This fruit is native to Paraguay and southern Brazil and it was developed from wild species by the natives from these countries. What makes it so beneficial and highly recommended fruit is the amazing nutritional content it has. It is rich in manganese, vitamin C, and the enzyme bromelain. The pineapple is known for the many health benefits it provides, and this article presents only small part of them, including the top 13 benefits.
- Anti-Blood Clots
The bromelain found in pineapple is shown to prevent sticking of platelets in the blood, which in turn prevents blood clots. However, people who are susceptible to prolonged bleeding are recommended to avoid this fruit as it promotes bleeding in some people.
- Fluid Retention
The pineapple`s roots have been used to treat fluid retention, medicinally referred to as edema. People in Africa also use the rind extract for the purpose of treating hemorrhoids and fractures. Even though the scientific research is limited, it will hopefully begin to explore more of its uses.
- Kidney Benefits
People who are suffering from chronic kidney disease can benefit a lot from pineapple consumption as it is low in potassium (180mg per cup of chopped fresh fruit). Apart from the ones with kidney disease, anyone diagnosed with a chronic disease will benefit from this fruit.
Most of the benefits pineapple provides are due to the bromelain, an enzyme which is extracted from the plant stems (and it is also present in the juice in smaller amounts). It is sold as digestive enzyme which breaks down proteins and treats different conditions, including fever and burns. However, the most important property this enzyme provides is the anti-inflammatory.
All foods that contain bromelain are associated with chemoprevntive action, for instance in relation to colorectal cancer cells. Apart from the fact that this enzyme shows anti-tumor activity, the vitamin C content also prevents cancer development.
Speaking of bromelain, the Wikipedia page notes: “No peer-reviewed research shows any efficacy against tumors”. Even though there isn’t any human research done, there are many scientific studies reporting on anti-cancer effects of bromelain in cell and animal studies. For instance, a 2012 study in the peer-reviewed Journal Of Medicinal Food “Bromelain-induced apoptosis in GI-101A breast cancer cells”, and a 2013 study in the peer-reviewed Cancer Investigation “Anticancer property of bromelain with therapeutic potential in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma”.
The information concerning the anti-parasitic properties of pineapple dates from old times in the Philippines when this fruit was used as fold remedy against parasitic diseases.
- Assists E. Coli and Bowel Diseases
Several studies done on animals show that bromelain is very helpful in the treatment of diarrhea related to E. coli infections. It was also shown to reduce inflammation in intestines of people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
- Sore Throat and Infection Remedy
The pineapple had an important role in the traditional medicine in many countries and it was used as a diuretic for sore throats, venereal disease, seasickness, and to quicken labor. In addition, the natives in Panama used its leaf to treat intestinal worms and to stimulate menstruation.
- Arthritis Benefits
The combination of the enzyme bromelain, trypsin and rutin is suspected to be very effective in reducing inflammation and knee pain in people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Even though bromelain is present in the fruit, it is much more concentrated in the inedible stalk. However, you can take bromelain as supplement.
- Boosts Immune System
What supports this property of the pineapple is the high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, as well as for the ability to stimulate the immune system. Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C (58% of the recommended daily amount in 100 g serving).
- Bone Health
As mentioned in the very beginning, pineapple is rich in manganese. This nutrient is needed for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones, helping to prevent loss of bone density. It is also shown to prevent diseases like osteoporosis, which contribute to higher risk of fractures. About 100 g of pineapple provides 44% of the recommended daily amount of manganese.
- Sinusitis Recovery
According to several studies, bromelain found in pineapple can help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis and accelerate the recovery time.
- Digestive Aid
The bromelain has the ability to digest proteins, which makes it ideal remedy for digestive issues. Many people don’t get enough digestive enzymes naturally and they turn to enzyme supplementation instead.