Summer arrives in the northern hemisphere and with this heat we feel like eat pineapple. However, some people have had such strange and unpleasant experiences with this fruit that they are reluctant to take it again. For some it’s just a slight tinglebut others start directly at to bleed, from the tongue to the gums. It almost seems as if, instead of them eating the pineapple, the pineapple is eating them. And the truth is that, as much as it sounds like the plot of a bad B-movie, that is exactly what happens.
Pineapple is very rich in an enzyme called bromelainwhose role is break down proteins. Precisely for this reason, it is used as a meat tenderizer, both in the food industry and in the kitchen. But just as it softens the meat we eat, it also softens ours. it’s not serious nor dangerous, but in some cases it is a bit unpleasant.
In short, nothing happens to eat pineapple. But if it works for you uncomfortable, you can always resort to some tricks. We’ll see them, but before we get to that, let’s start at the beginning.
What is bromelain?
The enzymes are proteins whose function is catalyze certain reactions. That is, they can be imagined as the necessary tools for these reactions to take place. In the case of bromelain, it is a protease. This means that your concrete reaction is the protein breakdown.
We already know that proteins are made up of subunits called amino acids, which join together, to give rise to the peptide chain that makes up the protein. Very roughlyamino acids are bricks that make up proteins. And the function of proteases is to separate those bricks. But not at any point. There are many types of proteases, which cut bonds between different amino acids. Bromelain, for example, is specialized in breaking bonds with an amino acid called cysteinewhich is very common in our proteins.
Although they are also abundant proteins in the meat of other animals, that is why it is used as a tenderizer. In the food industry it is added to meat before it is sold. But, in addition, in the kitchen you can use the pineapple juice to flavor the meat and, on the other hand, give it a softer texture.
They are all advantages at the food level, although it is also beneficial for health. Its ability to break down proteins resembles that of pepsinwhich is located in the gastric juices. Therefore, it is very useful to treat bad digestions. Also has other medical applications.
For example, since it has the ability to reduce platelet clumps, it appears to be a good anticoagulant. It also seems to inhibit the production of prostaglandins, which are substances involved in inflammatory processes. This has made it the center of research for many scientists, who even believe that it can be useful for treating infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.
Seeing all this, it seems that eating pineapple is very healthy. And it really is. But of course, not everything could be wonderful.
When eating pineapple becomes reciprocal
The moment we start eating pineapple, the bromelain comes into contact with the proteins in our mouth and, if it hits cysteines, it cuts the links. This may initially cause tingling, but in some people it can go further, causing them to bleed. If we take into account your anticoagulant effect, we might fear bleeding to death, but for that, much higher doses would be needed than those that are achieved by eating pineapple. After all, it is not pure bromelain.
Now, if we want to avoid bleeding when eating pineapple, we can always resort to some tricks. The first is to avoid the center and the trunk, since they are the parts where more bromelain is concentrated. If, even so, bleeding continues, you can opt for the canned pineapple. In his juice, not in syrup. This usually also has less concentration of the enzyme that makes us bleed. And if not, we can always eat cooked pineapple
Normally, when we heat proteins, something known as denaturation occurs, which makes them lose their properties. Enzymes are proteins, so when you cook the pineapple, the bromelain can no longer digest the meat. But of course, neither the properties are the same nor the flavor. That is where our decision comes into play. Nothing bad will happen to us from eating pineapple. Unless we are allergic, of course. Therefore, you only have to choose if it is worth bleeding in exchange for a piece of this fruit. Each one to think of their own answer.