We have discussed at length about the health benefits of bromelain in a previous post. As already said, it is an invaluable enzyme for improving digestion and alleviating a number of other ailments.
So, where can you get more of this awesome enzyme? While it’s found almost exclusively in a single fruit, there are other ways you can get this powerful enzyme.
You cannot bring up bromelain foods without talking about pineapples. It’s almost as if mother nature created pineapples just for the purpose of adding this enzyme.
Pineapple bromelain is mostly concentrated in the fruit’s stem. That’s the center, or core of the fruit. Ironically, this is also the part of the fruit some people avoid eating. This part tends to be firmer and less juicy. In canned pineapples, the core is also typically removed. However, you absolutely need to eat the center portion if you wish to reap the full health benefits it has to offer.
We recommend sticking to whole pineapple, preferably organic, though that’s not a must. The fruit’s hard outer shell mostly protects the edible part from pesticides and other environmental toxins. Frozen pineapple chunks are also fine. Refrain from canned pineapple products since those typically have added ingredients.
Fortunately, while pineapple’s peak season runs from March through July, it is available year-round in most regions.
Papaya itself actually does not contain bromelain. However, you should absolutely eat this fruit alongside pineapple. Papaya contains rich proteolytic enzymes of its own known as papain. Like bromelain, papain is also known for stimulating digestion and is a mainstay in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s also known in folk remedies for relieving inflammation and soothing heartburn. A 2000 study showed that papain from papaya was effective in reducing inflammation in the intestines, liver, and genitals.
Of course, papain is related but it's a different enzyme, so why are we including it in this list of foods with bromelain? Papain is known to boost the absorption rate of bromelain. Both papaya and pineapples are also grown in the same tropical climates. It’s almost as if they’re meant and destined to be eaten together for maximum benefits. They’re compatible like salt and butter.
We recommend a fruit medley of pineapple and papaya along with other fruit combinations of your choosing. Another tasty option is a homemade yogurt parfait with pineapple and papaya chunks. The yogurt contains probiotics that also aid in digestive relief.
Just as you can consume pineapple as is, you can also put the fruit through a blender or juice extractor. Pineapple juice is just as rich with bioavailable forms of bromelain, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
If you consume alcohol in moderation, then consider adding pineapple juice to your favorite tequila for a nutrient kick. This makes for a healthy cocktail that won’t give you a hangover the next morning.
We recommend buying the fruit whole or in frozen form to create your own homemade juice. Store-bought pineapple juice, even if it’s labelled 100% juice with no filler ingredients, is usually still pasteurized. This means it underwent a heating process where much of the enzymes and micronutrients are destroyed or underwent molecular changes.
A dietary supplement really isn’t food per se, but it’s still worth mentioning. If you just don’t like pineapple for whatever reason, then you can always take bromelain supplements. In fact, we actually include the enzyme in our new Inflammation Relief product. As with most supplements, you can choose to take the tablets with a meal or on an empty stomach.
With supplements and foods that contain bromelain being so beneficial and accessible, there is no reason for not making it a mainstay in your diet. This simple and natural enzyme just may be the answer to all digestion-related woes. Make the aforementioned foods or supplements a part of your regular meals and take notice of the difference you feel in a week's time.
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