You’ve probably heard of an enzyme found in pineapple called Bromelain. This enzyme is often used by itself as a supplement to aid in various ailments and boost general health. It is also added to natural digestion aids, anti inflammatory remedies, and general health supplements.
My first introduction to bromelain was many years ago in a mall GNC type of store that was handing out free samples. One of them was a chew (which incidentally was delicious) that had bromelain pineapple enzymes in it. The chew was mostly marketed as a digestive aid (Related: How Lemon Water Can Improve Digestion) and bromelain is mostly marketed in this way today as well.
However, there are also quite a few additional health benefits that may be lesser known than its most common namesake uses. This active enzyme has been linked to better heart and circulatory health, improvement in asthma and other breathing conditions and improved immunity.
Pineapple is actually one of my favorite fruits. It is basically like a dessert due to its naturally intense sweetness. There’s nothing quite like getting a juicy, fresh and very sweet pineapple. Thinking back to a vacation in the Cayman Islands in high school, I can remember eating so much fresh pineapple that the acid and enzymes ended up giving me some canker sores!
Unfortunately as an adult, I’ve tried to adhere mostly to a low carb diet as that’s just what seems to work for me. So pineapple is largely off the table as a daily food, however I still indulge every once in a while if it comes across my plate.
Let’s get down to business – what are these additional unknown benefits of bromelain? How can bromelain’s main fruit boost your health in other ways?
Improved Blood Circulation, Heart Health and Breathing Conditions
Bromelain is particularly known for being very efficient at breaking down proteins. Fibrin is a protein that is used in the clotting and thickening of blood. Bromelain works as a blood thinner since it assists in breaking down this substance.
This means it may allow blood to flow more freely through the circulatory system. Thinner blood is associated with lower chances of stroke, heart attack and other heart and circulatory issues. Related: Get Herbal Relief with Lemon Balm for Cold Sores and Dry, Cracked or Blistered Lips
Bromelain has also been linked to the improvement of breathing conditions that occur due to thicker mucus such as asthma. Bromelain has the same effect on mucus as it does on blood in that it thins the consistency. This makes it easier for asthma patients to breathe since the mucus is thinner and therefore not clogging their bronchial tubes.
A Cough Syrup Alternative
Ever have that scratchy, itchy throat that keeps you up at night? Different strains of the common cold and flu often result in a constantly itchy throat that induces coughing to relive the itching. Coughing fits, where it seems like you just can’t stop the coughing action, are an embarrassing daytime effect of various colds and flu strains as well.
Most people turn to cough syrups that contain artificial coloring, flavoring, and medications that either increase our heart rate or make us fall asleep. Enter the natural alternative – pineapple juice.
Pineapple juice has a naturally thicker consistency than most other juices (make sure you shake it up before drinking). This lends to the soothing, coating effect it has on the throat. It also contains natural enzymes and gentle fruit acids which are thought to also soothe a dry, scratch throat and help suppress a nagging cough.
Couple this with its reputation for breaking up excess mucous, and it can really be a powerful natural remedy to add to your “medicine chest”. Pair this with drinking natural chicken bone broth a couple times a day, and you may find your cough lessens much faster.
Brighter, softer skin
Pineapple enzymes can be isolated in skincare products, and are really effective ingredients when it comes to skin treatments like masks, peels and other topical skin care. Much like the popular alpha hydroxy acids of yesteryear, pineapple enzymes offer exfoliation, revealing a fresh layer of skin. Related: MSM for Hydrated, Plump Skin
Only they do it a bit more gently and tend to leave your skin much softer. Pineapple enzymes also are not as harsh, so they don’t lead to as many reactions and breakouts as harsher peels. In other words, you will almost never accidentally over-do it with pineapples enzymes and end up with dry, tight skin. Soft, glowing skin can be had – it’s just a matter of finding a product that specifically uses this particular fruit enzyme.