These tropical fruits are rich in vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. They belong to the bromeliad family and have a sweet taste. Pineapple is formed when several berries fuse together around the core. Yes, every “scale” that you see is a berry.
Pineapples are loaded with Vitamin C and Manganese (more on this later). They are good as dietary fiber and they contain the enzyme called bromelain. Thiamin and Vitamin B are also found in pineapples.
There is no doubt that pineapple will have a slightly different effect on our blood sugar, especially when compared with other fruits. This is so because of its’ glycemic load. Pineapple has a medium glycemic index of 66. Let us take a brief look at the glycemic index scores, followed by the benefits of eating pineapple.
A Look at the Glycemic Index in Some Foods
It is recommended that diabetics stick with low glycemic index foods. The reason for this is that these foods will not result in a horrible rise in our blood sugar levels. This type of food has a glycemic index score of 55 and less. Some examples of these foods are;
- Non-starchy vegetables (lettuce, mushrooms, broccoli, callaloo, cabbage, spinach, pakchoy, cho-cho)
- Most fruits, especially the berries
- Sweet potatoes, green bananas, corn, yam, lentils, beans, peas
- Barley, bulgar, pasta, converted rice
- Porridge (corn, oats, etc.)
- Some whole wheat bread
- Some nuts and seeds
Medium glycemic index foods should be occasionally eaten by diabetics. This means they are not our “go-to” foods when we need better control of our blood sugar. The glycemic index range her is 56 to 69.
Foods in this range will have a greater impact on our blood sugar than foods lower on the scale and for this reason, we (diabetics) should exercise portion and combination caution when we consume these foods.
For me, when I am eating foods from this list, I do not have other foods high in carbohydrate. I like to have these foods with some good fat and protein so as to prevent that spike in my blood sugar. Let’s now look at a brief list of some medium glycemic index foods;
- Some whole wheat bread, rye, and pita bread
- Some oats, such as the quick oats
- Some rice, such as wild, brown, basmati and couscous
- Ripe bananas, mangoes, kiwi, pineapples
The foods with a high glycemic index are the ones which will result in that horrible spike in our blood sugar. They have a glycemic index 70 and above. These are the foods we want to avoid when possible as diabetics.
Read here to see what happens when we have a spike in our blood sugar. Click the words in blue and read. Please see below for a few foods with a high glycemic index;
- White bread, rice, and pasta
- Most crackers
Pineapple is in the mid-range on the glycemic index and so we need to exercise caution. However, I would like to spend a little time looking at some of the health benefits of eating pineapple, then I will share with you how I incorporate this wonderful fruit into my diet and still receive happy numbers.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
The many health benefits of the pineapple are reasons why we should consume this fruit whenever it is available. Apart from being quite tasty, the repair and prevention it does concerning our bodies are worth the eat. Let’s look below at some health benefits.
Immune System Booster
Vitamin C is known to fight against cell damage and to protect us from colds and flu. I recently did an article about the effects of this vitamin on our blood sugar. Please click and read the article about Vitamin C and diabetes.
Note that Vitamin C has a host of other benefits, including to keep joint pain and heart disease at bay. Yes, be reminded that for varying reasons, diabetics are usually inflamed, hence the possibility of joint pain, and there is always hanging over our heads the sad possibility of heart issues.
Okay, you got the drift, pineapple is loaded with Vitamin C and so it, despite its’ glycemic index number, is a good fruit for diabetics to add to our list of foods to eat. Because it is loaded with Vitamin C it could cause diarrhea if too much is eaten at one sitting.
We also need to remember that we should consume moderate amounts of pineapple due to the glycemic index of this fruit, which could cause a rise in our blood sugar. The rise is not significant, but, when other foods with similar or a higher glycemic index are consumed in the same meal, this could be disastrous.
Aids in Digestion
Pineapple stands out from the other fruits because of the Bromelain that it contains. This is an enzyme which breaks down protein and so it aids in digestion. Note that protein is a huge deal for diabetics because it keeps us feeling full for longer and it does not spike our blood sugar.
Dietary fiber is the main thing we look for when we have to make a decision “to eat, or not to eat.” Yes, pineapple has a lot of fiber and so it helps us to have regular and smooth bowel movements.
Sounds like a good fruit for diabetics and non-diabetics and remember that healthy intestines could be the solution for some of the health issues we face. This article about diabetes and probiotics is a good one to read at this point. Go ahead and click the words in blue and read.
Say “No” to Inflammation
I grew seeing the more mature folks (my mom included), washing the pineapple several times because they boiled the skin and the core with some ginger and a little sugar and made a delicious drink. I now understand what they were doing.
Bromelain is found in the core of the pineapple and this is why it is a big deal. It is known to reduce severe inflammation and tumors. This makes it a good fruit for those with osteoarthritis and cancer. Click the word cancer for some notes concerning diabetes.
Strong Bones and Connective Tissues
Seventy-Five (75) percent of the daily Manganese that we need is found in a serving of pineapple. This helps us to have strong bones and connective tissues. Some researchers claimed that pineapple can prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.
Manganese also helps to regulate our blood sugar, and our brain and nervous system to function. It helps to lower our risk of inflammation and also the risk of epileptic seizures.
There are other benefits to consuming manganese-containing foods, but, you get where I am going with this argument by now.
Yes to pineapple, but moderation is the key.
Time to Share
There are other health benefits, but please, let us keep the discussion and the research going. Please share some other health benefits with us. Use the comment box below and remember to subscribe for updates and giveaways.
Some Pineapple Secrets Revealed
I love to eat pineapple with nuts and seeds. This reduces the potential spike which is possible. Hence, whenever I am eating pineapple, I do so on my good days when my carbohydrate intake is less. This way, I cut myself some slack and consume one (1) cup of cubed pineapple with a tablespoon of peanuts or almonds.
I love the avocado season. This is good fat food for diabetics. I will just have large servings of avocado with animal protein, one (1) finger of green banana and use a 1/2 cup or a slice of pineapple to appeal to my tastebuds.
What’s your favorite way to eat pineapple? What do you eat it with? Do share your comments below. Until next time, continue to fight diabetes with diet and exercise.
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- Fletcher, Jenna. “Is Pineapple Good for Diabetes? Effects and Other Fruit.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 2019, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324978.php.
- “Glycemic Index and Diabetes.” American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html.
- Goodson, Amy. “10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Manganese.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/manganese-benefits#section12.
- Szalay, Jessie. “Pineapple: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts.” LiveScience, Purch, 19 Jan. 2018, www.livescience.com/45487-pineapple-nutrition.html.