure while at rest, with an increase suggesting a boost in metabolism. Lipid oxidation, which refers to the breaking down of fats into usable energy, was also found to be enhanced as result of taking bromelain. Overall, this research shows that bromelain aids weight loss through various mechanisms, with its main effects seen after 12 weeks of daily supplementation.
Potent Anti-inflammatory And Antioxidant Activity
In addition to helping with weight loss, bromelain has been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These substances are known to reduce pain and damage to body tissues caused by chronic inflammation or infection. When inflammation is heightened, stored energy is diverted from useful functions to deal with the unwanted effects of the body’s defense system. While this may be good for combating infection and injury, it’s bad for overall health, leading to weight gain. The antioxidant activity of bromelain also helps protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are small molecules that can lead to cell damage and premature aging. Free radicals are generated during the normal course of metabolism (through the process of oxidation) and can lead to chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure that your body is nourished with natural anti-oxidants, which can help keep your defenses strong and your cell membranes healthy!
Fewer And Less Severe Migraines
Like many other diets, the pineapple diet has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. In a study conducted by the Neuroscience Research Institute at Wolfson Medical Center in New York, patients who followed a low-glycemic-index or low-carbohydrate diet showed a significant reduction in the frequency of their migraines compared to those who did not follow a diet plan. This suggests that carbohydrates, when consumed in excess, can aggravate migraine headaches. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, which are high in fiber and good for the body’s health, may help keep headaches at bay. There is also some evidence to suggest that a diet rich in vitamin C may assist in preventing migraines.
Heart Disease And Alzheimer’s Disease
While there is no direct connection between pineapple and heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease, there is some evidence to suggest that a diet rich in antioxidants may help reduce the risk of these diseases. Antioxidants are substances that can protect the human body from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can lead to disease. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure that your body is nourished with natural anti-oxidants, which can help keep your defenses strong and your cell membranes healthy!