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Ever peeled and cored one of these wonderful tropical fruits and wondered, Can you eat the core of a pineapple? I know I have. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably already had a secret nibble!
So, to answer the pineapple core eating question, I decided to do a bit of digging, and what I found was enlightening. I’m sure you’ll never look at the middle part of a pineapple in the same way again.
Can you eat the core of a pineapple?
Let’s answer the main question first before we move on to the benefits. The answer to the question of whether or not you can eat the core of a pineapple is a resounding “Yes!”. Many people are concerned about the center being poisonous, but this isn’t the case at all.
That’s not to say that there aren’t any differences between the juicy, soft outer flesh and the core; there are. Pineapple cores are much tougher and generally a lot less sweet than the main part we commonly eat, but that doesn’t mean you should be throwing your pineapple core away.
On the contrary, the center of a pineapple is actually jam packed with goodness, which makes it well worth keeping and using.
Pineapple core benefits
So, what are the numerous benefits to be found in the middle of your pineapple? Let’s take a look!
While it may be a little on the tough side, eating the core of a pineapple is a great way to get a little extra fiber into you diet. Many of us simply do not get enough fiber daily, so throwing away a decent source of dietary roughage is pretty senseless.
Dietary fiber is absolutely essential if we want to maintain healthy digestive and immune systems. It’s thought to be highly beneficial when it comes to preventing some of the biggest medical issues faced in the west, including heart disease and certain cancers, and yet lots of people simply do not get enough.
As fiber only comes from plants, it makes sense that much of the population is lacking in this vital nutrient. Naturally, those of us who stick to plant-based whole foods are getting a lot more fiber than people eating a Standard American Diet, but you should still consider using that pineapple core rather than throwing it in the trash.
Bundles of bromelain
Pineapples are well known for their bromelain content as it is the only natural way for us to get these proteolytic enzymes into our diet, but the core holds especially high concentrations of this compound.
Bromelain is thought to have a number of benefits, including the reduction of inflammation within the body. Many people swear by bromelain as an effective natural way of reducing arthritic pain, while others include it in their diet to help with digestive issues and stomach problems.
Another claim that you’ll regularly come across when reading about bromelain benefits is that it can help with weight loss. I would, however, take this with a pinch of salt, as it is often those who are trying to sell bromelain supplements who are behind the information. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, but it does make you wonder and there’s no real science to back this claim up, either. Likewise, the claims that bromelain can possibly cause a reduction in the size of cancerous tumors is also a matter of conjecture.
There are also some who believe that bromelain can help encourage implantation after IVF treatment, but again, the science is sketchy at best. However, providing you consult with your doctor and are not effected by any of the issues listed below, there’s no harm in giving pineapple core a shot if you are trying to conceive 👶🏻
IMPORTANT: Bromelain isn’t always good news, and it can cause some rather unpleasant side effects. Some people may experience feelings of nausea after consuming this compound, while others may get diarrhea or menorrhagia (an increase in menstrual bleeding).
It’s also worth noting that certain medications do not react well to bromelain. If you are taking anticoagulants such as aspirin, apixaban, clopidogrel, or warfarin, for example, you should avoid it.
Similarly, bromelain can also increase the effect of some sedatives, including alcohol (check out our post on Can Vegans Drink Alcohol, too) and certain types of antidepressants and sleeping tablets. Consult your doctor if you are concerned.
Vitamin C and more
Finally, the core of a pineapple is loaded with another water-soluble antioxidant: vitamin C. This vitamin can, like fiber, help protect us against heart disease and it also helps the body to repair and restore itself. Other vitamin C benefits include its free radical fighting properties, decreased LDL cholesterol, and nitrate neutralization.
Alongside vitamin C, pineapple cores also store a number of important minerals, too. Manganese is present in relatively high quantities, which is essential for our bone metabolism and structure, and copper is there, too, which helps the body form collagen and absorb iron.
READ NEXT: Can You Eat Fig Skin?
How to use pineapple core
Now we know that we can eat pineapple cores, and that we really should be, how on earth do you go about it? After all, they’re pretty unappetizing when compared to the mouthwatering flesh that surrounds them.
Probably the easiest way is to chop them up after coring and throw them into a smoothie. This method allows you to benefit from the nutrients and fiber found within the pineapple core, but will save you from all the chewing and the bitter taste.
If you will be eating the flesh first but won’t need the core until later, it freezes really well. Chop the pineapple core into smallish chunks and freeze as a single layer before transferring into freezer bags. You’ll then be able to add them to your smoothie instead of ice cubes. Nice!
Be warned, though, pineapple cores are extremely tough, so you’ll need a pretty powerful blender to break them down into a pulp ready for drinking. We’ve written reviews of the best Ninja blender for smoothies to help you out.
Another method is to simply cut your pineapple slices thinly (a top quality mandoline slicer or a really sharp knife set is called for here). Peel the outer skin as you normally would, but instead of reaching for your pineapple corer, just start slicing straight away. Cutting your pineapple into very thin slices makes the core easier to eat and it doesn’t impart so much of its bitter taste in one go.
You could also use your pineapple core to make a stock or broth for use in various Asian dishes, but you’ll lose a lot of the goodness that way…especially the fiber.
Whatever method you decide to use, eat those pineapple cores instead of throwing them away. You’ll not only lower the amount of food waste you produce, you’ll also be doing your body a whole lot of good, too.