Popular Drinks That Fight Inflammation, Say Dietitians
When you think of anti-inflammatory stars in your diet, foods—blueberries, ginger, olive oil, to name a few—likely come to mind. But drinks, too, can help fight inflammation.
"The link between diet and inflammation is fairly well-known. Although food is certainly a great place to focus in terms of inflammation regulation, many of us often forget that the beverages we consume can also offer healthful nutrients," says Kristin Gillespie, MS, RD, LD, advisor for Exercisewithstyle.com. "There are several beverages that can positively impact bodily inflammation as a result of their nutritional profile." Read on for five such beverages to start sipping on ASAP, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Perhaps the most well-known of anti-inflammatory beverages, there's good reason health pros urge people to consume this nutrient-dense tea: "Green tea is widely known for its anti-inflammatory effect within the body. Green tea contains polyphenols, which offer strong antioxidant properties, that reduce inflammation by combating free radical damage in the body," says Gillespie. "Green tea, unlike other types of tea, contains ECGC which further enhances its antioxidant activity."
READ MORE: Secret Effects of Drinking Green Tea, Says Science
"Cherry juice has recently gained recognition for its anti-inflammatory properties," says Gillespie. "It is rich in antioxidants, which fight inflammation by combating free radical damage. There is significant research supporting its use to regulate inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis." Bonus: Some experts also believe anti-inflammatory properties in tart cherry juice help support good sleep. These days, we're personally loving Cheribundi, which boasts 60 tart cherries per eight-ounce serving.
Good ole H2O is your friend for fighting inflammation. "Believe it or not, water is also a superstar for reducing inflammation. It is necessary for flushing toxins from your body—toxins that can lead to inflammation if they hang around," says Katrina Larsen, MS, RD, CDCES, referencing this article from the Arthritis Foundation. Water is vital to your innate detox pathways, and chronic dehydration is associated with higher rates of inflammation.
Okay, you're not going to guzzle down a tall glass of ginger juice, but a shot of ginger juice a day may be a boon for your health, and waistline. "Ginger is unique to weight loss in that it contains compounds known as gingerols and shogaols. These compounds create an antioxidant effect in the body that reduces free radical damage in the body," says Best.
"This damage leads to an increase in oxidative stress that can both cause and exacerbate obesity. This damage occurs at a cellular level and once those damaged cells replicate the body's natural processes that maintain homeostasis can become disrupted leading to decreased metabolism, energy, and more." Try Vive Organic's Ginger Pure Boost for 60,000 MG of this potent spice per bottle.
Hold the vodka, friends. "Pineapple juice contains several compounds that are beneficial in regulating inflammation. Similar to green tea, it contains antioxidants which fight free radical damage and, as a result, inflammation," says Gillespie. "Additionally, pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which also works against inflammation. In fact, some research has suggested that bromelain may be as effective as NSAIDs in regulating inflammation." Make sure you buy a version that has no added sugar.
Yes, you should be drinking this amazing elixir, typically made of turmeric and non-dairy milk with ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and more. (It's also known as turmeric milk.) "Golden milk packs an anti-inflammatory punch with turmeric, pepper, and cinnamon mixed into your preferred plant milk. Turmeric contains curcumin, a polyphenol which is known to scavenge free radicals and increases antioxidant activity in the body," says Larsen. "And black pepper contains piperine, which helps your body absorb curcumin 2,000% better. The cinnamon also has a known anti-inflammatory effect, and it helps your beverage taste delicious." To make your life easier, try this organic golden milk powder mix.
Also known as jamu juice, Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements is a fan of this relatively new drink to the health and wellness scene. The beverage is a traditional Indonesian remedy made with fresh turmeric, ginger, honey, lemon or lime, and other wholesome ingredients.
"It is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties," says Best. "[It's made] with many anti-inflammatory and high antioxidant ingredients like turmeric, ginger, honey, and lemon. This healing drink originated in Indonesia, but has made its way to Western holistic health practices." You can try ordering a rendition of it at your local health foods or juice shop or make it at home with a simple recipe like this one.
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