The #1 Best Drink to Reduce Inflammation, According to a Dietitian
Inflammation can come about in all kinds of ways—sore muscles, pain and stiffness in your joints, and even chronic inflammation has been linked to different diseases, according to Harvard Health. While eating an anti-inflammatory diet is important for reducing the risk of different chronic diseases—like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more—there is one drink in particular that can help reduce inflammation right away, and that's tart cherry juice.
"One of the top beverages for reducing inflammation is tart cherry juice made from Montmorency cherries," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. "These 'sour' cherries contain a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanins."
Inflammation is triggered in your body when your immune system comes across a foreign substance, and according to Goodson, antioxidants are powerful in reducing its effects.
"Antioxidants like these help buffer free radicals in the body that cause damage to cells," says Goodson. "Several studies have shown tart cherry juice to aid significantly in exercise recovery and help decrease muscle pain after exercise. Tart cherries and its juice have also been shown to help reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and other joint pain disorders."
In particular, tart cherry juice has been linked to helping with immediate exercise recovery thanks to the carbohydrates within the juice.
"When it comes to exercise recovery, tart cherry juice can also provide you the carbohydrate you need to help replenish carbohydrate stores that were used as energy during exercise," says Goodson. "It's important to note that a handful of tart cherries does not have the same effect, as tart cherry juice contains more cherries than what you would eat at a snack. Depending on the brand, tart cherry juice typically contains 50 or more tart cherries in an 8-ounce serving."
So if you are looking to reduce inflammation in your body, especially after a hard workout, drink tart cherry juice for an antioxidant boost. Or better yet, blend it into a smoothie!
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