Pineapples …why they are good for us.
The name “pineapple” originated from European explorers who deliberated that the fruit was similar to a cross between a pine cone and an apple. Columbus was the first person to introduce pineapples to Europe after discovering them on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in 1493.
Pineapple forms part of the family (Bromeliaceous) and is the only bromeliad with edible fruit. Pineapple is also a good source of vitamin C, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium and dietary fibre.
What is Bromelain? Bromelain is a protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzyme complex found in the fruit and, in higher concentrations, in the stem of the pineapple (Ananas comosus). Put simply, bromelain breaks down protein. 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.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
- Anti-aging: The vitamin C in pineapple plays a part in collagen synthesis, making it an important antioxidant for skin health. Pineapples contain alpha hydroxyl acids, which are used topically for moisturizing skin and the removal of dead skin cells, as well as for the treatment of acne.
- Digestion: Bromelain enhances the effects of the digestive enzymes trypsin and pepsin.
- Healthy Bones: Pineapple is an excellent source of manganese, a trace mineral needed for healthy bone and cartilage formation. Deficiency of certain trace minerals which include manganese can slow down bone mass growth in our younger years and accelerate bone loss as we age.
- Boosting Immune System: Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C, which has been shown to stimulate both the production and function of white blood cells that attack foreign bacteria and viruses. The manganese in pineapple also plays a role in strengthening the immune system.
- Cancer Prevention: Researchers found that eating pineapple reduced the formation of nitrosamines (potential carcinogens) in humans. Pineapple isn’t the only natural cancer fighter. There has also been a link drawn between cancer prevention and marijuana, turmeric, ginger, garlic and Vitamin D.
- Depression: Pineapple is high in niacin and the amino acid tryptophan, which the body uses to help produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. There is some scientific evidence that an imbalance in levels of serotonin could contribute to depression.
- The acidity of the Stomach: Research shows that Bromelain can help balance the acidity of the stomach, as well as the alkalinity of the small intestine.
- Sinusitis: A number of studies indicate that the bromelain in pineapple can help reduce swelling and inflammation as well as relieve symptoms of acute sinusitis. Bromelain is popular in the treatment of young children diagnosed with acute sinusitis in Germany. The therapeutic efficiency and safety of bromelain have been evaluated in children under the age of 11 years diagnosed with acute sinusitis.
- Swelling and Redness: Bromelain was approved in Europe as an effective remedy for swelling after surgery. Research shows that the bromelain enzyme may lower swelling, stop bruising, speed up healing time, and reduce discomfort in individuals following surgical procedures.
- Osteoarthritis: Bromelain may also help relieve mild discomfort related to osteoarthritis. In fact, it is a common ingredient in most natural supplements for sore joints and muscles.