Are Pineapples Good for Weight Loss?
The pineapple is a tropical fruit that adds sweetness to foods and famous cocktails (such as the piña colada). It’s also an essential ingredient in such desserts as the classic pineapple upside-down cake. Any way you slice it, pineapple is sure to make your favorite recipes a little brighter! But will it help you to lose weight?
Here are answers to some common questions about the unique and popular tropical fruit:
Q: How do pineapples grow?
A: There’s no fruit plant quite like a pineapple plant! Contrary to popular belief, pineapples don’t grow on trees. Nor do they grow on a bush – A pineapple plant grows a single pineapple once in its lifetime, producing a collective of berries that grow together to form a single pineapple fruit. The plant itself has long, tapered leaves with the fruit growing out of the top of the central stem. After it flowers, the plant dies (first reproducing by growing suckers between the mature pineapple).
Q: Where do pineapples grow?
A: Pineapples have long been associated with the state of Hawaii, but they don’t originate there. Believed to have been introduced to the Islands in around 1790, pineapples did very well there due to Hawaii’s ideal growing conditions: temperatures consistently between 68°F and 86°F, at least six hours of sunlight per day, and well-draining soil. While Hawaii’s pineapple industry was once so large the fruit was a state symbol, nowadays 75% of the world’s market hails from Costa Rica.
Q: Where do pineapples come from originally?
A: Pineapples are believed to have originated in South America – specifically, in the region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. The first written record of pineapple was made by Spanish sailor Don Francisco de Paula Marin, a horticulturist who is credited with introducing a number of citrus and tropical fruits to the Hawaiian Islands in the late 1700s.
Q: What are the health benefits of pineapple?
A: Pineapple is very good for you, and while it is higher in sugar and carbs than other fruits, when eaten in moderation it can be a great benefit to most any weight loss plan (the more so because its sweet taste is very satisfying). A one-cup serving of pineapple equals about 82 calories, and also provides you with more than a day’s worth of vitamin C and is a rich source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, potassium, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants. Fresh pineapple is also the only known source of an enzyme called bromelain, which may help treat chronic inflammation, allergies, osteoarthritis and more health conditions.
Q: What is pineapple good for besides eating fresh?
A: In addition to eating fresh, pineapple is a wonderful addition to many recipes. From savory salads to sweet desserts and cocktails, pineapple is a popular flavoring. Try grilling slices to lay over a glazed ham, or adding chunks to a homemade pizza (a real kid-pleaser). Using pineapple salsa gives fish tacos tropical flair, and its easy to turn a backyard barbecue into a luau by adding chunks of pineapples to your kabobs!