Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, pineapple can boost immune function and improve diet quality. Drinking pineapple tea for weight loss won't necessarily help you get leaner, but it may reduce fluid retention. What matters most is your overall diet.
Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple, may help reduce edema, or fluid retention. Vitamin C, one of the key nutrients in this fruit, has been shown to increase fat breakdown and improve cardiometabolic health.
Potential Health Benefits of Pineapple
This tropical fruit is best known for its beneficial effects on digestive health. Bromelain, a naturally occurring enzyme in pineapple, helps your body break down protein. This compound also exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti-edematous and anti-cancer properties, states a December 2012 review in Biotechnology Research International.
As the researchers note, bromelain is widely used in the treatment of various diseases and may enhance the absorption of antibiotics and other drugs. It appears to be particularly effective in the management of heart disease, osteoarthritis and disorders affecting the respiratory system.
This enzyme is found in the pineapple stem or fruit, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Therefore, if you're looking for a pineapple tea recipe, choose one that calls for these parts of the fruit.
Read more: Pineapple Core Nutrition
Bromelain isn't the only beneficial nutrient in pineapple, though. You'll also get the following micro- and macronutrients from each 1-cup serving, as reported by the USDA:
- 83 calories
- 0.9 g protein
- 21.6 g carbs
- 16.3 g sugar
- 2.3 g fiber
- 88 percent of the DV (daily value) of vitamin C
- 4 percent of the DV of potassium
- 5 percent of the DV of magnesium
- 3 percent of the DV of iron
- 20 percent of the DV of copper
- 67 percent of the DV of manganese
As you see, pineapple is rich in sugar. The tea prepared from this fruit may contain less sugar or none at all, depending on the brand. Bottled varieties are the highest in carbs, but you can make pineapple tea at home to have better control over the ingredients used.
Pineapple Tea for Weight Loss
The nutritional value of pineapple tea depends on its composition. For example, Johnny Fleeman's Fruit Tea Pineapple Tea provides 110 calories and 30 grams of sugar per serving (8 ounces), according to the USDA. Therefore, it's just as high in sugar as regular soda, so it's unlikely to help you lose weight.
Consider using a homemade pineapple tea recipe to cut calories and carbs. Bring water to a boil and add pineapple tea bags or pineapple chunks. Steep for 10 minutes or so, let it cool and add stevia, cinnamon or ginger if desired. Enjoy it hot or cold.
Some studies suggest that vitamin C, one of the key nutrients in pineapple, may facilitate weight loss. According to a May 2014 review published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, this antioxidant may increase fat breakdown, inhibit glucose metabolism and improve glycemic control. It also appears to have beneficial effects on leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite.
A more recent review featured in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome in November 2018 indicates that vitamin C may improve cardiometabolic risk factors and aid in weight management. Subjects who took vitamin C had lower LDL (the "bad") cholesterol compared to the placebo group. Waist circumference decreased in those who took this supplement and engaged in regular exercise.
Unfortunately, boiling may destroy some of the vitamin C in pineapple and cancel out its benefits, state the experts at Tufts University. Potatoes, for instance, lose about 10 percent of their vitamin C content when boiled for just 10 minutes. Canned fruits may also contain less of this nutrient than their fresh counterparts.
Pineapple Tea and Water Retention
This beverage may help you lose water weight — but so does water. Fluid retention, or edema, can have a multitude of causes, from excessive sodium intake to certain disorders or medications. In some cases, it could be a sign of congestive heart failure, kidney disease or liver damage, explains the Mayo Clinic.
So what's pineapple tea good for? First of all, it keeps you hydrated, which may increase urine output and help you flush out excess water. Generally, it's recommended to drink plenty of water and cut back on coffee, alcohol and teas containing caffeine to reduce fluid retention, according to Victoria, Australia's Department of Health & Human Services. Pineapple tea is caffeine-free, so it won't dehydrate you as some teas do.
Read more: 12 Ways to Beat Belly Bloat for Good
Second, this refreshing drink is rich in bromelain, which acts as a natural anti-edematous agent. Simply put, it may reduce edema, according to a September 2016 review in Biomedical Reports. However, there is little research to support these findings.
Bromelain has plenty of other benefits, though. Current evidence suggests that it may help decrease inflammation, inhibit tumor growth and destroy disease-causing bacteria, as reported in the above review. Consume pineapple tea as part of a balanced diet or better yet, eat the whole fruit to get more fiber and vitamin C.
- Biotechnology Research International: "Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review"
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Bromelain"
- USDA: "Pineapple"
- USDA: "Johnny Fleeman's Fruit Tea Pineapple Tea With a Splash of Lemon 100% Natural Flavors"
- Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology: "Vitamin C in the Treatment and/or Prevention of Obesity"
- Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome: "Comparative Effects of Vitamin D and Vitamin C Supplementations With and Without Endurance Physical Activity on Metabolic Syndrome Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial"
- Tufts University: "Do High Temperatures Destroy Vitamin C Benefits?"
- Mayo Clinic: "Edema"
- Victoria, Australia's Department of Health & Human Services: "Fluid Retention (Oedema)"
- Biomedical Reports: "Potential Role of Bromelain in Clinical and Therapeutic Applications"