Posts tagged: pineapple

What Happens To Your Body If You Drink Pineapple Water For A Year?

What Happens To Your Body If You Drink Pineapple Water For A Year
What Happens To Your Body If You Drink Pineapple Water For A Year?. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photo Pixabay (PD)

Pineapples have been a point of argument when in a conversation about pizza, but this fruit sure packs a punch in the nutrition department. Alone, pineapple can taste amazing – perfect if you’re making a fresh fruit shake or making a pineapple-upside down cake. But have you ever heard of pineapple water? Putting herbs and vegetables like mint and cucumber in drinking water is very popular if you need an instant refresher but pineapple is definitely a more flavorful and more nutritious additive if you want to give your water a boost. Here are some health benefits of pineapple that have been reported by scientific research:

1. Pineapple Helps Fight Bowel Inflammation

In a 2010 study by Hale, et. al. in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases journal, fresh pineapple juice was found to reduce chronic inflammation in test subjects affected by inflammatory bowel disease of the colon. Not only was dietary supplementation with pineapple able to significantly reduce inflammation, it was also able to reduce changes in colonic tissue, a characteristic of cancerous growths (since repeated inflammation can cause abnormal growth of tissues). This reduction in inflammation was attributed by the researchers to an enzyme called Bromelain, found in the pineapple stem. [1]

2. Pineapple Contains Enzymes That Aid Digestion

The same enzyme, Bromelain, that helps with inflammation also helps with digestion. If you want to improve your digestion (and help with weight loss in the long run), why not turn to pineapple water? Simsek, et. al. in 2013 found that drinking pineapple juice was able to improve stomach emptying of undigested food in the stomach. The study was done on test subjects who underwent a surgical procedure that required eight hours of fasting beforehand. After drinking one liter of pineapple juice each day for three days, there were no remnants of undigested food seen in the stomach after the endoscopic procedure. This not only helps with stomach emptying but also with nutritional absorption from food. [2]

3. Pineapple May Help With Parasites

While this fact may still need more research, a study in 2013 by Domingues, et. al. found that pineapple extracts could potentially help with parasitic infections by Hoemenchus contortus, also known as barber pole worms. The study focused on sheep infested with this parasite and found that the aqueous extract of pineapple and bromelain were able to exhibit anti-parasitic activity in vitro compared to in vivo. The effectiveness of pineapples on human parasite infections still needs further study but there is no denying that the fruit has potential to do so. [3]

4. Pineapple Helps With Arthritis

Because pineapples have been proven to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, a study has focused on how they can help with inflammation due to rheumatoid arthritis. A recent publication in 2016 by Kargutkar and Brijesh concluded that oral intake of pineapple extract significantly showed anti-rheumatic activity in the test subjects, reducing swelling and arthritic markers from the liver, kidney, and spleen. Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating condition that affects the joints and synovial tissue, which greatly impairs mobility and posture. [4]

5. Pineapple Helps Fight Cancer

Out of all the benefits of pineapples, this is probably the most important. Bromelain, the do-it-all enzyme from pineapples, has been found to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, and fibrinolytic properties — properties that when you add up are anti-cancer. Chobotova, Vernallis, and Majid in 2010 focused on different studies on bromelain and found that it acts systematically against cancer cells, able to modulate malignant pathways that lead to cancer. Again, while further studies are needed to cement pineapples’ place in anti-cancer therapy, this fruit looks very promising indeed. [5]

Why Pineapple Water And Not Juice?

Pineapple juice is known to be very acidic and taking it on an empty stomach can undoubtedly lead to ulcers or stomach irritation. The best way to drink pineapples every day is to soak cut up slices or cubes in water overnight (in glass jars or containers! Pineapples can erode plastic or metal) and have a glass early in the morning when you wake up. You can even add other herbs like mint to improve the taste to your liking. Try drinking a glass of pineapple water daily for a few months or a whole year and watch your health improve!

References:

[1] Hale, L., et. al. (2010). Dietary supplementation with fresh pineapple juice decreases inflammation and colonic neoplasia in IL-10-deficient mice with colitis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20848493

[2] Simsek, Z., et. al. (2013). Incomplete stomach emptying as a complication of intragastric balloon treatment and a solution suggestion: Pineapple juice drinking. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24254264

[3] Domingues, L., et. al. (2013). cIn vitro and in vivo evaluation of the activity of pineapple (Ananas comosus) on Haemonchus contortus in Santa Inês sheep. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23688638

[4] Kargutkar, S. & Brijesh, S. (2016). Anti-rheumatic activity of Ananas comosus fruit peel extract in a complete Freund’s adjuvant rat model. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27181794

[5] Chobotova, K., Vernallis, A. & Majid, F. (2010). Bromelain’s activity and potential as an anti-cancer agent: Current evidence and perspectives. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19700238

Amazing Health Benefits Of Pineapple

Amazing Health Benefits Of Pineapple
Amazing Health Benefits Of Pineapple. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Pineapple photo © AdobeStock 12601832 (under license)

The pineapple is native to southern Brazil and Paraguay, the modern fruit having been developed by native people from an almost inedible wild species. The most significant nutritional elements of pineapple are high quantities of vitamin C, manganese and the enzyme bromelain. We’ve researched and collected a significant amount of information about pineapple health benefits and presented them on this page!

1. Anti-Inflammatory – Different parts of the plant have the above traditional uses for a variety of ailments and their effectiveness could be due to the enzyme bromelain, which is extracted from the plant stems (and also present in the juice in small amounts). It is sold as a digestive enzyme to break down proteins and is used medicinally for a diverse range of conditions from hay fever to burns. It’s primary property is anti-inflammatory. [1]

2. Arthritis Benefits – Bromelain from pineapple, when combined with trypsin and rutin could be helpful in reducing inflammation and knee pain for osteoarthritis sufferers, with possible effects on rheumatoid arthritis as well, although the evidence is scant for the latter. Note that while there is some bromelain in the fruit, it is much more abundant in the inedible stalk. However bromelain is available in supplement form. [1]

3. Bone Health – Manganese is one of the important elements needed for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones, helping to prevent loss of bone density and diseases such as osteoporosis that can lead to a higher risk of fractures. [2] 100g of pineapple contains 44% of the RDA of manganese. [1]

4. Kidney Benefits – Pineapple is a safe fruit for people suffering from chronic kidney disease due to its low potassium content (180mg per cup of chopped fresh fruit). It can provide good nutrition for anyone with a chronic condition. [3]

5. Anti-Parasite Pineapple has been used since old times in the Philippines as a traditional medicine against parasitic diseases. [4]

6. Anti-Cancer – Foods containing bromelain have been linked to chemopreventive action, for example in correlation with colorectal cancer cells. Extract from the plant stems also shows antitumor activity. Vitamin C is also known to strengthen the body against developing cancer. [5][6]

The Wikipedia page for Bromelain [7] states regarding bromelain “No peer-reviewed research shows any efficacy against tumors”. This is to a certain extent misleading – as although the human research has not been done, there have been numerous scientific papers reporting on anti-cancer effects of bromelain in cell and animal studies: For example a 2012 study in the peer-reviewed Journal Of Medicinal Food “Bromelain-induced apoptosis in GI-101A breast cancer cells”, [8] and a 2013 study in the peer-reviewed Cancer Investigation “Anticancer property of bromelain with therapeutic potential in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma” [9]

7. Digestive Aid – Bromelain is an enzyme that has been used for centuries as a digestive aid owing to its ability to digest proteins. Some people do not make enough digestive enzymes naturally and benefit from enzyme supplementation.

8. Boosts Immune System – Pineapple is very high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is well known to stimulate the immune system, supporting anti-bacterial and anti-viral action – it can be found in a natural form in pineapple (58% of the recommended daily amount in a 100g serving!). [10]

9. Anti-Blood Clots – There is some evidence that bromelain may help keep platelets in the blood from sticking together, which in turn may help prevent blood clots. If this is the case, it may also promote bleeding in some people and hence might be avoided by people prone to prolonged bleeding.

10. Sinusitis Recovery – Some studies have indicated that bromelain from pineapple may help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis and speed recovery time.

11. Assists E. Coli And Bowel Diseases – Some animal studies have indicated that bromelain may help treat diarrhea related to E. coli infections and reduce inflammation in intestines of people with inflammatory bowel disease. [11]

12. Sore Throat & Infection Remedy – The plant has been used for many years in traditional remedies as a diuretic, to quicken labor, for sore throats, seasickness and venereal disease. Native people in Panama use the leaf juice as a purgative, emmenagogue (stimulates menstruation) and to treat intestinal worms.

13. Fluid Retention – The roots have been used to treat oedema / edema (fluid retention) in Africa and the rind extract for both fractures and hemorrhoids! Scientific research is limited so the evidence is mainly experiential for many of these indications – hopefully the research will begin to investigate more of these potential uses! [12][4]

Pineapple and the environment: Waste material from pineapple growing has traditional use as a fibre for string and textile making. New research shows that it could be used to produce cellulose nanocrystals, which have many possible applications in the production of a highly sustainable and renewable manufacturing material, potentially able to replace some fossil fuel derived plastics! [13][14] Unfortunately, it’s not all good news – some aspects of pineapple production are causing alarm, especially from the heavy use of chemical pesticides and herbicides. Organic pineapples are highly desirable but harder to find as the majority of the large-scale pineapple industry runs on industrialised monoculture. [15]

Safety Note – People with anaemia should limit their pineapple intake as manganese can inhibit iron absorption.

References:

[1] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/895.html

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23509220

[3] http://www.livestrong.com/article/114096-juices-can-cleanse-kidneys/

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24123777

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17893836

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromelain

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22191568

[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23570457

[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24766384

[11] http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine…/

[12] http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/pineapple.html

[13] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926669013004664

[14] http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/cellulose-nanocrystals-possible-green-wonder-material.html

[15] http://www.theguardian.com/business/2010/oct/02/truth-about-pineapple-production