Pineapples: A Delicious Way to Improve Digestion
Pineapples are a tasty treat, especially in the summer months. Cool pineapple juice is refreshing, and the fruit itself is wonderful on its own or in other recipes. Many people consider pineapples to be just a sweet indulgence, but those who choose to eat this fruit can see health benefits too.
Pineapple is well known for its ability to improve digestion. The main way it does this is through the bromelain that is in the pineapple flesh. Bromelain is an enzyme that aids in the breakdown of proteins, which many of us have a hard time absorbing. Protein deficiency is a widespread problem in the modern world, even among people who consume enough of it. Bromelain, when taken with meals, helps the stomach to break down the proteins into the amino acids we need, and aids the body in utilizing them to repair tissues.
To get the most benefit out of your pineapples, it’s best to eat them raw. The reason for this is that the bromelain enzyme is degraded through heat. A room temperature pineapple is fine, but when you get into temperatures above 115 or so, the enzymes start to break down, and are no longer useful. The pineapple is still tasty and safe to eat, it just no longer retains this benefit.
The addition of pineapple (and its intact bromelain) has even been shown to improve conditions like arthritis and blood that is too thick and sticky. Some researchers are even looking at it to combat different cancers. Pineapple is also high in Vitamin C, which explains how it’s so powerful against serious disorders like this, it’s like a double whammy. Note that for these treatments, the individuals in the study were also consuming the core of the pineapple, and not just the flesh. If this is something you’re interested in, a great way to incorporate this would be in a smoothie. You can even blend it and then freeze it, to make a sorbet.
Full of antioxidants, pineapple has been said to improve skin, bones, and relieve coughs and colds. There are very few people who have an allergy to pineapple, but if this is a new food for you, start with a small amount and see how you feel. For the vast majority of people, pineapple is a healthful and beneficial addition to the diet.