Best Fruits for an Anti-Inflammatory Diet  

Inflammation is a complex biological process that is part of the body’s natural response to injury, infection, or harmful stimuli. Yet while inflammation is a natural function of the immune system, severe or chronic inflammation can be harmful or an indicator of an underlying condition. Diet is one of many factors that can play a role in reducing inflammation, though, and research from recent years has shown that certain foods—especially particular fruits—may be able to lower inflammation and potentially prevent some inflammatory diseases.

Facts About Inflammation   

While temporary inflammation is essential for healing and protecting the body, chronic inflammation can persist for years and cause a variety of additional symptoms. Chronic inflammation is also associated with a wide range of conditions like cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also thought to play a significant role in obesity-related chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. If left untreated, various cells, tissues, and organs can become damaged.

Fortunately, doctors have, over time, identified a number of strategies to fight inflammation; for some severe cases prescription medication is necessary, but many people can also improve inflammatory markers by making different lifestyle choices like quitting smoking or drinking significantly less alcohol. But one of the most accessible ways to make a difference is through healthy eating and adopting a healthy diet that limits the kinds of processed foods and fried foods that are all too common in the average American diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Fruit

Of course limiting inflammatory foods is only part of the solution; the other part involves selecting foods with actual anti-inflammatory compounds. In addition to providing a variety of other health benefits, fruits contain important compounds called antioxidants. Most antioxidants in fruits come from phytochemicals like anthocyanins and carotenoids that give fruits their pigments. Antioxidants are important because they protect the body’s cells from the potential damage of free radicals, which are small particles thought to contribute to inflammation.

Top Fruits With Anti-Inflammatory Properties 

Whether eaten fresh or as an ingredient in a recipe, essentially all fruits have antioxidants in varying amounts. That is why it’s important to have a diet that includes multiple servings of a variety of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables like leafy greens. Because even apart from antioxidants, a diet focused on a diverse set of whole foods has numerous health benefits that can lower risk factors for different types of disease. Below are some of the best fruits with the highest antioxidant content:

  • Berries: Berries are some of nature’s healthiest foods, and they are good for heart health, blood pressure levels, and overall health and wellness. Berries are also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins that have anti-inflammatory benefits. Examples include blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
  • Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruit, and tangerines are well known for being packed with vitamin C, an essential nutrient linked to immune health, skin health, and several other aspects of health. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that is believed to reduce inflammation; in fact, some research has shown that drinking orange juice may reduce inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein.
  • Pineapple: Pineapple contains numerous antioxidants, but one compound that makes it unique is bromelain, an enzyme that can be found in all parts of the pineapple fruit. This enzyme is still being studied, but there is evidence that it can reduce inflammation and reduce pain related to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis; this is also why it is sometimes sold as a dietary supplement.
  • Papaya: Papaya has a similarly helpful impact on inflammation due to its own unique enzyme called papain; between the enzyme and a high concentration of vitamin C, papayas are another fruit that can lower inflammation.
  • Kiwi: Kiwifruit is a small tropical fruit with a large health profile. In addition to being high in vitamin C and other nutrients, kiwis contain powerful polyphenols that are known to have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Mango: Another tropical fruit that has gained popularity in recent years is the mango. Mangoes contain phenolic compounds like quercetin and anthocyanins that can reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative stress.
  • Bananas: Bananas are a good source of both vitamin B6 and vitamin C, which have anti-inflammatory effects as well as being beneficial for overall health.

Partner with FruitSmart 

The science is clear that a variety of fruits should be a regular part of our diet; this is true because of the body’s need for essential nutrients, but it’s also true because of how important antioxidants are for our long-term health. At FruitSmart, we offer juices, essences, concentrates, and purees are always of the highest quality. More than that, though, our fruit ingredients can provide a burst of flavor and various health benefits to a wide range of products like beverages, cocktail mixes, candies, fruit spreads, kombuchas, and nutraceuticals. If you’d like to learn more about how FruitSmart can help you develop your next hot new product, please contact us today.

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