Anti-Inflammatory Food and Colors

The foods that help fight inflammation come in all different colors. Each color has special properties that help fight inflammation and provide a myriad of other benefits to our body. These special properties are often referred to as the large category of “phytonutrients” which is basically a fancy word for plant nutrients. There are over 100,000 phytonutrients in the plants we eat! You can learn more about phytonutrients here. The anti-inflammatory nutrients make up hundreds of those phytonutrients. The color of a plant tells us some things about which phytonurients and which anti-inflammatory nutrients that plant contains. It’s vitally important that we get a variety of colors in our diet to make sure we are getting in the wide variety of phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds that we need for optimal health. This post is all about the orange foods and how they benefit our health.

Anti-Inflammatory Orange Foods

Orange compounds help protect our eyes, skin, and immune system. Additional benefits include anti-bacterial effects, anti-cancer, and reproductive health. The healthy orange compounds include: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, carotenoids, cucuminoids, and naringenin. The orange foods come in a wide variety of starchy vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits. Some orange foods are starchy; pair those with a compete meal to prevent blood glucose spikes. The starchy orange foods include winter squashes and sweet potatoes. Tangerines and Oranges, among other citrus fruits, are high in powerful phytonutrients and provide many health benefits so make sure to incorporate them into your weekly intake. Check out this post to find out more benefits you can gain by eating citrus fruits. Carrots make a great, easy addition to snacks and meals. Baby carrots are a healthy convenient item to keep on hand in your fridge for quick access. Keep reading to learn more about the orange foods.

Orange Food List:

anti-inflammatory rainbow orange foods



This phytonutrient founds in orange foods turns into vitamin A. So in-turn beta-carotene helps maintain healthy vision, promote cell growth, supports healthy reproduction, and supports our immune system. Cooking foods like carrots helps us absorb the caratenoids more efficiently. Also, beta-carotenes are fat soluble – meaning they need some healthy fats to be absorbed. This emphasizes the importance of balanced meals for optimal health. Check out the anti-inflammatory plate method to ensure you are balancing your meals correctly. The University of Maryland Medical Center has some more information on beta-carotene here.


Water soluble phytonutrients found in orange (and yellow) fruits don’t require fat to be absorbed. Together with vitamin C bioflavonoids help reduce the risk of heart attacks, maintain strong bones and teeth, and fight off cancer. Other benefits include treatment or prevention in the following conditions: allergies, atherosclerosis, stress, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts, lupus, and urinary tract infections. Huntington College of Health Sciences has a fact-sheet on these orange colored nutrients here. Bioflavonoids can help reduce the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and surprisingly, emphysema. Overall, bioflavonoids help protect us against inflammation and boost our immunity.

Tips for Increasing Orange Foods in Your Diet:

  • Choose sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes some of the time
  • Cook with turmeric more often
  • Have orange colored fruits as snacks or incorporate into fruit salads
  • Add orange peppers to fajitas or stir-fry
  • Grill peaches or nectarines for a sweet surprise
  • Keep carrots handy for snacks and meal additions

Recipes to Boost Orange Foods Consumption:

Mexican Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans by Recipe Runner
Golden Coconut Lentil Soup by Budget Bytes
Golden Turmeric Hummus by Healthy Nibbles and Bits
Mango, Tangerine, Yogurt Smoothie Bowl by Martha Stewart

How to Eat to Fight Inflammation

Just eating a few orange foods each week mixed in to your normal intake of fast-foods and sweets isn’t going to get you the benefits you are after. Check out my Ultimate Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet to make sure your following the full plan for optimal results. If you’d like to not only fight inflammation and gain health; but lose weight as well, check out How to Go Low Carb the Healthy Way. You can combine the anti-inflammatory diet and low-carb meal plans together for optimal health and weight management results. Sign-up for my newsletter below to get even more tips on following the Anti-inflammatory meal plan.

anti-inflammatory rainbow orange foods

Anti-inflammatory Rainbow

I’ll be sharing information on red foods, green foods, blue and purple foods, white and brown foods, and yellow foods over the next few months. Definitely check out the other wonderful colors of the anti-inflammatory rainbow and incorporate them into your nutrition plan as well. Your meals will not only be healthy and tasty, but beautiful as well! Check back often or sign-up for my newsletter so you don’t miss a thing! Eating a rainbow of colors is the best way to ensure a highly anti-inflammatory diet that includes the broad spectrum of phytonutrients we need for optimal health.

What’s your favorite orange food and/or recipe? Post in the comments below!

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