Anti-inflammatory smoothie – what are the best ingredients?

Inflammation is one of the main reasons we experience back pain. It’s our bodies’ way of trying to heal, but it makes us hurt. Many people will pop a few ibuprofen or naproxen to ease neck or back aches, but your body can only take so much anti-inflammatory medication. Studies have shown that continued use of some anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, comes with risk. The pills can, in fact, deteriorate your immunity or become a source of unwelcome side effects.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal tract and stomach if you don’t eat before taking them, which causes a snowball effect of other issues, including bleeding ulcers. This, compared to a plethora of other side effects, is most common with long-term use.

So what’s the solution? Anti-inflammatory foods in conjunction with medication. Most people think that these would include “health foods” only found at specialty stores. Well, most of these healthy foods are right in the produce section of your supermarket. One of the best ways to eat these superfoods is by blending them into a smoothie. This technique extracts most of the beneficial nutrients out of the fruits and veggies, sending them straight into your body.

There are many different versions of smoothies you can make, depending on your mood. Add some of these healthy and fresh ingredients to your blender for a tasty, anti-inflammatory smoothie.

  • Flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Tart cherries
  • Bananas
  • Leafy greens like spinach or kelp
  • Blueberries

Flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation. Walnuts are the only nuts that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds and nuts also help defend the body from harmful effects of chronic inflammation.

Cinnamon has been shown to decrease inflammation, but should be used in small amounts. Fresh, ground ginger contains an ingredient called gingerol, which acts as an anti-inflammatory aid in the body. Papaya has several antioxidant properties and enzymes that work together to minimize inflammation. Tart cherries contain anthocyanins, which give them their red color. This element actually works to fight pain similar to aspirin.

You can blend any variation of these ingredients together along with water, juice or your favorite kind of milk or yogurt. Add some ice for a cool treat that can ease inflammation.

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