The pineapple was originally from Brazil (though there are different varieties found elsewhere in the world). The pineapple was spread by natives around South America and eventually to the Caribbean and the Indies – and hit Europe in the 1400s. Traditionally societies in South America have used pineapples to reduce digestive upset and irritation.
Pineapple Health Benefits
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain. It is the bromelain, found mainly in the core of the pineapple, which causes most people to feel a burning or stinging sensation in their mouth when eaten. Bromelain is a protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzyme complex which is able to hydrolyze or break down a wide variety of protein types in a range of both acid and alkaline environments.
This has fairly obvious health benefits when you consider that many of the foods you eat contain high amounts of protein and they have been thoroughly cooked, destroying most of the naturally occurring enzymes. As a proteolytic enzyme, it assists the body’s own digestive mechanisms in reducing very large, complex protein molecules into smaller peptide units or individual amino acids.
These smaller components are crucial for your own production of muscle, neurotransmitters, and other protein-based molecules that your body produces. Many of the bromelain’s benefits; however, are actually based on the absorption of the intact enzyme in the small intestine.
The anti-inflammatory effect of Bromelain comes from its capability to prevent the formation of kinins or that which is responsible for inflammation. It may help relieve mild discomfort related to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, also aid in the healing of sporting injuries.
It is a common ingredient in most natural supplements for sore joints and muscles. Bromelain is commonly administered to patients after surgery to reduce swelling, stop bruising, speed up healing and reduce discomfort.
Its effectiveness at preventing blood clotting is attributed to its ability to break down fibrin that often leads to blood clots. Bromelain may help reduce coughing and lessen mucus related to sinusitis, as well as reduce the swelling and redness that accompany hay fever.
It particularly helps enhance the T-cells (white blood cells) which are essential in immune defence. It has also been found that Bromelain improves other immune mechanisms by promoting the efficiency of the system.
A few preclinical studies have indicated that it has anti-tumour properties and has been found to stimulate the death of breast and ovarian cancer cells. One study tested the effects of bromelain on breast cancer and found evidence that women who were given bromelain (just swallowed) started producing cells that targeted and killed breast cancer cells.
Other benefits of Bromelain extract include reducing bad cholesterol, promoting healthy menstruation by balancing and regulating hormones. Its enzymatic properties are also beneficial in treating warts. It also has a positive effect on patients with Peyronie’s disease as well as those who suffer from respiratory tract infections. The best way to get a healthy dose of bromelain is to juice fresh pineapples. You can also buy bromelain supplements from your local health food store.
Golden Splice Pineapple Recipe
1 medium apple – known to wake you up faster than a cup of coffee.
1 Beetroot – helps cleanse the blood, colon, gall bladder and liver
1 thumb of ginger – stimulates blood circulation, prevents blood clots, and is a decongestant.
½ a lemon – assists in respiratory problems and a great source of vitamin C.
2 slices of pineapple – contains bromelain.
Process all ingredients in a juicer. Shake the juice to combine and enjoy.