Sweet, tasty and healthy, a slice of pineapple is the perfect way to cure a sweet tooth. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that adults consume between 1.5 and 2 cups of fruit each day for good health, and a serving of pineapple is a delicious way to meet your needs.
One cup of diced pineapple contains only 74 calories and no fat or cholesterol, making it a guilt-free sweet snack. Pineapple provides 178 milligrams of potassium, a crucial nutrient for blood pressure control, and 45 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends consuming 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day for good digestive health. One cup of pineapple contains 2.2 grams of fiber.
Low energy-density foods, such as pineapple, have a high water content, allowing you to feel full for longer without eating too many calories. If you need a filling snack, choose fresh pineapple over dried pineapple, a high-energy-density food with more calories. The fiber found in fresh pineapple provides a feeling of fullness, because it takes time for your body to digest. For more help with weight control, use pineapple as a low-calorie, natural alternative to desserts with added sugars.
Pineapples contain bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory. According to MedlinePlus, bromelain may be effective for the treatment of arthritis, though the amount of bromelain you consume from eating pineapple may not produce these beneficial effects. Bromelain may also offer future treatment options for chronic diseases, like cancer. A study published in 2013 by "Oncotargets and Therapy," found that bromelain isolated from pineapple stems induced cell death in stomach cancer cells.
Choose fresh pineapple rather than canned whenever possible. Canned pineapple may contain added syrups or sugars, which increases the calorie count of your healthy snack. If canned is your only option, look for varieties packed in water or 100-percent fruit juice.
In the summer, chop up pineapple and toss it into your morning oatmeal. Add a few pieces of pineapple to your garden salad for a sweet flavor, or stir into plain yogurt for a tasty and nutritious snack. For a tasty treat on a hot day, make homemade freeze-pops with 100-percent fruit juice and canned pineapple.
- PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.