There's no better time to enjoy fresh fruit than during the summer months. While options like apples and pomegranates might go out of season, deliciously sweet fruits like mangoes, figs, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, and pineapple are in their prime.
Pineapple is one of the most pungent fruits to snack on, but pineapples are the cause of sore tongues and lips everywhere. The irritation is caused by a combination of enzymes in pineapples called bromelian, which break down proteins and essentially attack your tongue, cheeks, and lips on contact. Bromelain is most concentrated in the core (or stem) of the pineapple. When isolated, it is commonly used as a meat tenderizer (your tongue = meat). In supplement form, it is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. But once you chew and swallow it, both your saliva and stomach acids overtake them. So if your mouth hurts after eating raw pineapple, you're not alone—it happens to virtually everyone. The good news is that your tongue rebuilds those proteins and amino acids, so it won't be sore for long.
If your tongue is still burning, there’s hope yet: Cooking the pineapple (grill it, roast it, or even blanch it) can remove most of the enzymes. Or pair the fruit with a creamy dairy product (yogurt, ice cream). Not only will this taste very good, but it will also give the bromelain another protein to digest and help neutralize the pH.
So go forth and eat as much pineapple as your little heart desires, fearlessly. Don’t let this stop your love affair with pineapple. Our magnificent bodies quickly regenerate new skin and heal our ravaged mouths.
But keep in mind that bromelain isn't totally harmless. It can interact with certain medications, like blood thinners, sedatives, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and insomnia medications. If consumed in large amounts, it can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. So, if the sore sensation is very intense for you, then yeah, you might want to stop eating pineapple altogether.