For generations, people have used fresh pineapple to ease their arthritis inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory ingredient, bromelain, is so potent that many boxers drink it after fights to heal their bruises. A 1960 study compared boxers who took bromelain with those receiving a placebo. In just four days, an amazing 78% of those taking bromelain were inflammation-free, while only 14% of the control group had recovered.
1. Pineapple’s bromelain halts inflammation. The sulfur-based enzyme bromelain in fresh pineapple is one of the best-researched natural anti-inflammatory agents around. Bromelain clobbers inflammatory agents that trigger joint pain and cartilage degeneration. A 2006 study cited in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology found that supplemental bromelain is effective in easing discomfort from hip arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation stated that pineapple’s bromelain produces effects comparable to NSAIDs for relieving pain and inflammation. UK researchers reviewed ten studies on osteoarthritis (OA) and bromelain. They found that every single one confirmed bromelain’s benefits.
For a comprehensive summary of studies on bromelain and arthritis, click here.
2. Juice the core. Most of the bromelain in pineapples is found in the core and the stem. So don’t throw away that tough, fiberous core! Just chop it up, throw it in a blender with some water and pulse to convert it to juice. Drink this all alone as your between-meal arthritis-healing snack of choice, so that the enzymes go straight to work digesting the gunk in your joints. Don’t add other fruits or veggies to the juice, because the bromelain will ignore your joints and digest the other food instead.
3. Enjoy the rest of that tasty pineapple because it’s a joint healer too. In addition to smaller quantities of bromelain, the flesh of the pineapple fruit has hefty doses of vitamin C and manganese, both of which are vital to joint repair. Bromelain and Vitamin C weaken with cooking, so it’s best to eat your pineapple raw. Fruit skewers alternating fresh pineapple chunks with strawberries is a great way to do that. But grilled and cooked pineapple is extraordinarily tasty too, and the manganese is heat-stable, so you will benefit no matter what you do with it. (Just don’t rely on canned pineapple – you’ll never get the Vitamin C or the bromelain that way).