A motto that you will see crop up here at Latch onto Health is, “Eat Whole Feel Whole.” Simply put, eating whole unprocessed foods will help you feel your best. But let’s get real. You can occasionally get stopped up. To get your digestion back on track turn to pineapple, the delicious and juicy fruit that can do more than sweeten a piña colada.
Pineapple is the golden tropical fruit with an irresistible sweet and tangy flavor. It is also rich in bromelain, a collection of digestive enzymes that break down proteins. Known for its medicinal benefits, this powerful healing compound has been found to aid in the treatment of many ailments including allergies, arthritis, heart disease, IBS and more. (1) It has also been hailed as a natural way to aid in cervical ripening. Though there is no scientific evidence to support it, there are mothers, midwives and doulas who recommend it. (2) On the bright side, it can’t hurt and you get to enjoy fresh, sweet and bright pineapple!
Bromelain is unique in that it remains active after ingestion and helps break down protein-based debris from the digestive tract. Debris can range from this morning’s breakfast to pathogens deep in your gut. How does it do this? Remember, bromelain breaks down proteins. In this instance, it helps break down the pathogens protein-rich barrier which allows the immune system to locate and clear the body of these invaders. (3)
Bromelain’s is anti-inflammatory thanks to its ability to break down unhealthy tissues and pro-inflammatory proteins. (4) It has also been found to help manage pain and swelling serving as a natural alternative to NSAIDs like aspirin! (5) Talk about making an impact!
Though pineapples are brimming with bromelain, the core has the highest concentration of this powerhouse compound. Incorporating it into your nutritional regimen is the best way to reap the benefits. Add to fruit and vegetable smoothies or mix into a homemade salsa for a sweet and tangy anti-inflammatory boost. You can enjoy pineapple as a chia pudding topping, folded it into your favorite rice dish or add to your water for a zesty twist.
Bromelain is also available as a supplement which can be taken right before meals to aid in digestion. As with any supplement, talk to your doctor or primary care provider before incorporating it into your routine. And remember, incorporate bromelain through a supplement or pineapple a little bit at a time. Some people may be sensitive or allergic. If you are don’t fret, we have more wholesome digestive aids coming your way in future posts – stay tuned!
Next time you need a little digestive boost, have some pineapple and remember all the ways bromelain can support you on your journey to latch onto your health!