Health Benefits of Pineapple.

The bromeliad family of plants very rarely produce edible fruit – with the exception of pineapple, that is. The pineapple is the only available edible bromeliad today! One pineapple is actually made up of individual flowerets that grow and weave together to form the beautiful golden fruit we call a pineapple.


The pineapples lush, sweet, exotic flavour make it a family favourite – but did you know that pineapple is also one of the most healthful foods available today?


Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme in pineapples, is often used as a supplement itself to help boost health and clear up various health issues. Of course, eating pineapple in itself will deliver these same effects such as better heart and circulatory health, improvement in asthma and other breathing conditions as well as improved immunity, reduced inflammation and suppressed growth of cancer cells.




Anti-inflammatory Benefits

Bromelain possesses anticoagulant properties, and thus slows down the ability of blood to clot. This, combined with bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties, make it a great nutritional supplement (in pure form – aka. eating a pineapple) for bruise prevention and to reduce swelling and redness from burns or sports injuries. Consuming pineapple after surgery is another way to reduce the trauma associated with incisions or injections.


There are a variety of inflammatory-related conditions, ranging from arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease and sinusitis as well as inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, acne, rosacea, dermatitis and psoriasis. The list doesn’t end there. In fact, many diseases nowadays are caused by a major influx of inflammation in the cells and tissues, whether that be from consuming the wrong foods or living in less-than-optimal environmental conditions (i.e., chemical hazards, smog, pollution, etc.).


Bromelain has been useful in treating all of the above inflammatory disorders. The major mechanism of action of bromelain is proteolytic in nature, and may also involve immunomodulatory and hormone like activity acting via intracellular signalling pathways. It has also been shown that bromelain significantly reduces CD4+T lymphocytes, which are the primary effectors involved in inflammation in the body.


Research also indicates that the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis can be reduced by supplementing with 200 – 400 mg of bromelain per day (or you could just eat lots of pineapple every day and get the same effects – remember, the natural, real form of these enzymes are far better than their modified, synthetic form).


Immunity & Cancer

Research published in the journal Planta Medica, found that the chemotherapy drug, 5-fluorauracil, was incredibly inferior to bromelain when treating cancer in an animal study. Those treated with bromelain survived 263% times more than those treated with 5-fluorauracil, relative to the untreated control. Bromelain caused no external harm to the animals, other than improving their health. Chemotherapy drugs do more harm than good, and actually kill off your healthy cells, and make more chemo resistant and malignant cell types within the tumour (meaning the cancer becomes resistant to the chemo drugs).


In addition, the anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant effects of bromelain help to boost our immunity. Studies have shown that it may be able to enhance certain immune receptors in the body, and thus enhance the ability of the body to defend against bacteria and viruses at a more efficient rate. Bromelain helps mechanisms that are already in place to work faster, and more efficiently together, and to allow cells to communicate better with one another.


Pineapple is also incredibly rich in vitamin C, which is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant. It defends against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Vitamin C is essential for proper immune function, and has also been extensively studied by Dr. Ronal Hunninghake (15-year research project called RECNAC), who showed that vitamin C was selectively cytotoxic against cancer cells in cell cultures.


Heart & Circulatory Health and Breathing Conditions

Bromelain, being an anti-coagulant, means that it may allow blood to flow more freely through the circulatory system. Blood that flows more freely is thinner, and is associated with a reduced chance of stroke, heart attack and other circulatory and heart related issues.


Not only does it help with cardiovascular health, but pineapple’s bromelain enzyme also works in such a way that it breaks down mucus and thins its consistency. In conditions like asthma where breathing is often blocked by thick mucus in the lungs, bromelain acts as a mucus thinner, and helps un-clog the bronchial tubes of the lungs, helping patients breathe better.


All parts of the pineapple contain bromelain, however, the core of the pineapple has more concentrated amounts – be sure to stick the core through a juicer to get all the benefits out of your next pineapple feast!


Sources: Live Love Fruit


Tochi, B., Wang, Z., Xu, S., & Zhang, W. (2008). Therapeutic application of pineapple protease (bromelain): A review. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 7, 513-520.


Gaby, A. (1999). Alternative treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Altern Med Rev, 4, 392-402.


Maurer, H. (2001) Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology, and medical use. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS, 58, 1234-1245.

Pineapple’s Amazing Healing Properties Revealed.

Enjoyed the world over as something of an icon of the tropical experience, the pineapple was used in indigenous medicine for a wide range of ailments; uses that are only now being confirmed by modern scientific methods.

While most know pineapple as an exceptionally delicious tropical fruit, indigenous peoples used it to treat a variety of ailments. Unfortunately, much of this intimate plant knowledge was considered by early anthropologists to be based on mere “superstition” and subsequently disregarded, so few in the modern world have been made aware of its formidable healing powers.


Thankfully, research on the medicinal properties of pineapple has steadily accumulated over the past few decades, to the point where the conventional medical system has been compelled to take notice.

Bromelain, for instance, is a protein-digesting enzyme extract from the pineapple plant, and has even been found to be superior to the highly toxic chemotherapy agent 5-fluorouracil as an anti-tumor agent in preclinical research.[i] [For more details, see our article on the topic: Research: Pineapple Enzyme Kills Cancer Without Killing You]

This remarkable compound, concentrated primarily within the stem (i.e. fibrous core), which is often wastefully discarded, has been researched for the following potential medicinal applications:

  • Allergic Airway Disease[ii]
  • Asthma[iii]
  • Breast Cancer[iv]
  • Breastfeeding Problems: Poor Milk Production/Quality[v]
  • Colitis[vi] [vii]
  • Colon Cancer[viii]
  • Constipation: Post-operative[ix]
  • Debriding Agent[x]
  • Dyspepsia[xi]
  • Edema[xii]
  • Glioma (Brain Cancer)[xiii]
  • Immune Disorders: Low Function[xiv]
  • Inflammation[xv] [xvi] [xvii] [xviii]
  • Irritable Bowel Disease [xix]
  • Influenza [xx]
  • Liver Damage [xxi]
  • Lung Cancer[xxii] [xxiii]
  • Melanoma[xxiv]
  • Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)[xxv]
  • Osteoarthritis of the Knee[xxvi]
  • Sinusitis[xxvii]
  • Skin Cancer[xxviii] [xxix] [xxx]
  • Tendon Injury[xxxi] [xxxii]
  • Thrombophlebitis[xxxiii]
  • Thrombosis (pathological clot)[xxxiv] [xxxv]

How To Eat Pineapple To Get The Benefits of Bromelain

Bromelain extracts are actually composed of a variety of substances, including peroxidase, acid phosphatase, calcium, and protease inhibitors. But the main active ingredients are two enzymes known as fruit and stem bromelain, respectively.  Keep in mind that bromelain’s potential therapeutic activity, depends entirely on how you take it. When consumed on an empty stomach, the plant’s enzyme will enter the blood and exert systemic action. When consumed with food, its activity will mostly be expended on helping the body to break down dietary proteins, easing the body’s digestive burden.

Bromelain is an example of something we eat that actually eats us back. Commonly used as a meat tenderizer, when used appropriately it can tenderize our overly inflammed and fibrin-congested muscles and connective tissues with its enzymes.

Word of Caution: Bromelain’s fibrinolytic properties can contribute to thinning the blood, so those on blood-thinning medications must be careful, especially when consuming part of the bromelain-rich core. Also, bromelain has the ability to enhance the absorption of other nutrients and drugs due to its ability to modulate intestinal permeability. This can be a good thing, for instance, if one is trying to absorb more of a therapeutic herb or nutrient, but a bad thing if one does not wish to disrupt the delicate pharmacokinetics of the bodily absorption and distribution of potent drugs.

The Part Is Not Superior To The Whole

Keep in mind that the benefits of whole pineapple cannot be reduced down to a singular constituent such as bromelain, no matter how impressive. The pharmaceutical model only goes so far when applied to natural substances. As with most things in the realm of whole food nutrition,the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Pineapple juice and leaves, for example, have additional benefits not found in bromelain alone:

  • A Rich Source of Dietary Melatonin: Pineapple has been identified to be one of the richest sources of dietary melatonin tested (beating out orange and banana), capable of causing significant blood level elevations, peaking two hours after ingestion.[xxxvi]
  • Pineapple Leaf Has Anti-Diabetic Properties: All parts of the pineapple plant have potential value. The leaf has been studied to have insulin-sensitizing and/or anti-diabetic properties.[xxxvii] [xxxviii]
  • Pineapple Leaves May Beat Cholesterol-Drugs: Preclinical research indicates that pineapple leaves may modulate cholesterol synthesis and activity in a manner similar to statins, but likely without the over 300 known adverse health effects of the statin drug chemical class.[xxxix]
  • Pineapple Juice Deactivates Rotavirus Transmission: Pineapple juice, due to its low pH and other constituents in the juice, has been found to be effective at inactivating rotavirus, while honeydew and papaya juice failed. [xl]

Whether you are fascinated by the research, simply enjoy the amazing taste and feel of pineapple, or its juice, we can be certain of one thing: food and medicine are inseparably bound within this amazing plant.

Article Sources