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List of anti-inflammatory fruit

There is certainly some truth in the old proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor way” when it comes to inflammation. The long list of phytochemicals in apples is their key to reducing inflammation and pain. They include the flavonoids quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid (Boyer & Liu, 2004). Apples are also a great source of dietary fibre if eaten with the skin on, helping to maintain a healthy digestive tract and reduce cholesterol. (1) Boyer & Liu (2004). Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits, Nutrition Journal, 3, 5., London

The anti-inflammatory properties of apricots stem from their richness in phytochemicals. Quercitin and catechins, both flavonoids act directly on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-02), an enzyme responsible for inflammation in the body. Other benefits are the high levels of dietary fibre, vitamins A and C, and potassium.

Avocados provide anti-inflammatory benefits from their polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols and abundance of carotenoids, which have the effect of controlling the production of interleukin (IL-6, which is produced by the body in response to trauma or infection. Avocados are fatty compared with other plants foods but it is good fat that the body more easiiy converts to energy that the saturated fats of meat and dairy products.

The three key anti-inflammatory phytochemcials present in bananas are rutin, quercitin and kaempferol. They also have the added benefit of protecting cells from cancers. A banana a day will also provide you with essential dietary requirements of fibre, vitamins A and C and potassium. There is also evidence from Imperial College London that children who regularly eat bananas are 34% less likely to develop asthma, an inflammatory auto-immune disease.. (1)
(1) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157.php

Blackcurrants and blackcurrant oil
Whether it is the fruit or the seed oil, you can expect anti-inflammatory benefits in both. They are very rich in omega-3 and omega-6 and traditionally the oil has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. For more information on blackcurrant oil click here.

Dark, richly coloured fruits like blackberries contain anthocyanin, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties and has been shown to reduce inflammation in arthritis. A university study in New Zealand revealed that blackberries are amongst a group of fruits that provide a strong anti-inflammatory response to cell damage with great potential for the treatment of a range of inflammatory illnesses. (1)
(1) Ferguson L, (2015), Feijoa and blackberry help reduce inflammation, The University of Auckland

Blueberries act as an anti-inflammatory by stimulating the body’s cells to regenerate, effectively self-healing. According to the Journal of Nature and Science, their phytochemicals, namely anthocyanins, are the key. (1) They enhance cells’ ability to absorb vital nutrients to aid their reparation after damage – in particular stress-induced damage such as injury of vigorous exercise. (1) Wu, Maggie M. et al. (2015) Journal of Nature and Science, 1(4):e65, . Also available online at http://www.jnsci.org/files/article/e65.pdf

Tart Cherries
Tart and sweet cherries look very similar to you’ll have to know the variety before you buy. Examples of tart cherries include the varieties Montmorency, Balaton, Amarelle and Morello. In supermarkets and food stores they might also be labelled as sour cherries. For the horticulturists amongst us their Latin name is Prunus cerasus whilst sweet cherries have the Latin name Prunus avium and varieties including Bing, Lambert and Rainier. The anti-inflammatory benefit of tart cherries stems from anthocyanins, which block two bodily enzymes CO1-1 and COX-2, similar in effect to Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Whilst all cherries contain anthocyanins they are found in much greater concentrations in tart varieties. Cherries also contain quercetin which another anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the inflammation in the bronchial tubes and lungs in asthma patients. Read more about the health benefits of cherries here. http://altmedicine.about.com/od/completeazindex/a/tart_cherry.htm

Citrus fruits. Limes, Lemons, oranges and grapefruits.
Hot water and lemon has long been a favourite cold remedy because of the high levels of vitamin C, however, there is now evidence that lemons provide other benefits. TrueLemon.com reports that “A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that citrus antioxidants may help reduce inflammation”. The key conclusion was that eating citrus fruits could reduce levels of interleukin-8, an inflammatory chemical. Oranges contain the carotenoid beta-cruyptoxanthin which can lower the risk of developing inflammatory arthritis. In 2013, The Institute of Oriental Medicine published a study that suggested extracts from the peel of all citrus fruits had both anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties. (1) (1) Tsujiyama, I. et al, (2012), Anti-histamine release and anti-inflammatory activities of aqueous extracts of citrus fruits peels, Seoul, Kyung Hee University. Also available online at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13596-012-0093-z#page-1

Red grapes contain the compound resveratrol, which can lower the concentration of inflammatory markers in the bloodstream. Resveratrol works likes NSAIDs by interrupting the body’s inflammatory pathways. Like all fruit, grapes are high in sugar but they are a good source of dietary fibre.

Papaya is another wonder fruit that provides anti-inflammatory benefits similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It contains high levels of proteolyctic (protein-digesting) enzymes, with the main one involved in anti-inflammation processes being papain. Papain helps the body break down proteins such as meat, fish and dairy products to allow the body to absorb their nutrients more effectively as single amino acids. Papaya become ripe when they turn red, however, it is the green or unripe stage when they contain most papain.

Like papaya, the pineapple’s secret ingredient to combat inflammation is a protein digesting enzyme. In this case it is bromelain. Bromelain, which is often sold in capsules form as a supplement is a natural anti-inflammatory effective on damaged joints and soft tissue.

An abundance of phytochemicals is the pomegranates secret weapon against inflammation. The University of South Caroline and Case Western Reserve University conducted a study, which concluded that pomegranate extract plays a role in reducing the inflammatory processes and could be used to treat inflammatory diseases.

Like other dark red berries rich in pigmentation, raspberries alleviate inflammation in the body in a similar way to the effect of pharmaceutical drugs by inhibiting the activity of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, which are responsible for creating inflammation.

The heady cocktail of phytochemicals, including anthocyanins, phenolic acids, flavonols and terpenoids, found in Strawberries makes it one of the most effective berries in the fight against inflammation if eaten several times a week. They also contain high levels of vitamin C, which can protect against rheumatoid arthritis, and manganese which can reduce cellular inflammation.

Tomatoes contains the carotenoid lycopene, which can reduce bodily inflammation, particularly in the lungs by inhibiting the release of chemicals that cause inflammation. Cooking tomatoes makes them even richer in lycopene so using tinned tomatoes as a base for sauces is a great anti-inflammatory choice. Tomatoes are members of the nightshade group of plants to which can cause sensitivity in some people and can worsen autoimmune conditions. Experimenting with them within your diet is the only way to find out. It is said that not that not eating the seeds removes the sensitivity causing agents.