Is Pineapple a Diuretic?
Is Pineapple a Diuretic?
Some foods act as natural diuretics, but is pineapple one of those foods?
Although little research exists showing pineapples are a diuretic, there is research showing that bromelain, which is a group of enzymes found in pineapple, does significantly reduce swelling, pain, and arthritis symptoms. So, research suggests that bromelain is not a diuretic, but does appear to improve symptoms that occur with water retention. The bottom line, pineapples and supplements containing bromelain may significantly help with symptoms that occur with water retention like swelling and pain.
The Best Natural Diuretics
A diuretic is a substance that increases urine output. When our bodies hold onto excess water, swelling and puffiness of the arms, legs, hands, feet, face, and abdomen can occur. Diuretics can help reduce the swelling caused by water retention. Causes of swelling and water retention include stress, standing or sitting for long periods, lack of sleep, and medical conditions like Hashimoto’s disease, varicose veins, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, and autoimmune diseases. If you are experiencing swelling or puffiness, you will want to combine bromelain with the best natural diuretics. Green tea, parsley, Juniper Berry, and Dandelion root are all-natural diuretics, according to research (1, 2, 3, 4).
Other Benefits of Pineapples
Pineapples provide several benefits other than their ability to reduce swelling. Pineapples are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, and flavonoid antioxidants.
One study showed that pineapples, specifically, decreased the frequency of viral and bacterial infections. In this randomized controlled trial, the participants were divided into three groups. One group consumed 140 g of canned pineapple, one group consumed 280 g of pineapples, and one group did not consume any pineapples for 9 weeks. Both groups who consumed canned pineapple for 9 weeks saw a decrease in the frequency of bacterial and viral infections compared to the group who did not consume pineapples (7).
Fiber is also found in pineapples. Fiber is important for our gut health and has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and some cancers. Fiber also helps you feel full; therefore, diets high in fiber may help with weight loss (8).
Magnesium is a beneficial mineral found in pineapples, and according to the National Institute of Health, many in the United States consume less magnesium than recommended. Studies show that people with higher levels of Magnesium have a reduced risk of developing heart disease, and one study showed higher levels of Magnesium reduced the risk of cardiac death by 38% compared to people with lower Magnesium levels (9).
Antioxidants, like flavonoids, get a lot of attention and for good reason. Antioxidants support the immune system and have been shown to reduce the risk of a multitude of diseases and conditions, including mood disorders and some cancers ( 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).
Benefits of Bromelain
Based on research, some of the benefits of bromelain include:
-Supports the immune system and decreases the duration and frequency of bacterial and viral infections.
Bromelain may reduce the duration of acute sinusitis, according to one study. In this study, children were given bromelain along with the standard treatment or given just the standard treatment alone. The children who consumed bromelain showed significantly faster recovery from Acute Sinusitis (18).
-May reduce pain and swelling associated with arthritis, inflammation, and even after surgery.
In one study, pain, inflammation, and swelling decreased in individuals who took a supplement containing bromelain and other anti-inflammatories for 6 weeks (19).
-May reduce muscle soreness and muscle damage after exercise
In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, cyclists were given bromelain supplements or a placebo during a 6-day cycling race. The lab markers that indicate muscle damage were lower in the bromelain group. Moreover, the cyclists in the bromelain supplements group reported less fatigue compared to the placebo group (20).
-May reduce the risk of some cancers
In one study, bromelain reduced the growth of pre-cancerous cells and tumors in colon cells (21). These anti-cancer properties have been seen in other studies as well, including animal and human trials (22).
-May reduce the severity of seasonal allergies and asthma
A systemic review showed bromelain was significantly helpful in reducing symptoms of asthma, seasonal allergies, and even the common cold (23).
The Take-Away About Pineapples
Although not enough studies exists that say pineapples are a diuretic, studies do suggest that pineapples reduce swelling and puffiness. Swelling and puffiness is a symptom of water retention. Pineapples not only help with swelling but have many other benefits, thanks to their vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, antioxidant, and bromelain content. Bromelain supplements, in combination with other anti-inflammatories and natural diuretics, can help reduce swelling and puffiness. SwellNoMore is a supplement that contains a combination of these helpful ingredients.
*It’s important to note that if you are suffering from chronic edema, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can advise you on treatments for your conditions. You should also talk with your doctor about any possible interactions your supplements might have with your specific medications or medical conditions.
About the Author
Lacy Ngo, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian with a Master of Science in Human Nutrition. She is also the author of several books, including The Nourishing Meal Builder, and The Nourishing Meal Builder: The Pescatarian Edition. Ngo has been featured and quoted in Media Outlets like Parade Magazine, The Healthy, Eat This, Not That!, VeryWell Fit, Byrdie, and Authority Magazine.