We must distinguish here that inflammation is a natural and useful mechanism involved in the healing process. You want The real problem is chronic inflammation, or inflammation that persists. It is strongly associated with diseases of all sorts, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and arthritis (just to name a few) Here’s how it works: Imagine you cut your arm. Normally, it becomes a little red and puffy because your immune system is trying to protect it; this is inflammation. Given some time, it heals and the inflammation disappears. Now imagine you get that cut, and the next day you cut it again. Then again the next day, and so on. It will constantly be in a state of inflammation, which will ultimately lead to loss of tissue; this is CHRONIC inflammation. The longer this happens, the higher the chance it could also become infected and makes things even worse. This is basically what happens with chronic inflammation within your body, like what can happen in your blood vessels. They get damaged but can never really heal because they keep getting damaged. Don’t despair; you can eat fruit for inflammation control. The more – the better! Here’s why:
Chronic inflammation is associated with the production of free radicals, which can cause cellular damage on top of it all. Antioxidants, which tend to be abundant in fruits, neutralize free radicals, rendering them harmless.1 Thus, fruit for inflammation, at least CHRONIC inflammation. Here’s a really good article that goes into more detail about some of the best anti-inflammatory nutrients.
- Arulselvan P, Fard MT, Tan WS, et al. Role of antioxidants and natural products in inflammation. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2016;2016:1-15. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2016/5276130/
Cherries for Inflammation
Cherries are one of my favorite sources of antioxidants and thus anti-chronic inflammation. Most non-experts do not realize that ‘antioxidants neutralize free radicals’ is only half the story. While this is true, most antioxidants are either water soluble or fat soluble. In other words, they ONLY neutralize free radicals in parts of the cell that are mostly water OR mostly fat but NOT both. However, cherries contain lots of vitamin A, a fat-soluble antioxidant, and vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant. Most fruits contain at least some of each of these, but cherries also contain other antioxidants including flavonoids, peryl alcohol (which has been shown to fight cancer1) and a variety of organic acids. As you might expect, studies specifically link cherries to the decline of inflammation2 as well as cancer risk reduction.3
- Singh, B., Sharma, R.A. Plant terpenes: defense responses, phylogenetic analysis, regulation and clinical applications. 3 Biotech 5, 129–151 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-014-0220-2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13205-014-0220-2#citeas
- Darshan S. Kelley, Reuven Rasooly, Robert A. Jacob, Adel A. Kader, Bruce E. Mackey, Consumption of Bing Sweet Cherries Lowers Circulating Concentrations of Inflammation Markers in Healthy Men and Women, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 136, Issue 4, April 2006, Pages 981–986, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/136.4.981
- McCune LM, Kubota C, Stendell-Hollis NR, Thomson CA. Cherries and health: a review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2010;51(1):1-12. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408390903001719?scroll=top&needAccess=true
Any Fruit for Inflammation
All fruits contain antioxidants. Of course, the types and amount in each varies, but as a result, all fruits have at least some capacity to fight chronic inflammation. As a result, you should seek a variety of fruits in youtdiet, particularly as an inflammation reducer. Typically, the more brilliant the color, the more antioxidant power (think blueberries vs. apples).