All fresh fruits including pineapple are packed with enzymes however pineapple is well known for being packed with an enzyme called bromelain. This gives the fruit some amazing natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Of course like most fruits it's bursting with vitamin C. They are second only to bananas as America's favorite tropical fruit.
It is this the enzyme bromelain that makes pineapple useful in treating bruises, sprains and strains by reducing swelling, tenderness and pain. This anti-inflammatory property will help in relieving osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms as well as reducing post-operative swelling. Bromelain also acts as a digestive enzymes aiding in protein digestion. Most of the bromelain is concentrated in the core of the pineapple and for this reason I always add the stem to my smoothies. Pineapple is also known to help with fluid retention.
To gain the benefit of bromelain as an anti-inflammatory or as a digestive enzyme, it is important to know that enzymes are very sensitive to light and temperatures especially heat. So any commercially bought pineapple products will be dead so to speak, the enzymes will have been destroyed. This goes for bought juices, canned, frozen, and dried pineapple.
When choosing a fresh pineapple color isn't necessarily a good indicator of ripeness, some are in their prime when still green, it depends on the variety, ranging from green to yellow. The most important factor in determining ripeness is aroma let your nose help you decide. Ripe pineapples give off a sweet, fresh tropical smell. Avoid pineapples that give off a slightly alcoholic smell, they are too ripe and are fermenting. Avoid pineapples with soft spots or areas of dark discoloration. Eat pineapple at room temperature to appreciate their full flavor.
Pineapple "Rum Pud"
One or two pineapples
Add fresh mango (or frozen - you prepared when they were in season)
Thick coconut milk
A dash or two of rum
A banana or two
Leave the leaves on the pineapple and cut a pineapple in half length ways. Scoop or cut out the flesh leaving the pineapple halves in tack to use as containers. Cut up the flesh into cubes removing the stem. Put the pineapple into a bowl, add freshly grated ginger to taste, thick coconut milk and a little rum, slice or chop up bananas and mix all ingredients together. Place the ingredients back into the pineapple halves and serve immediately.
Pineapple makes a very good addition to smoothies, with papaya, some pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and a banana. Besides being high in bromelain and vitamin C, pineapples are also a rich source of beta carotene, potassium, vitamin B-1 (cofactor in enzymatic reactions vital to energy production, vitamin B-2, iron, fiber, manganese (co-factor in a number of enzymes needed for energy production and anti-oxidant defense), omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and some friendly bacteria.
Do you know? The part of the fruit closest to the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and more tender texture than the upper part of the fruit.