Packed with vitamin C, copper, manganese and folate, a pineapple (Ananas comosus) is the only fruit containing bromelain (a unique protein-digesting enzyme), which is useful in speeding up the healing of wounds, enhancing the immunity and preventing cancer.[1]

Studies show that eating pineapples may stimulate immune response, shorten the duration of sinus infections, prevent blood clots and reduce inflammation.[2,3,4,5,] Bromelain present in pineapples can also stop the growth of cancer cells and cause apoptosis (cell death).[6,7,8,9] Animal studies have shown that pineapples can reduce inflammation, too.[10,11,12]

Pineapples For Digestion
Pineapples can be easily digested by the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Animal studies show that they can manage digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and prevent diarrhea and gut inflammation.[13,14,15,16,17] Bromelain present in pineapples aids in the digestion of proteins. This can be useful for those who fight indigestion after having a protein-rich meal such as steak or pork.

How To Take It
Add six to seven slices of pineapple to your meal or have it for dessert to calm your stomach and improve digestion.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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1. Pavan R, Jain S, Shraddha, Kumar A. Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review. Biotechnol Res Int. 2012;2012:976203. doi: 10.1155/2012/976203. Epub 2012 Dec 10. PubMed PMID: 23304525; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3529416.

2. Braun JM, Schneider B, Beuth HJ. Therapeutic use, efficiency and safety of the proteolytic pineapple enzyme Bromelain-POS in children with acute sinusitis in
Germany. In Vivo. 2005 Mar-Apr;19(2):417-21. PubMed PMID: 15796206.

3. Cervo MM, Llido LO, Barrios EB, Panlasigui LN. Effects of canned pineapple consumption on nutritional status, immunomodulation, and physical health of selected school children. J Nutr Metab. 2014;2014:861659. doi: 10.1155/2014/861659. Epub 2014 Nov 20. PubMed PMID: 25505983; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4258310.

4. Müller S, März R, Schmolz M, Drewelow B, Eschmann K, Meiser P. Placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial on the immunomodulating activities of low- and high-dose bromelain after oral administration – new evidence on the antiinflammatory mode of action of bromelain. Phytother Res. 2013 Feb;27(2):199-204. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4678. Epub 2012 Apr 20. PubMed PMID: 22517542.

5. Pavan R, Jain S, Shraddha, Kumar A. Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review. Biotechnol Res Int. 2012;2012:976203. doi: 10.1155/2012/976203. Epub 2012 Dec 10. PubMed PMID: 23304525; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3529416.

6. Dhandayuthapani S, Perez HD, Paroulek A, Chinnakkannu P, Kandalam U, Jaffe M, Rathinavelu A. Bromelain-induced apoptosis in GI-101A breast cancer cells. J Med
Food. 2012 Apr;15(4):344-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2011.0145. Epub 2011 Dec 22. PubMed PMID: 22191568.

7. Amini A, Ehteda A, Masoumi Moghaddam S, Akhter J, Pillai K, Morris DL. Cytotoxic effects of bromelain in human gastrointestinal carcinoma cell lines (MKN45, KATO-III, HT29-5F12, and HT29-5M21). Onco Targets Ther. 2013 Apr 16;6:403-9. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S43072. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23620673; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3633552.

8. Bhui K, Tyagi S, Srivastava AK, Singh M, Roy P, Singh R, Shukla Y. Bromelain inhibits nuclear factor kappa-B translocation, driving human epidermoid carcinoma
A431 and melanoma A375 cells through G(2)/M arrest to apoptosis. Mol Carcinog. 2012 Mar;51(3):231-43. doi: 10.1002/mc.20769. Epub 2011 Mar 22. PubMed PMID:

9. Bhui K, Tyagi S, Prakash B, Shukla Y. Pineapple bromelain induces autophagy, facilitating apoptotic response in mammary carcinoma cells. Biofactors. 2010 Nov-Dec;36(6):474-82. doi: 10.1002/biof.121. Epub 2010 Sep 16. PubMed PMID: 20848558.

10. Aiyegbusi AI, Olabiyi OO, Duru FI, Noronha CC, Okanlawon AO. A comparative study of the effects of bromelain and fresh pineapple juice on the early phase of
healing in acute crush achilles tendon injury. J Med Food. 2011 Apr;14(4):348-52. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.0078. Epub 2011 Jan 23. PubMed PMID: 21254908.

11. Aiyegbusi AI, Duru FI, Awelimobor D, Noronha CC, Okanlawon AO. The role of aqueous extract of pineapple fruit parts on the healing of acute crush tendon injury. Nig Q J Hosp Med. 2010 Oct-Dec;20(4):223-7. PubMed PMID: 21913532.

12. Hu W, Wang AM, Wu SY, Zhang B, Liu S, Gou YB, Wang JM. Debriding effect of bromelain on firearm wounds in pigs. J Trauma. 2011 Oct;71(4):966-72. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3182028929. PubMed PMID: 21399550.

13. Hale LP, Greer PK, Trinh CT, Gottfried MR. Treatment with oral bromelain decreases colonic inflammation in the IL-10-deficient murine model of inflammatory bowel disease. Clin Immunol. 2005 Aug;116(2):135-42. PubMed PMID:15936249.

14. Onken JE, Greer PK, Calingaert B, Hale LP. Bromelain treatment decreases secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines by colon biopsies in vitro. Clin Immunol. 2008 Mar;126(3):345-52. Epub 2007 Dec 21. PubMed PMID: 18160345; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2269703.

15. Kane S, Goldberg MJ. Use of bromelain for mild ulcerative colitis. Ann Intern Med. 2000 Apr 18;132(8):680. PubMed PMID: 10766699.

16. Singh UP, Singh NP, Busbee B, Guan H, Singh B, Price RL, Taub DD, Mishra MK, Nagarkatti M, Nagarkatti PS. Alternative medicines as emerging therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases. Int Rev Immunol. 2012 Feb;31(1):66-84. doi: 10.3109/08830185.2011.642909. Review. PubMed PMID: 22251008; PubMed Central
PMCID: PMC4138959.

17. Chandler DS, Mynott TL. Bromelain protects piglets from diarrhoea caused by oral challenge with K88 positive enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Gut. 1998 Aug;43(2):196-202. PubMed PMID: 10189844; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1727222.

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.