Bloating is a symptom of indigestion, often accompanied by burping and, in some cases, a queasy feeling. The medical term for the condition is “dyspepsia,” and it’s most often related to what you eat and how much you eat, but it may also be the result of swallowing air or a medical disorder. Pineapples, a sweet, fibrous fruit, may offer some relief for bloating caused by indigestion, but if your symptoms persist or worsen, see your doctor to rule out an underlying disorder.
Ananas comosus is the botanical term for the leafy perennial tropical plant that produces pineapples. The large, pinecone-shaped fruits contain thiols, protease inhibitors and enzymes, including bromelain. The fruit of the pineapple has a long history of use in the treatment of digestive disorders. It is also used to treat constipation, menstrual disorders, inflammation, edema and topical burns, according to the “PDR for Herbal Medicines.”
Effect on Bloating
Bromelain, the enzyme in pineapple, is thought to assist in digestion by breaking down proteins in the stomach, according to the American Cancer Society. Studies confirming pineapple’s digestive benefits, however, are lacking.
Pineapple is available fresh, canned, as a juice, or as bromelain in concentrated tablet form. Enjoy a glass of pineapple juice with meals, or eat fresh or canned pineapple as dessert. When taking bromelain supplements, the PDR suggests taking 80 to 240 milligrams of raw bromelain per day, divided between meals. Do not exceed the suggested dosage, unless directed to do so by your doctor.
Bromelain is “generally considered safe,” according to the American Cancer Society, but people who are allergic to papaya, latex or kiwi may also be allergic to pineapple and bromelain. Side effects include diarrhea and an upset stomach and increased bleeding during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, people with hypertension, blood clotting disorders or kidney or liver disease should not take bromelain or eat pineapple in therapeutic dosages.