Eat these fruits for their anti-inflammatory benefits

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Nature’s original desserts, naturally sweet fruits are particularly abundant in anti-inflammatory compounds, which are important in protecting our bodies from heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer and bowel disease. Eating at least one-and-a-half to two cups of diverse fruits every day can boost antioxidant activity. One strategy is to eat with the seasons, choosing grapes and stone fruits in the summer, apples and pears in the fall, persimmons and pomegranates in the winter, and citrus and cherries in the spring.

While all fruits tend to be rich in disease-protective nutrients, some have received particular attention in the nutrition world for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

Berries. From strawberries and blackberries to cranberries and blue­berries, these gemlike fruits are particularly potent in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Along with fiber and vitamin C, berries possess plant pigment phytochemicals, such as anthocyanins and ellagic acid, which may be behind their health benefits. Studies have linked increased berry consumption with lower risks of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.

Apples. Maybe it’s true what they say about an apple a day: a study of nearly 35,000 women, found that consumption of this fruit—along with its relative, pears—was linked with a lower risk of death from heart disease. The star components of apples—fiber, vitamin C, pectin, and polyphenols—have been associated, primarily in animal studies, with anti-inflammatory effects and an increase in beneficial microbes in the gut.

Read the full article here from Harvard Health Publishing.