We all know about the health benefits of eating fresh fruit as much as possible but consider fruit enzymes as well.
Not only does fresh fruit taste good, but it contains vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help keep our bodies working in top form. This is precisely why you recommend fruit as an essential part of your patients’ healthy diets. Unfortunately, if you are in an area that is not conducive to year-round affordable access to fresh fruit, it can be difficult to come up with alternative recommendations for your patients during the fall and winter months.
You could let your patients go without fresh fruit for one-third of the year, but that would mean they will be missing out on some valuable nutritional benefit.
Instead, consider recommending that your patients look at taking fruit enzyme supplements, which will offer the benefits of fresh fruit, but distilled down into capsule form that is easy to obtain throughout the year.
Two good examples of such fruit enzyme supplements are bromelain (from pineapples) and papain (from papaya).3
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple fruit stem.1,2 It is often used to treat inflammation, particularly in cases of sinusitis, bronchitis, and osteoarthritis. It has also been shown to help promote cell death (apoptosis) in cases of cancer and can help with absorption of other drugs, particularly antibiotics.2
This means that bromelain will not lose any of its therapeutic benefits as it is absorbed. In fact, it can be combined with other medications that treat similar conditions to provide even more healing benefits.2 It also helps absorb the nutrients in the pineapple itself, including vitamins A, C, D, B6, and B12, calcium, and magnesium.1
Papain has similar properties to bromelain, particularly in the areas of helping digestion, including both cases of constipation and diarrhea, and speeding wound healing. It also helps reduce inflammation related to allergies, sinus infections, and bronchitis.3,4 The papain extract has also shown some benefit in terms of both cardiovascular disease and strokes.
Its absorption properties, which are similar to those of bromelain, may also help in terms of anti-aging effects, as valuable vitamins and nutrients in the papaya fruit are better absorbed throughout the body.4 Such nutrients include the antioxidant vitamins C, A and E; the minerals magnesium and potassium; folate; and fiber.
Double the benefit
Although the beneficial properties of bromelain and papain may seem to be identical, each has its own unique chemical makeup. Nevertheless, these two enzymes are similar enough that they can be used together, such that they complement each other and boost each one’s healing properties.3
A good example of this complementary benefit can be found in terms of speeding up the process of wound healing. Bromelain helps dissolve dead tissue, while papain helps stimulate the growth of collagen (a protein the body forms to fill out the body over the skeletal framework) in order for new skin to form.3
If your patients are committed to good health, they will want to maintain that throughout the year, not just when they can easily obtain fresh fruit as a vital part of their wellness diet. Obviously, this can be more difficult during the winter in certain parts of the country. Fruit enzyme supplements may provide an excellent means to help nutritionally support your patients during this time of year.
- WebMD. Accessed 10/6/2016.
- Pavan R, Jain S, Singh S, Kumar A. Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: A review. Biotechnology Research International. 2012 Dec.
- Benefits of bromelain and papain. SFGate. Accessed 10/7/2016.
- Aravind G, Debjit B, Duraivel S, Harish G. Traditional and medicinal uses of Carica papaya. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 2013 1(1):7-15.