Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

blueberry-cherry-smoothie.jpg

Inflammation can harm your gut, cause pain in your joints, is linked to a higher rate of cancer, is linked to heart disease, can sabotage sleep, damages bones, negatively effects skin, is bad for your lungs, damages gums, is linked with depression, worsens allergy symptoms, makes weight loss more difficult, and more.  To reduce your overall amount of chronic inflammation, it is important to  limit, if not eliminate, the foods that cause it, and increase foods that decrease inflammation.

Smoothie Ingredients To Reduce Inflammation

Play with the following ingredients according to your own taste.  (specific recipe follows)

  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp. This spice from Asia is one of the best ingredients for reducing chronic inflammation in your body, and it can give you a vibrant, yellow-colored smoothie. The yellow pigment in turmeric is called curcumin. This compound has been shown in research to block chemicals in your body that produce inflammation.
  • Ginger - 1/4 tsp. Ginger is another spice that reduces inflammation and is found in a lot of Asian dishes. You can find ginger root at nearly any grocery store. Peel the skin off and put small pieces of the root into your smoothies. The flavor is powerful, so experiment with different amounts and with combining it with other ingredients. Ginger tastes great with most fruits and with chocolate. As an added bonus, ginger can soothe an upset stomach.
  • Banana. Bananas also contain high amounts of rutin, a compound that complements the activity of vitamin C, and helps to maintain strong, flexible blood vessels. Rutin also possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. As much as bananas are protective, they are also very significant mood food.
  • Berries - 1 1/2 cup. Any berry is a great ingredient in a smoothie. They taste great, add a natural sweetness and a beautiful color, and they reduce inflammation. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, as well as similar fruits like pomegranates and cherries are packed with flavonoids, compounds that are known to reduce inflammation.
  • Chia Seeds - 1 Tbs. These nutritious little seeds are high in omega-three fatty acids, which most of us need to increase in our daily diets. Many Americans consume an incorrect ratio of omega-three to omega-six fatty acids, and this leads to inflammation. By increasing the amount of omega-three fatty acids in your diet, you can reduce it.
  • Kiwi and Pineapple - 1/2 cup. What could be tastier in a fruity smoothie than pineapple and kiwi? These two flavorful tropical fruits are not just sweet and delicious, they can also reduce inflammation. Both are high in natural enzymes that, when consumed raw, enter your bloodstream and break down the proteins and other molecules involved in the inflammation pathway.
  • Greens - 1/2 cup. Greens, like kale, spinach, or chard can help reduce inflammation because they are high in the mineral magnesium. Research shows that people with a lot of chronic inflammation tend to have low levels of magnesium. If you consider greens a chore to eat, a smoothie is the perfect place for them. Add a cup of greens to your next recipe and you will get all the nutrition without the flavor.
  • Tea - 1 cup. Green, white, and oolong tea are full of antioxidants, and these are compounds that can limit inflammation. The antioxidants destroy free radicals in your body. These are compounds that cause a type of damage called oxidative stress, which in turn can cause inflammation. Use tea as the liquid in your next smoothie for an antioxidant boost.
  • Ice - optional for a slushy texture.

Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, frozen overnight
  • 1/2 cup kale, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric

Instructions

Freezing some or all of the fruit beforehand gives the smoothie more of an icee texture, which I personally prefer.  Optionally, you can add a little ice.  Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.