When we hear the word pineapple, we are often mentally transported to a world of sunshine tropics and Pina Coladas. However, pineapple should be considered more of a daily digestive boost than just an exotic luxury.
Not only does pineapple have a juicy texture and a sweet tang, it contains an enzyme called bromelain which possesses anti-inflammatory properties and aids digestion by helping the body break down proteins.
Bromelain can be taken as a supplement, however the only known natural source of bromelain is in the juice and core of pineapples. It has been found that as well as aiding digestion, bromelain can also reduce symptoms of allergies and reduce muscle pain and aches post workout.
Here’s a little more detail about why you should include more pineapple in your diet:
Bromelain may be particularly beneficial to athletes because of its ability to speed up recovery by reducing inflammation, resulting in reduced swelling and decreased muscle soreness. Bromelain may also be useful for increasing the rate of wound healing and recovery after an operation (or cycling crash!).
Constipated? No problem. Increasing the amount of pineapple you eat has been found to greatly improve digestion. This is because bromelain is an enzyme that breaks down protein, like collagen, into its simplest form; amino acids. If you find it difficult to stay regular, consuming bromelain will break down the food you eat faster and therefore, reduce constipation. This is especially beneficial to those on a high protein diet, such as Keto or Paleo as the bromelain will help break down the high amounts of protein consumed on these diets.
How do I get bromelain?
Below are a few suggestions on how you can easily increase the amount of pineapple in your diet:
- Adding pineapple to your morning or post-workout smoothie.
- Having pineapple with yogurt for breakfast or dessert.
- Cooking with pineapple by adding it to salads or chicken dishes for a sweet kick
- If you don’t like pineapple or are allergic, you can still take a bromelain supplement. Just make sure you chat to your GP before adding any new supplements to your diet.
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