So what makes pineapple so special? Well to start with it’s high in a bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme (any enzyme that catalyses the splitting of proteins into smaller peptide fractions and amino acids) that is a COX – 2 (enzyme that causes inflammation and pain and fever) Inhibitor and bradykinin (A compound that causes contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of blood vessels.) inhibitor and a that helps reduce inflammation. It also reduces the levels of decreasing levels of other inflammatory markers & induction of pro-inflammatory mediators.
Pineapple is also high in vitamin C, A, B-complex, manganese & potassium, as well as anti-oxidants & flavonoids. But what does that all really mean?
How Does Pineapple better our health?
Cold & Flu symptoms: anti-inflammatory properties reduce the severity of the stuffy nose and decongestive properties to clear it & loosen the mucus as well as supressing a cough. Pineapples are also high in vitamin C
Eczema & itchy skin: The anti-inflammatory properties in bromelain have shown to reduce the severity of eczema & itchy skin
Allergies: Bromelain is natural anti-histamine & also facilitates the absorption of other anti-histamine nutrients such as quercitin (onions, apples, grapes) & pycnogenol (pine bark & citrus fruits). It is mucolytic (breaks mucus down) & is ideal in reducing the inflammatory symptoms of hay fever
Asthma: Bromelain reduces the bronchial inflammation associated with asthma and other respiratory disease
UTI: Preventative measure by promoting discouraging inflammation in the urinary tract
Arthritis/Fibromyalgia/Osteoporosis/Osteoarthritis: With highly inflammatory conditions where NSAID’s are normally consumed, bromelain works on the same pathway reducing inflammation & prompting anti-inflammatory markers. Several studies have commented on the supplementation of bromelain for several months and the effectiveness on reducing pain in various areas in the body. Many have suggested the equal effect of many NSAID's, minus side effects such as nausea and toxicity (Please consult your health care professional before adjusting any medication or supplements)
Hyperthyroidism: anti-inflammatory properties & the aiding in the reducing of mineralization of bone from the manganese found in pineapple
Energy: Contains manganese which is a cofactor for energy production. In order to make a molecule of energy manganese is required, thus the more manganese (along with the other energy cofactors) the more energy you have!
Digestion/ Irritable bowel / coeliac : because pineapple is highly alkaline food neutralize fluids to ensure that they are not too acidic as well as having protein-digesting properties. It also regulates the secretions in the pancreas to aid in digestion. The anti-inflammatory properties
Low GI: One of the fruits that is low GI which means a slower release of glucose into your blood, to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Pineapple really is a super food, and there are many more health benefits related to it, and to top it all off tastes great! Fresh pineapple is always better than tinned pineapple due to the sugary syrup & additives it sits in, in order to be preserved.
Tochi, B, Wang, Z, Xu, S & Zhang, W 2008, Therapeutic Application of Pineapple Protease (Bromelain): A Review, Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, vol.7, no. 4, pp.513-520.
Yuan, G, Wahlqvist, M, He, G, Yang, M & Li, D 2006, Natural products and anti-inflammatory activity, Asian Pacific Journal of Nutrition, vol. 15, no. 2, pp.143-152.