What can I drink for inflammation?
In the short-term, inflammation can be beneficial as it helps to protect against injury or infection. Chronic inflammation, however, can pose problems for various aspects of our health. It can, for example, worsen the symptoms of IBS, an allergy, arthritis and even fibromyalgia.
Fortunately, though, there are several anti-inflammatory drinks which could provide some relief. Some of my top anti-inflammatory drinks include:
- Beetroot juice
- Turmeric latte
- Ginger tea
- Fruit smoothie
- Green smoothie
- Lemon matcha iced tea
- Fruit juice.
1. Beetroot juice
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have traditionally been used to treat inflammatory conditions. However, this medication has been associated with side effects such as stomach upset, drowsiness and headaches. As a result, there is an increasing focus on how natural remedies and diet can be used to manage inflammatory problems.
Beetroot is one ingredient which we could turn to. Studies show that pigments within beetroot called betalains make this vegetable anti-inflammatory in nature.1
In addition, beetroot contains nitrates which can boost oxygen levels in the blood. This makes it a particularly good drink to have post-workout in order to aid muscle recovery.
2. Turmeric latte
Turmeric-based drinks are aromatic and comforting, plus they are a good natural anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric's anti-inflammatory benefits come from a component called curcumin. This is also the part of the spice that gives turmeric its bright orange colour.
Research shows that this makes turmeric particularly good for managing symptoms of arthritis,2 plus it can help to calm inflammation in the muscles after a bout of exercise.3 This will aid muscle recovery and reduce stiffness.
Turmeric lattes are a tasty, caffeine-free alternative to regular coffee and can be purchased in most supermarkets. Alternatively, why not try making your own at home?
3. Ginger tea
Ginger contains a compound called gingerol which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. This makes ginger tea the ideal drink for anyone suffering from chronic inflammation.
Whilst plain ginger tea is a popular option, you could also opt for lemon and ginger or a spiced ginger tea if you like your drinks a little sweeter.
When it comes to managing inflammation, green tea could also prove useful as it contains polyphenols and antioxidants which could reduce the problem.
Water is generally very good for our health, helping to keep the skin, muscles, joints and digestion healthy.
On top of this, drinking enough water helps to flush out toxins from the body which could reduce inflammation in the process. If we fail to get enough water it could, therefore, make inflammation worse.
As lemon also helps to get rid of toxins from the body, I would recommend adding our lemon, mint and cucumber detox water to your routine. This is a tasty and refreshing way to up your water intake.
5. Fruit smoothie
A fruit smoothie is a good way to pack in various anti-inflammatory ingredients like strawberries, cherries, oranges, blueberries and pineapple.
You could mix up your own with your favourites out of these ingredients, or check out the smoothie recipes over on our food hub.
For an extra dose of inflammation-fighting ingredients, I'd recommend adding a handful of nuts or seeds, like almonds, walnuts and chia seeds, to your smoothie.
6. Green smoothie
Sweet, fruity smoothies are a favourite but we mustn't forget that green ingredients like spinach, celery, Bok choy and kale are also anti-inflammatory and can be mixed up to make a delicious smoothie.
Our Apple & Spinach smoothie is a good option. Not only is spinach anti-inflammatory, it is also high in magnesium which can help the muscles relax and reduce muscle and joint pain.
7. Lemon Matcha Iced Tea
Matcha powder has seen a massive growth in popularity in recent years and it is very easy to see why!
Matcha is grown from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant that is used to make green tea. Different production methods, however, are used to create matcha powder and green tea leaves.
Matcha powder is very good for our health as it is naturally high in protein and fibre. Matcha powder also contains antioxidants which make it anti-inflammatory.
Check out our recipe for Lemon Matcha Iced Tea for a refreshing take on this yummy ingredient.
Lemon Matcha Iced Tea
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp matcha powder
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 sprig of mint leaves
- Optional: 2 tsp coconut palm sugar
Whisk all of the ingredients over a low heat. Bring to the boil, ensuring there are no clumps of matcha powder remaining. Strain out the mint leaves, transfer to a jug and then refrigerate for a few hours. Add ice cubes to cool the iced tea off faster. .
8. Fruit juice
Now, I mentioned above that there are several fruity ingredients that offer anti-inflammatory benefits. As well as trying these in smoothie form, you could consume them through fruit juice.
Orange, pineapple, cherry, apple, blueberry and cranberry are all yummy options – just be sure to opt for fresh varieties rather than any juices 'from concentrate'. These are heavily processed and tend to be high in sugar. Sugar is actually linked to inflammation so we don't want to get too much of it!
Also, it's worth remembering that only one glass of fruit juice counts towards your five-a-day so I would recommend eating some fresh fruit in addition to your daily glass of fruit juice in order to reap all the anti-inflammatory benefits.