In addition to packing vitamins and minerals that your body needs daily, pineapples are a storehouse for bromelain. This plant enzyme or phytochemical appears to ease joint inflammation and might help decrease the amount of pain that you experience from arthritis. Along with its sweet goodness, the pineapple is a go-to fruit that may help you maintain your mobility in spite of arthritis. Consult your doctor before using pineapple in any form to treat a health condition.
Arthritis and Joint Pain
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most prevalent causes of arthritis joint pain. Osteoarthritis affects the majority of sufferers. Common symptoms include inflammation, swelling and stiffness in joints. Over time, both forms of arthritis commonly cause degradation of the affected joints. Sufferers may experience erosion of the synovial membrane in joints and loss of cartilage.
Bromelain is not exclusively found in pineapples, but fresh pineapple juice is a source that you should not overlook when you have concerns about arthritis pain. Bromelain is an enzyme that occurs naturally in fresh pineapples. Cooked pineapple has one-half to two-thirds less. The stem is the main source of bromelain in pineapples. The flesh also contains this enzyme.
Bromelain in pineapple juice might provide a dietary alternative or complementary treatment for arthritis pain relief, according to Arthritis Today. However, the evidence for this use of pineapple juice is largely anecdotal. Scientific research has focused on bromelain supplements, instead of naturally occurring bromelain from pineapple juice. Bromelain may reduce both inflammation and swelling in joints. These are the main causes of joint pain. Once the swelling and inflammation subside, your mobility may improve and your joints may be better able to withstand the weight of your body and the stress of movement and flexion.
Pineapple Juice Vitamin Bonus
The antioxidant vitamin C in pineapple juice can play an important role in the repair of collagen, or the protein in connective tissues that keep joints functioning properly, according to WholeHealthMD.com. Drinking pineapple juice also helps you increase your intake of the antioxidant vitamin A, which may help with arthritis pain. Antioxidants help your body to repair cell and joint damage caused by free radicals. These unbounded molecules that result from normal cell processes can cause deterioration of your tissues.
A 1-cup serving of pineapple juice contains 25 mg of vitamin C, or 42 percent of the daily value. Although this serving of pineapple juice contributes less than 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin A, it contains 12 international units, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Johns Hopkins University; Four Key Characteristics of Rheumatoid Arthritis; Dr. Joan Bathon; May 2011
- Merck Manuals; Osteoarthritis; Roy D. Altman; February 2008
- WholeHealthMD.com; Pineapple; October 2009
- WholeHealthMD.com; Doling Out the Bromelain; August 2005
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference; Pineapple Juice, Canned, Unsweetened, Without Added Ascorbic Acid
- Arthritis Today: Supplement Guide-Bromelain