So, what is inflammation? First, it's helpful to note that inflammation isn't necessarily a bad thing—it's part of the body's natural way of fighting infection, illness, and injuries. That said, chronic inflammation can cause major issues. Thankfully, some foods are especially effective at fighting off inflammation and protecting the body from its damaging effects. That said, Dr. Gundry notes that eating these anti-inflammatory foods or making an anti-inflammatory drink with them “is like fighting a forest fire with a garden hose.” Still, drinking anti-inflammatory drinks is a great place to start.
And while the photos posted on Instagram may make you think otherwise, you actually don't have to have next-level barista skills to make a healthy elixir that will benefit your body with every sip. All 10 of the anti-inflammatory drinks listed here are pretty simple to make—and you don't need any fancy equipment (other than a blender) either. Whether you like your drinks hot or iced, blended or smooth, savory or sweet, there's something for you on this list.
Scroll down to see the recipes for 10 anti-inflammatory drinks.
Because of their high antioxidant content, blueberries have powerful benefits for both the heart and the brain. In fact, one doctor told Well+Good they're his go-to fruit because they're so good for you. (Don't let that small size fool you.) In this recipe, you can use fresh or frozen berries. The recipe also includes cayenne for a little bit of a kick.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful foods for fighting inflammation, so get ready for it to make some repeat appearances on this list of anti-inflammatory drinks. Ginger is turned to almost as often, because of its association with everything from boosting the immune system to settling an uneasy stomach. This recipe includes both, using a traditional green smoothie (with spinach and banana) as the base. It also calls for chia seeds and flax to up the fiber.
Watch the video below to learn more about the health benefits of turmeric:
Golden milk lattes are an anti-inflammatory classic because the turmeric is so potent. (So if you don't like the taste of the spice, this probably isn't the best anti-inflammatory drink for you.) This recipe uses coconut milk as the alt-milk of choice because the subtle sweetness helps tone down the savory spice a bit. It also calls for cinnamon, which help on this front, too. Pro tip: Add black pepper, which helps your body better absorb turmeric's curcumin (aka its most beneficial compound).
If you have more of a sweet tooth, cinnamon is a great anti-inflammatory spice to keep on hand. Adding it to your morning cup of joe makes your coffee habit even more health-boosting since cinnamon is full of antioxidants and linked to promoting good cardiovascular health. In this recipe, it's used as the key ingredient for a fancy coffee drink; you don't even need an espresso machine to make it.
More of an iced coffee drinker? Try this recipe for a smart way to use cinnamon while keeping cool. Blend cinnamon with water, honey, and vanilla extract to make a cinnamon honey simple syrup, then add to a glass of iced cold brew.
Rosemary is one of Food Fix author Mark Hyman, MD's favorite spices for fighting inflammation because it's linked to boosting brain health and protecting the liver, among other benefits. Here, it's used in an iced tea recipe, with Earl Grey tea (which is naturally rich in inflammation-fighting antioxidants on its own), lemon, and water. Just go easy on the sugar (if you use it at all), since sugar itself is inflammatory.
This anti-inflammatory drink is not for the faint of heart, but if you fancy yourself a wellness daredevil, it's worth giving it an (ahem) shot. What makes it so powerful (and potent) is the combination of ginger and garlic, a food that's on the bottom of the anti-inflammatory food pyramid, right next to turmeric. You'll feel immediately healthier after knocking it back, that's for sure!
This is another anti-inflammatory drink that will take you into Advanced Wellness territory. The main ingredient is beet juice, which is especially beneficial for people who work out regularly because it helps replenish potassium (an electrolyte which is lost through sweating). Beet juice is also a good source of vitamin C. Here, it's combined with ginger, another inflammation-fighting all-star.
For a different way to get beets' nutritional benefits, try it in latte form. Besides beets, all you need for this recipe is steamed milk (or nut milk). The magnesium in beets makes them linked to good sleep, so consider this a nice, pre-bedtime elixir.
It would only be fitting to end a roundup of anti-inflammatory drinks with one last drink recipe with turmeric. While the golden spice is included in the recipe, the real star is pineapple juice, which is especially beneficial for digestive health. Sip this bev and you'll feel like you're on a tropical vacation—despite being stuck at home.
Remember, everyone is different
While Dr. Gundry says most people can likely benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet and drinking anti-inflammatory drinks, he warns that just because an ingredient or food is touted as being anti-inflammatory, that doesn’t mean that it will have that effect for everyone. For instance, he says, some people can have a food sensitivity to anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger and pineapple. In these cases, chugging drinks made with those ingredients may not be wise.
When in doubt, Dr. Gundry recommends sticking to foods and ingredients with confirmed anti-inflammatory benefits such as fermented drinks, like low-sugar kombucha, balsamic vinegar, and raw sauerkraut juices. “Recent human studies out of Stanford confirm the true anti-inflammatory benefits of these compounds, not because of any probiotics that they contain, but the postbiotics,” he says. “Postbiotics are short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and acetate as well as gases like hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and carbon dioxide that are produced by bacteria, fungi, and yeasts in the fermentation of plant fibers and sugars in fermented foods which also get produced in our gut when we eat prebiotic fiber. In other words, prebiotics are turned into postbiotics.”
The big takeaway? Anti-inflammatory drinks can help fight off inflammation—and serve as a yummy treat, no barista skills required.
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