One of the most effective tools you have in the fight against inflammation comes in your glass.
Yep, your diet — including what you drink — can play a pivotal role in combatting chronic inflammation, which is known to be linked to illnesses from cancer and heart disease to diabetes and arthritis, among others.
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So, raise a glass to these 15 dietitian-approved, anti-inflammatory drinks you can make at home with simple, healthy whole foods.
1. Cherry Chia Fresca
This cherry chia fresca not only looks cool but also tastes great and touts a ton of health benefits. Chia seeds supply anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, says gut health nutritionist Amanda Sauceda, RDN, CLT.
And cherry juice is jampacked with powerful antioxidants that are tied to helping ease pain associated with arthritic conditions such as gout, per a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.
Get the Cherry Chia Fresca recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Pomegranate Iced Tea
With pomegranate juice and green tea, this refreshing iced tea has twice the anti-inflammatory power. Pomegranates are packed with polyphenols — organic compounds found in plants — that have been linked to improving heart health and other inflammatory health conditions, Sauceda says.
And green tea is teeming with flavonoids — a type of polyphenol — that can prevent oxidative stress, alleviate inflammation and, consequently, help reduce the accumulation of plaque in your arteries, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Get the Pomegranate Iced Tea recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Chocolatey Icy Frappé
Iced coffee lovers, this one's for you. With only 6 grams of sugar per serving, this homemade frappé is a healthier option than Starbucks' Coffee Frappucino, which contains more than seven times more sugar.
And there's more good news: A November 2015 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition observed that people who drank at least 1.5 cups of coffee a day were 54 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-java drinkers. Researchers noted that an anti-inflammatory effect of coffee could be the reason.
This low-sugar cold brew also calls for dark chocolate, which not only adds a speck of sweetness but also a hefty dose of antioxidants.
Get the Chocolatey Icy Frappé recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Whole Lemon Spritzer
If you're tired of drinking water and prefer a beverage with a bit of flavor, lemon is the perfect solution. This energizing citrus tonic made of lemon, honey and sparkling water will keep you hydrated and fight inflammation thanks to its vitamin C content.
Get the Whole Lemon Spritzer recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Sweet Green Juice
Only one in 10 American adults eat the daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And this sweet and simple juice — with green leafy veggies like Swiss chard, hydrating cucumbers and celery and vitamin C-rich oranges and lemons — will help you hit your target (that's about 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of veggies).
Get the Sweet Green Juice recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Ginger-Berry Smoothie
Every ingredient in this ginger-berry smoothie will help fight inflammation. Berries — abundant in antioxidants — are especially potent when it comes to combatting cell damage, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Because the quality and amount of nutrients depend on the berry, it's healthiest to eat a variety of them. This recipe, which calls for mixed berries, is a great place to start for reaping berries' many benefits.
Get the Ginger-Berry Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
7. Everyday Green Smoothie
This mouth-puckering pear smoothie seamlessly sneaks in 1.5 half cups of baby kale to help you reach your daily quota of veggies and offers a healthy dose of antioxidants. Greens like kale are especially good for supporting your body's natural detoxification, Sauceda says.
Get the Everyday Green Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
8. Turmeric Latte
This fragrant latte owes its bright yellow hue and distinct flavor to anti-inflammatory turmeric. Curcumin — a chemical compound in turmeric — has the potential to improve chronic pain as well as brain and heart health, Sauceda says.
Get the Turmeric Latte recipe and nutrition info here.
9. Energizing Green Smoothie
Need a pick-me-up to fend off the midday slump? Sip on this energizing kale smoothie that'll put a little pep in your step thanks to the caffeine in matcha. What's more, this fan-favorite bright green tea also falls into the category of anti-inflammatory drinks, Sauceda says. And so do flax seeds, which round out this smoothie's flavor with a mild, nutty taste and deliver heart-healthy omega-3s.
Get the Energizing Green Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
10. Ginger Turmeric Immunity Shot
This spicy shot stuffs a whole lot of inflammation-fighting ingredients into one tiny glass. While people have been using ginger to settle upset stomachs for ages, this pantry staple spice may also help reduce levels of oxidative stress and inflammatory markers, according to an August 2019 review in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Even better, this recipe's addition of black pepper boosts turmeric's antioxidant capability as it helps your body absorb curcumin, Sauceda says.
Get the Ginger Turmeric Immunity Shot recipe and nutrition info here.
11. Bloody Mary Kava
This savory non-alcoholic Bloody Mary Kava is the perfect weekend brunch beverage. With a dash of wasabi and hot sauce, this spicy tomato juice cocktail will tickle your tastebuds. What's more, tomatoes and their juice have an antioxidant called lycopene, which is linked to helping improve heart health and preventing prostate cancer, Sauceda says.
Get the Bloody Mary Kava recipe and nutrition info here.
12. Jasmine Green Sunrise Smoothie
Looking for the perfect pre-workout snack? This nutritious smoothie will serve up the energy you need for a strenuous sweat session thanks to simple carbs supplied by juicy mango chunks and starchy dates.
And it'll simultaneously help you stave off inflammation with ingredients like green tea, which contains a powerful polyphenol called epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG's antioxidant activity can be as much as 100 times stronger than vitamins C and E's, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Get the Jasmine Green Sunrise Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
13. Turmeric Citrus Sunshine Smoothie
Bursting with vitamin C, this citrus sunshine smoothie is the perfect way to start a healthy day, especially if you love a tall glass of OJ in the morning.
In fact, one glass of freshly squeezed orange juice per day is associated with lower risks of developing inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, per an August 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers theorize that's because oranges contain a dietary carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, which may prevent the oxidative damage that causes inflammation.
Get the Turmeric Citrus Sunshine Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
14. Savory Tomato, Basil and Carrot Smoothie
This savory sip with fresh veggies, spices and herbs proves that morning smoothies aren't just for fruits. Like a cooling glass of gazpacho, this refreshing beverage boasts twice the tomatoes — both raw Roma tomatoes and tomato juice — for double the antioxidant lycopene. This succulent smoothie also contains heart-healthy fats in the form of olive oil, a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, which is known for its anti-inflammatory effects.
Get the Savory Tomato, Basil and Carrot Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
15. Super Green Smoothie
This good-for-you green smoothie serves up layered flavors from sweet mango to piquant jalapenos to cool peppermint leaves for a mega mouth-bursting effect. Plus, it's brimming with antioxidant-rich spinach and ginger, which both possess anti-inflammatory properties, Sauceda says.
Get the Super Green Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
- American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: “Nonpharmacological Management of Gout and Hyperuricemia: Hints for Better Lifestyle”
- Harvard Health Publishing: “Flavonoids: The secret to health benefits of drinking black and green tea?”
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Berry Good for Your Heart”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables”
- Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Ginger ( Zingiber officinale Roscoe) in the Prevention of Ageing and Degenerative Diseases: Review of Current Evidence”
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Dietary beta-cryptoxanthin and inflammatory polyarthritis: results from a population-based prospective study”
- European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “The evaluation of inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers on coffee-diabetes association: results from the 10-year follow-up of the ATTICA Study (2002-2012)”
- Arthritis Foundation: “Best Drinks for Arthritis”