This Enzyme is Just Another Reason Pineapple is a Super Fruit
In need of another reason to love pineapple? The tropical fruit is the only natural source of bromelain, an enzyme mixture that has been shown to have numerous health benefits. From promoting digestion to helping treat hay fever, bromelain is used around the world to keep us healthy and strong. Read on to learn more about this powerful nutrient, as well as ways to add a bit more bromelain to your diet.
What is Bromelain?
Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes, compounds that help create other chemical reactions in our bodies. These enzymes are vital to our body’s function, and maintaining a good balance helps keep us healthy. While some enzymes are produced internally, others can be obtained through our diets. Bromelain, for example, can only be found in pineapples or in supplements.
What Are the Health Benefits of Bromelain?
Much like vitamin C, bromelain has been used therapeutically for hundreds of years, and is thought to have a wide range of benefits. Though scientific research is still needed to pinpoint the positive effects of bromelain, many people use it to promote digestion, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Many enzymes promote digestion, helping our bodies break down the food we eat and extract the nutrients we need from it. Many believe that bromelain can do the same, reducing stomach upset and relieving indigestion. Another study also showed that ingestion of bromelain helped reduce the effects of colitis in rats.
Reducing Inflammation and Hay Fever
Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties can treat sinusitis, hay fever, and bronchitis, among other issues. The enzyme specifically has been shown to reduce swelling in the nasal passages and has been used for post-rhinoplasty patients to facilitate healing. Similarly, several clinical have demonstrated that it works as a natural antihistamine and can reduce the effects of allergies.
Reducing the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Several studies have examined the effects of bromelain on circulation and heart health. Though much more research is needed, bromelain has shown to minimize the risk of certain heart disease. Specifically, bromelain may help prevent excessive blood clotting, preventing adverse events like stroke or heart attack.
Adding Extra Bromelain to Your Diet
Adding bromelain to your diet is simple and delicious! Pineapple can be enjoyed on its own or in plenty of dishes from savory to sweet. Enjoying the tropical fruit is also a great way to obtain other vital nutrients, including vitamin C, magnesium, and fiber.
For those looking to really boost their bromelain intake, however, you should look to the pineapple’s core. Though the enzyme is present in the flesh of the fruit, it is much more concentrated in its stem. Eating a pineapple’s core can be tough – literally – so instead we prefer to blend or juice it. Try adding the core to your next smoothie for an extra-nutritious tropical drink.
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To learn more about bromelain’s potential health benefits, visit the resources below.
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review
- WebMD – Bromelain
- Healthline – Bromelain
- Medical News Today – Does bromelain have any health benefits?
- RX List – Bromelain
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology – Bromelain, the enzyme complex of pineapple and its clinical application.
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More information can be found via resources listed above.