5 Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients to Add to Your Smoothie for a Healthy Boost
Anti-inflammatory smoothies do exist! Instead of blending in boatloads of sugar and artificial ingredients, try these smoothies for inflammation that are stoked with ingredients that may help lower your risk for chronic diseases including cancer, hea
True, inflammation sounds painful and potentially dangerous. But before we dive into the topic of smoothies for inflammation-fighting, it’s important to note that not all inflammation is bad. “Inflammation is a necessary process that helps your body defend itself and heal,” explains Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Strong Healthy in West Orange, New Jersey. There are two types of inflammation, chronic and acute. Acute inflammation is redness or swelling from a recent injury. Chronic inflammation is often caused by illness or persistent stress. Acute inflammation is a sign the body is trying to heal itself. On the flipside, chronic inflammation in the body (which can be triggered by many lifestyle habits and foods in the standard American diet) can put you at higher risk for chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
“Consuming certain foods and beverages in excess may create a pro-inflammatory environment. These foods and beverages include: refined carbohydrates, sugar-sweetened beverages, excess alcohol, processed snack foods, sugary desserts, fried foods, trans fats, excessive red and processed meat intake, and refined oils,” summarizes Michelle Hyman, R.D., a registered dietitian at Simple Solutions Weight Loss. “Foods and beverages that help reduce inflammation include non-starchy vegetables, whole fruits without added sugar, plant-based fats, omega-3 fatty fish, spices, and unsweetened teas.”
Rather than drinking anti-inflammatory smoothies and juices all day long, Wener recommends aiming for moderation.
“When it comes to eating to prevent chronic inflammation, ensuring we have a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients (plus the fun foods we can’t live without) is really important! A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and calcium-rich foods is key, and incorporating consistent movement that you love is also a key factor as well.”
The Best Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie Ingredients, According to Dietitians
Smoothies or otherwise, a good anti-inflammatory diet rule of thumb is to aim for at least three different colors on your plate (or in your glass) per meal, Werner suggests.