Q. Does pineapple help stop indigestion?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Tuesday, 28 May 2013.
Tagged: balanced diet, fads, food trends, hunger, special diets

Q. Does pineapple help stop indigestion?

THE QUESTION IN FULL

Q. My husband suffers indigestion. A friend suggested he eat fresh pineapple before or after each meal. Since he's been on the pineapple he no longer has the problem. Is this an old wives' tale or is there a scientific reason for it?

 

A.  Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down proteins in food and is the reason why fresh pineapple will not set in a jelly. Paw-paw and kiwi fruit have similar protein-dissolving enzymes, so these may be helpful if your husband tires of pineapple. But if you boil the pineapple first, this destroys the enzyme, so cooked or canned pineapple will not have the same effect.

Another reason pineapple helps is simply because of its acidity. This perhaps is boosting the acidity of the stomach, a first step in the digestive process, and making his digestion easier.

Whatever the reason, it's certainly not doing him any harm and is much better than taking medications with all their possible side-effects.

Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.