Pineapple is the only major dietary source of bromelain. While it’s found in the greatest concentration within the core of the fruit, it is also found throughout the sweet parts and in the juice. According to one study, pineapple can be useful in the treatment of sports injuries, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain.
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme, which means it’s a mixture of enzymes that digest protein. Its anti-inflammatory properties include the reduction of swelling and bruising. You can also think of it as a scavenger enzyme, helping to clean up damaged cells. Bromelain seems to work by triggering the body’s production of substances that fight pain and reduce swelling, and it contains chemicals that prevent the blood from clotting.
Like most fruits, pineapples are a rich source of fiber, but they are special in the way that they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. This means that eating a healthy amount of pineapples can protect you from a vast amount of health conditions, including constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, atherosclerosis and blood clotting, as well as blood pressure. Fiber can bulk up stool, which promotes the passage of food through the digestive tract at a normal rate, and also stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to help food dissolve. Furthermore, it bulks up loose stool, which helps with diarrhea and IBS. Fiber also strips the blood vessels clean of excess cholesterol and eliminates it from the body, thereby boosting cardiovascular health.
Did you know that according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of American adults are getting the recommended amount of potassium into their diets? Potassium is an important part of naturally lowering high blood pressure, and high potassium foods include fruits, and vegetables, including pineapples! Try adding pineapple into your diet as a natural potassium booster.
Obviously, the benefits of pineapples are pretty amazing, however like anything else too much of a good thing is never a good idea. But, if you enjoy pineapple in moderate amounts as part of healthy diet you will be able to enjoy the wonderful health benefits this delicious tropical fruit has to offer.
Although pineapples are not famous for having a strong calcium content, which most people immediately associate with bone health, it does have an impressive amount of manganese, which is another trace mineral that is essential in the strengthening of bones, as well as their growth and repair. Manganese is the most prominent mineral in pineapple, and a single serving can deliver more than 70% of your daily requirement of this essential mineral.
Energy and Stress Reduction:
The rich manganese content of pineapple is also of benefit for energy production. The trace mineral is an important cofactor needed for the creation of enzymes used in the production of energy within your body.
Pineapples health credentials also extend to stress reduction as they contain good levels of B vitamins, so vital for proper brain function and increasing your ability to deal with stress effectively.
The fruit is especially high in vitamin B1 thiamine (also needed for energy production) and vitamin B6 pyridoxine, both at over 10% of the RDI per cup. Folate and pantothenic acid are also well represented at around the 7% RDI per cup and smaller amounts of niacin, biotin and choline are also available when you eat pineapples for preventing B vitamin deficiency.