Do a quick search on any good internet search engine and you’ll discover just how often pregnant women ask about the safety of pineapple during pregnancy. While some sites attribute this question to an old wives tale, others tell of the dangers of uterine contractions brought on as a result of consuming pineapple. This risk is attributed to a substance called Bromelain.
Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples. Bromelain has many positive effects on the body including adding digestion, and reducing swelling, bruising and inflammation. It is also being explored as a complimentary treatment for the management of pain related osteoporosis and cancer.
In large enough doses Bromelain can cause uterine contractions. It is this property of pineapple which led practitioners and pregnant woman alike to question the safety of pineapple during pregnancy. Like many similar claims, the answer is to be found in the detail.
In order to actually achieve uterine contractions the average pregnant woman would need to consume at least seven large, fresh pineapples. Given this amount of pineapple would cause diarrhoea it seems highly unlikely anyone would willingly consume this much! It is also important to note that Bromelain enzymes are destroyed by heating, so cooked and canned pineapple do not contain Bromelain.
The key here is moderation. There is no conclusive evidence that consuming pineapple in normal serving sizes will cause uterine contractions. In fact pineapple contains lots of vitamin C which will help support both you and your developing baby.
Naturally you should consult your midwife or doctor if you are concerned about the safety of pineapple during pregnancy and keep in mind that there may be other considerations. For instance pineapple contains high levels of natural sugars so should be avoided by women with gestational diabetes.
Published on 22/07/2013