One study on obese rats, published in April 2018 in Food Science and Biotechnology, found improved fat metabolism after ingesting pineapple juice.
However, it’s not known whether these same effects can apply to human weight loss, and whether the juice or the whole fruit might be more beneficial in this regard.
Kristin Gillespie, RD, who is based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, agrees: “Although more studies are needed to confirm or disprove this, pineapple has several traits that make it inherently good for weight loss,” she says. She also notes that pineapple may promote weight loss due to its low-calorie but relatively high fiber content that can help keep you fuller compared with higher-calorie, lower-fiber foods.
And, if you’re actively trying to lose weight with the help of diet and exercise, pineapple may potentially support your efforts by helping with post-workout recovery.
“Pineapple is naturally rich in sugar, which is needed for energy recovery following a workout,” says Gillespie. “It is also rich in vitamins and minerals that can play a role in muscle building and maintenance, and help keep your body systems healthy and strong.” In terms of muscle recovery, pineapple has two key minerals that research suggests may help to decrease muscle cell damage: potassium and magnesium.
Also, Woods says, the anti-inflammatory capabilities of bromelain enzymes in pineapple may play a role in post-workout recovery. “This helps speed recovery after an intense workout,” she explains. “In other words, less soreness!” One randomized controlled trial on cyclers supports this notion: Bromelain enzymes reduce muscle inflammation and damage, helping you bounce back quicker after a tough sweat session.
Last, if you trade your usual high-calorie dessert or sweet treat for lower-calorie pineapple, you may enjoy weight loss benefits. “Pineapple is also very sweet, which can help to satisfy cravings,” says Woods.