Anti-Inflammatory Food List: Fruits, Dates, and Vegetables


  • Inflammation is the natural process that occurs in your body when there is an infection, illness, or injury, but it can remain latent for long afterward, causing damage.
  • Dates are a dry fruit known to have antioxidant properties, but they are also powerful anti-inflammatories and can help reduce chronic inflammation.
  • You can follow a list of anti-inflammatory foods, including vegetables and fruits like dates, to protect your body against chronic inflammation and other diseases.

Inflammation is a daily thing that occurs in our bodies. It can occur due to weight gain and diet. It may also happen due to environmental toxins and stress. Knowing an anti-inflammatory food list is key. It includes fruits, dates, vegetables, and more. These foods may help in reducing the effects of chronic inflammation in our bodies. In this article, we will tell you all there is to know about inflammation. We will also discuss how dates can be anti-inflammatory agents. Other anti-inflammatory foods to include in your diet are added as well.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a natural physiological defense mechanism. It occurs in our bodies as they attempt to defend us from pathogens, allergens, and other factors. This process happens when we are ill or infected. It is a way for your body to eliminate pathogens and promote tissue repair and recovery.

Some signs of inflammation include redness, swelling, and pain. You may also experience fever and fatigue. In healthy individuals, inflammation is reduced after a few days. It may also be lessened with medications.

Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is a normal biologic response. However, it can also lead to chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation remains present even after your illness, infection, or allergic response has subsided. Chronic inflammation progresses slowly. It also lasts for long periods, such as several months or years. It usually arises because of an injury or illness. It may also be due to the body’s inability to overcome and repair the damage.

However, inflammation has been traced back to several other factors. There are other things that might cause it aside from infection, illness, or allergy. Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins in the environment can lead to inflammatory responses. Because our bodies inhale and absorb it over time, our exposure never ends.

Other causes for chronic inflammation include:  

  • Autoimmune diseases: these include lupus, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • Heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Refined carbohydrates: these include candy, white bread, and sweetened beverages
  • Processed foods, such as fried foods
  • Saturated fats
  • Red meats
  • Smoking
  • Weight gain
  • Stress

Dates and Their Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree. You will often find them as dried fruit. Although they are high in carbohydrates, they also happen to be low in glycemic index. This means that dates are absorbed more slowly by your digestive system. Dates are a good resource for those that want to lose weight and curb their appetite. You may also use them as alternative sweeteners.

However, aside from being high in carbohydrates, they also contain several nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Some of these include calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, and copper. They also contain phosphorus, potassium, zinc, sulfur, cobalt. Dates also have fluorine, manganese, and boron. These are all essential nutrients that our bodies need to function. We use them in everyday metabolic processes. These include heart rate and bone mineralizations. It also increases our immunity. 

More so, dates might be some of the best anti-inflammatory foods you will find. Among some of its nutrients are bioactive compounds. These are known as polyphenols and flavonoids. Some of these can reduce oxidative stress. They lower inflammation that often leads to tissue and cell damage.

In various studies, dates have been shown to work as powerful anti-inflammatories. This is especially true when consumed in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes. Dates can be particularly beneficial. It is especially good for those individuals at risk for cancer, and diabetes. Those with heart disease, the metabolic disease may also find it helpful.

Other compounds in dates include various types of phytochemicals. These include carotenoids and phenolic compounds. Some examples of phenolic compounds in dates are flavonoids and anthocyanins.

These phytochemicals are antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. They are also antihemorrhagic. This means they can prevent infections, inflammation, and excessive bleeding. Furthermore, other studies have shown that even the leaves of dates are beneficial. They can be a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.

Phytochemicals in Dates

As mentioned above, dates contain carotenoids. This is a precursor to vitamin A, a nutrient that plays a central role in vision. This vitamin also deters free radicals that are trying to damage cells. The carotenoids in dates and other fruits are considered a major class of phytochemicals. 

Another major phytochemicals in dates are the phytosterols. The remaining phenolic compounds in dates are gallic acid and caffeic acid. Dates also contain syringic acid, p-Coumaric acid, and ferulic acid derivatives. All of these phenolic compounds are strong anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. 

In the past, these phytochemicals have been part of treating inflamed tissues and ulcers. They are also known to treat infections. They also have strong anti-tumor activity. This means they can help prevent the formation of tumors and cancer activity.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Fruits, Vegetables, and More

You are probably wondering what is the best natural anti-inflammatory food. We recommend you check out dates, fruits, and vegetables. These are specific anti-inflammatory foods. Along with a healthy diet, can prevent inflammatory pathways from forming in your body.

On one hand, some fruits are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. These include tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges. Vegetable sources are also anti-inflammatory. This includes green leafy vegetables, olive oil, and avocado. Other food sources for the prevention of inflammation are also available. This includes fatty fish and some peppers.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene. This Is a potent antioxidant that can reduce chronic inflammation. It is also helpful in cancer prevention. This compound is essential. This is because it also has the ability to reduce inflammatory cytokines.

Berries and Cherries

Some berries are great anti-inflammatory foods. These include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries. These fruits contain powerful compounds. These are called anthocyanins. They can reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative stress tissue. In turn, this also reduces cell damage. Other phenolic compounds are also good at reducing inflammation. These include flavonols and ellagitannins.

Oranges

Due to their high vitamin C content, oranges are also very anti-inflammatory. This is because vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It is also necessary for healthy tissues and collagen in our bodies.

Oranges also contain over 170 phytochemicals and about 60 flavonoids. These compounds aid in reducing inflammation. It also neutralizes free radicals and toxins. Eating oranges or drinking fresh orange juice without sugar is a good idea. It can aid in keeping your body safe from inflammation. 

Leafy Greens

Some vegetables are incredibly healthy. Out of all of the leafy greens are the primary group. Some of these include Swiss chard, kale, spinach, arugula, and endive. Other good options include lettuce, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus. All of these are high in vitamin E. This vitamin is another great antioxidant. It lowers chronic inflammation and tissue damage.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is denominated as the healthiest fat. This is one of the reasons why it is powerful at reducing inflammation. Olive oil contains multiple phenolic compounds. This includes oleocanthal. This has been proven to have similar anti-inflammatory effects as ibuprofen.

Avocado

Although avocado is a fruit, people often regard them as a vegetable. They are high in monounsaturated fats, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. These compounds all have anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly effective when paired with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. While high in calories, occasionally eating an avocado is always a good idea. Using avocado oil instead of butter or saturated fats is also a good option. 

Fatty Fish

Red meats have been proven to be inflammatory. In fact, they are correlated with pre-cancerous cells. Therefore, finding leaner meats is important. Fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon, is a great alternative. This type of fish is particularly high in omega 3 fatty acids. These are powerful anti-inflammatories. However, they are often lacking in our diets.

Consuming this fish or fish oil increases the dietary intake of important fatty acids. These are  eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA is an omega 3 fatty acid, while DHA is an omega 6 fatty acid. Both of them are efficient at reducing inflammation. Therefore, they can help prevent further inflammation from diseases. These include heart disease and autoimmune diseases like inflammatory bowel disease. They may also help lessen the effects of cancer and arthritis.

Black Pepper and Chili Peppers

You have probably heard that peppers are anti-inflammatory. People may say that it is a good way to keep oxidation and inflammation at bay. This is actually true. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine. This is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Many studies have shown that black pepper can reduce blood cholesterol and blood sugar level. It can also improve your brain and gastrointestinal health.

Chili peppers are known for their spice and hotness. This sensation is thanks to a natural compound called capsaicinoid. This compound also provides anti-inflammatory properties. However, chili peppers may not be a good idea for those with gastrointestinal diseases. Too much of them may irritate your intestines. 

If you are wondering what a good list of anti-inflammatory foods is, you can find it right here! This is the complete anti-inflammatory food list. It includes fruits, dates, vegetables, and more. Consuming dates, tomatoes, and berries is a good idea. We also recommend eating olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish. Eating these foods is a good way to prevent chronic inflammation. Through this, it can also prevent diseases and tissue damage. Along with a healthy diet, we recommend following a more active lifestyle. Make sure to choose, lean protein and try to lessen your stress. We also recommend getting more sleep. By doing all of these, you will find that reducing inflammation is possible.

Summary

An anti-inflammatory food list contains fruits, dates, and vegetables. Inflammation is a natural process. It occurs when we have an infection, allergy, or illness. However, sometimes inflammation can stay in our bodies after we have healed. These can cause more damage than good. Eating these natural anti-inflammatory foods is a good start. By knowing what to eat and why they help, you will have the best way to take care of your health.

Scientific Information

  • Glycemic index –  the value assigned to foods based on how slowly or quickly they raise blood sugar levels.
  • Phytochemicals –These are compounds found in plants, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, teas, and other foods that can promote health and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Phenolic Compounds – They are a group of compounds also known as phytochemicals present in plants, vegetables, and fruits. Phenolic compounds are antioxidants and can be anti-inflammatory too.
  • Flavonoids – This is a group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in fruits and vegetables.
  • CarotenoidsThese are pigments in plants, algae, and fruits. They are yellow, red, and orange and have antioxidant properties.
  • Essential fatty acidsThese are polyunsaturated fats that the body absorbs from food. They are essential for many metabolic activities and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Written by:

Juliana Tamayo, MS

Nutritionist

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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