The pineapple is a plant that is part of the Bromeliads family and developed mainly in South America; nowadays pineapple cultivation takes place especially in countries such as Australia, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Already the pre-Columbian populations had developed a good knowledge with this plant and with the discovery of the new world, the cultivation also spread to other continents characterized by a tropical climate.
The word Pineapple derives from the name with which the Guarani Indians called, in their language, the fruit of this plant.
The leaves of the pineapple are rather langhe and gathered in large rosettes, while each flower has its own sepal which, in turn, become fleshy and juicy and develop into the fruit.
The main feature of the pineapple fruit is undoubtedly the yellow plant, which is covered with a brown rind.
90% of the pineapple fruit is made up of water, while for the remaining percentage we can find sugars, essential oil, bromelain, oxalic, citric and malic acids, vitamins A, B and C, amino acids, proteins and minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
The beneficial properties of pineapple are essentially due to the presence of a specific enzyme: we are talking about bromelain, which is concentrated above all in the stem and its most important feature is that of improving the digestion of proteins, including the more complex ones.
The beneficial properties, as we said earlier, of pineapple are mainly due to the presence of Bromelain.
In reality these are two proteolytic enzymes (in practice, proteins), which have the particular ability to degrade other proteins into amino acids.
The first of the two forms of Bromelain that can be found in pineapple is the one found in the fruit, while the other is concentrated in the stem.
Nowadays, as far as the pharmacological industry is concerned, it is important to underline that the most exploited Bromelain is undoubtedly the one contained in the stem, since it is more concentrated, although the beneficial properties compared to that found in the fruit are the same. .
Bromelain is used, in particular, for anti-inflammatory therapies, especially when inflammation affects the soft tissues associated with trauma.
Within the treatment of these disorders, bromelain is undoubtedly to be preferred over NSAIDs, since it significantly decreases the risk of any gastrointestinal damage.
Furthermore, bromelain is quite famous for its antithrombotic, hypotensive and solubilizing action on arteriosclerotic plaques.
In addition, Bromelain allows it to carry out a beneficial action also in the food field, since it is able to speed up the metabolism, the diuretic effect, digestion and is a valid support in water retention problems.
The beneficial properties carried out by pineapple have been widespread since the eighteenth century and since then it has been used in all cases of excessively abundant meals or complicated digestions.
The beneficial effect is to help and facilitate the digestion and assimilation of proteins, especially those of meat.
Pineapple is also characterized by carrying out a preventive action against intestinal swelling, removing the symptoms of heartburn and gastric problems, especially if it is combined with other supplements and enzymes for the digestion of starches and lipids.
Properties against cellulite
Abundant water retention within the subcutaneous tissues, together with fat deposits, can lead to the formation of traditional and popular "orange peel" skin and even cellulite.
The bromelain present in pineapple is certainly one of the elements most used in supplements and products to combat cellulite, since numerous scientific studies have proven how oral and topical administration can play a beneficial function in reducing its effects.
Since bromelain has a specific anti-inflammatory property and since cellulite is caused precisely by an inflammation of the cell, then this enzyme is able to simplify the drainage of the inflamed focus and allows for reabsorbing the haemorrhagic transfer.
We can find various food supplements based on pineapple and other fruits on the market that allow you to perform a contrasting action against cellulite.
In some cases we can also find pineapple-based supplements in the treatment of obesity, obviously within low-calorie diets, thus exploiting the diuretic properties of this particular fruit.
Finally, you can also buy products such as capsules and tablets and pineapple base, which can obviously be found in herbalists, but are now increasingly popular also in pharmacies.
Excessive consumption of pineapple and pineapple-based products must be avoided in all those cases in which coagulating drugs are taken, given that the action of the drugs could dangerously integrate with the traditional and normal antiplatelet action; moreover, pineapple-based products are also not recommended for those suffering from active peptic ulcer.