Pineapple contains enzymes that reduce joint inflammation and may help to ease some of the pain linked to both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The enzyme, bromelain, is found naturally in pineapple. It’s an anti-inflammatory, a pain killer and also prevents blood clots.
Patients’ joint pain was eased after taking just 160mg of bromelain daily, studies have revealed.
Eating fresh pineapple, or drinking pineapple juice, is best for relieving arthritic symptoms. Cooked pineapple has between 50 to 66 per cent less bromelain. Canning pineapple also destroys some of the anti-inflammatory enzymes.
Scientists investigated the link between bromelain and arthritis in a study of 90 osteoarthritis patients.
Half were given a 90mg supplement containing bromelain, while the other half were given the more common treatment, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
After six weeks, the enzyme supplement proved more effective at easing pain, stiffness and physical function, it was revealed.
A further, smaller, investigation analysed the supplement’s impact on rheumatoid arthritis.
Bromelain was given to 29 patients, 25 of which were rheumatoid arthritis patients.
The swelling was either significantly or completely reduced in 21 of the patients.
Pineapple is also rich in both vitamin C and vitamin D.
Vitamin C helps to repair proteins in the connective tissues that keep joints functioning properly.
Also, vitamin D helps the body to repair joint damage.
Eating more pineapple could also help to improve immunity. Its vitamins stimulate the body to create more white blood cells, that defend against the causes of flu.
Antioxidants in pineapple could also help to prevent cancers of the mouth, breast and throat, it was claimed.
About 10 million people in the UK have arthritis, including both the elderly and young children, according to the NHS.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis.
Symptoms of the condition include joint pain and swelling, and restricted movement.
There is currently no cure for arthritis, but there are therapies that could slow down its development.
Therapies include NSAIDs, joint replacements, painkillers and physiotherapy.