Pineapple: the fruit that bites

When you eat a pineapple, it sort of eats you back.

Pineapple is not only a delicious and healthy snack, but also a source of bromelain, a powerful enzyme used to soften meat. However, if you are not careful when consuming this fruit, it can cause your gums, tongue and cheeks to bleed. In this article, we’ll look at what bromelain is, how it can help treat burns, and how to eat pineapple safely.

What is bromelain?

Bromelain is a group of proteolytic enzymes that can break down proteins. They are found in the fruits and stems of the pineapple Ananas comosus. Bromelain is used to soften meat because it can break down proteins that are in tough cuts. Bromelain has also been studied to treat burns. Studies have shown that bromelain can help remove dead and damaged skin from burns in children and adults.

How does bromelain help treat burns?

Bromelain-based enzymatic wound treatment can improve the healing of full-thickness burns. Bromelain contains cysteine proteinases, which can break down any protein if there is a cysteine amino acid in the long-chain molecule. Mammalian cells have plenty of them, so the enzymes have something to work with when present in human tissues. However, more research is still needed to establish whether bromelain treatment is better than standard scar treatment in the long term.

Why does pineapple make you bleed?

For some people, the powerful enzymes in pineapple cause a mild tingling or burning sensation. For some unfortunate souls, however, pineapple’s vengeance is more serious, causing your tongue, gums and cheeks to bleed. This is because bromelain can break down proteins in the mouth.

How is it safe to eat pineapple?

Pineapple is perfectly safe to eat (unless you are allergic, which is rare), but for some people it can have unpleasant side effects. Trimming the pineapple from the stem, where the bromelain is most concentrated, may reduce the risk of ulcers, as may choosing canned rather than fresh. If you want to try pineapple without the risk, cooking it can destroy the enzymes so you won’t be eaten while snacking.

So, pineapple is a delicious and healthy snack, but don’t forget about the powerful enzyme bromelain, which is found in this fruit. If you are careful when eating pineapple, it won’t hurt you and can even help treat burns.

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