Pineapple is one of the most loved tropical fruits. The sweet scent and juicy texture make it the favorite ingredient for fruit salads, desserts but also juices. However, the luck of pineapple is not only due to its unique taste. In fact, this fruit is characterized by important health properties.
Pineapple is a valuable source of fiber, vitamins, including vitamin A, C, group B, mineral salts, such as copper, calcium, potassium and even manganese, which is an essential nutrient for energy production, the immune response and regulation of neuronal activity, and phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants, such as gallic acid, catechins and ferulic acid (Chen et al, Front Biosci, 2018). But pineapple owes many of its health properties to a substance called bromelain. Bromelain is contained in all parts of the pineapple but the highest concentrations are found in the central part, which unfortunately tends to be eliminated as it is harder and more fibrous than the rest of the pulp (Chakraborty et al, Life, 2021). To fully preserve the properties of the pineapple, the whole fruit should be consumed, without discarding any part but the peel. Bromelain confers anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer properties. Countering the levels of chronic inflammation is particularly important since, as has been shown, this helps reduce the risk of developing cellular degeneration and also inhibits tumor progression. Not only that, bromelain modulates the immune system and counteracts the formation of thrombus (Rathnavelu et al, Biomed Rep, 2016). Pineapple and bromelain also help in the case of inflammatory bowel diseases, since they help soothe the inflammatory condition (Rathnavelu et al, Biomed Rep, 2016). Given the anti-inflammatory action of bromelain, pineapple also results an aid in case of osteoarthritis (Pavan et al, Biotechnol Res Int., 2012). Finally, pineapple contributes to reducing cholesterol, thus being protective for the heart (Seenak et al, Nutr Metab, 2021).
Pineapple and the anti-obesity and anti-cellulite action
The anti-obesity action of pineapple deserves a separate chapter. In fact, it has been observed that pineapple, even in the form of juice, helps to counteract overweight. The beneficial action of this fruit is due to bromelain and its ability to reduce lipogenesis, which is the process by which triglycerides are synthesized, and to increase lipolysis, which is instead the process by which triglycerides are broken down (El- Shazly et al, Food Sci Biotechnol., 2018). Not only that, pineapple, again thanks to bromelain, stimulates the drainage of liquids and therefore helps to combat water retention and cellulite (Dave et al, PLoS One, 2012).
In the absence of fresh fruit it is possible to eat canned fruit. In this case it is necessary to pay attention to the quantity of sugars ingested but, beyond this observation, it is important to specify that even the canned fruit can bring benefits. In fact, scientific studies have analyzed the effect of consuming canned pineapples in the case of children, who tend to appreciate more pineapple in this version. What emerged was that among children who consumed canned pineapples for at least 2 months, compared to those who did not consume this fruit at all, bacterial and viral infections had a lower incidence and, when they happened, they were characterized by a shorter duration. This shows that pineapple, even if canned, acts by strengthening the immune defenses (Cervo et al, J Nutr Metab, 2014).
Care must be taken if you are following a therapy with antibiotics or anticoagulant drugs. In fact, pineapple bromelain could interfere with their action (Rathnavelu et al, Biomed Rep, 2016).