Anti-inflammatory benefits from fruits, vegetables

Posted by Melissa Greathouse

Some medications like aspirin and ibuprofen help reduce inflammation in the body.

Certain fruits and vegetables offer natural anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

"Inflammation is the body's response when disease is cultivating," said registered dietician Page Love.

Diseases such as arthritis, gout, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers can cause inflammation.

Love said certain foods can aggravate inflammation that causes damage to the body's tissues.

"We know a diet that is high in meat proteins and fish proteins particularly processed proteins will increase inflammation," she said.

According to Love you get the opposite effect by eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables.

She also said it's a good idea to fill your plate with spinach, kale, chard, carrots and sweet potatoes.

"The color spectrum that makes these foods so rich in color is called anthrocyanin and this is the key nutrient that helps in the anti-inflammatory process," she said.

Love said half a cup of dried fruit, 1 cup of fresh fruit or juice is enough to do the trick.

"Taking as little as 2 servings a day of these high anthrocyanin foods can actually decrease inflammation as much as 50 percent," she said.

Less inflammation and more nutrition, too.