I often think about the first person to ever look at a pineapple, with its sharp leaves and prickly skin, and think, “I’m going to try and eat that.” The wonderful surprise they must have experienced when they finally got it open and tasted the deliciously sweet and juicy flesh inside.
We all have that person to thank, because you see, the pineapple is not only incredibly delicious, it also offers some incredible health benefits thanks to its high bromelain content.
So, if you think pineapple is just a garnish for tropical cocktails, keep reading to discover the numerous health benefits eating more of it can offer you and your family.
What Is Bromelain?
Pineapples are one of the richest sources of bromelain in the entire world. While there is bromelain in the flesh of the fruit, the majority of this beneficial enzyme is located from the core. While many people discard the core, they are throwing away the healthiest part of the pineapple. You can simply chop up the core and throw it in a fruit smoothie or mince up the core and toss over fruit salads.
Bromelain has been used in the medical world to treat everything from inflammation and swelling to edema and blood clots. But that’s not all. You’re about to find out how else bromelain protects and supports your health.
6 Health Benefits of Eating Pineapple
1. May Help Prevent Cancer
The bromelain in pineapple has been found in numerous studies to have natural anti-cancer effects including promoting apoptotic cell death and preventing tumor growth. In animal studies, bromelain has been shown to induce the production of specific cytokines that inhibit metastasis by reducing platelet aggregation.
Not only have studies linked bromelain to the prevention of breast and lung cancer, but the journal Anticancer Drugs published results from a clinical trial that suggested it affects malignant peritoneal mesothelioma — a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
2. Treats Digestive Disorders
Bromelain helps your gut in a couple of different ways. To start, the enzyme specifically helps digest proteins while also helping your body to absorb nutrients better. Also, bromelain decreases inflammation in the digestive tract, which normally damages the gut lining.
Bromelain can help people that suffer from:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Dyspepsia, or peptic ulcers due to h-pylori infections
- Colon cancer
- Crohn’s disease
3. Aids in Faster Recovery from Surgery and Injuries
Since bromelain is such a powerful anti-inflammatory, it helps the body to heal faster and fight pain. Pain, after all, is a byproduct of inflammation. One study found that bromelain effectively treated patients who had impacted third molars extracted. The enzyme supported wound healing and helped decrease the patients’ pain levels following the procedure. In fact, of the 80 people that participated in the study, those who were prescribed bromelain had significantly less post-op swelling and pain than those that were prescribed a generic painkiller.
4. Helps Relieve Allergies and Asthma
The journal Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported on the results of a study that looked at how bromelain helped mice with asthma. The study revealed that bromelain reduces allergic sensitization and stops development of other inflammatory responses affecting the airways.
This study suggests that bromelain may help prevent allergies by addressing the root cause, which is a hyperactive oversensitive immune system. Because it keeps CD11c (+) dendritic cells and DC44 antigen-presenting cells at bay, bromelain seems completely capable of effectively targeting the underlying cause of asthma and allergies.
5. Helps Prevent and Treat Sinus Infections
If you or someone you know suffers from chronic sinus infections, bromelain could bring the relief you’ve been looking for. Researchers at the University of Cologne in Germany took 12 patients who had already had sinus surgery and treated them with bromelain for three months. They found that the patients total symptom scores greatly improved as did their total rhinoscopy scores and overall quality of life. This is great news because surgery oftentimes is ineffective at treating sinusitis. Bromelain brings a lot of hope to people.
6. Helps Decrease Joint Pain
Thanks to its powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory characteristics, bromelain is very effective at reducing both acute and chronic joint pain. The journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine published a research trial that evaluated 42 osteoarthritis patients with degenerative spine or painful joint conditions. Taking two 650mg capsules twice a day on an empty stomach, 60% of study participants experienced a significant reduction in pain. The researchers’ conclusion was that “Bromelain has been demonstrated to show anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and may provide a safer alternative or adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis.”
As I mentioned earlier, the absolute best source of bromelain is in the core of pineapples, so DON’T toss those away. Simply cut up into chunks and add to the blender when making a fruit smoothie.
Pineapple tip: The riper the pineapple, the softer the core, so you may even enjoy eating the core as is. For those of you that like to juice fruits and veggies, you can also juice pineapple and the core. A refreshing and healthy juice is fresh pineapple with cucumber. Tastes great and helps with inflammation!
If you are limiting your carb intake and don’t eat much fruit, you can also purchase a bromelain supplement. Just do your homework to make sure you are getting a quality supplement with no unnecessary fillers.
Who knew the pineapple could be so good for you? Let us all give thanks to the very first person who was brave enough to wrestle with one and get the thing open!
Looking for Other Natural Treatments for Joint Pain?
If you or someone you love suffers from joint pain and stiffness, we invite you to discover how one doctor got rid of his arthritis pain FOR GOOD using all-natural remedies. Pick up your copy of The Joint Pain Solution today.