What are the health benefits of pineapple? This tropical treat is another fruit that has been extracted an used as a medicinal product. From supplements to liquid extracts. Pineapple has been widely used for its health benefits for decades.
Pineapple contains a very powerful enzyme called bromelain, which actually blocks certain aspects of the inflammatory response from occurring. You may have seen elsewhere on my website, talk of a group of inflammatory mediators called prostaglandins. Different prostaglandins have different effects upon the inflammatory response. There are three types of prostaglandin – series 1, series 2, and series 3. Series 1 and series 3 reduce inflammation, whereas series 2 switch on and exacerbate inflammation. Prostaglandins are made from dietary fatty acids. A fat acid called arachidonic acid is the fat used for the production of series 2 prostaglandins that switch on and worsen inflammation. Bromelian found in pineapple actually blocks the conversion of arachidonic acid into series 2 prostaglandins. Pineapple has a great track record for benefiting many painful inflammatory conditions. It is important to note that most of the bromelain is found in the tougher inner core of the pineapple, the bit that most of us throw away; in very ripe pineapples, though, it is sometimes edible.
Bromelain is also thought to be a useful digestive aid, especially for high-protein foods. It is by nature also a proteolytic enzyme, and is even used sometimes to tenderise steaks. As such, bromelian often finds itself included in digestive enzyme supplements.