Smoothies and tonics with potent anti-inflammatory ingredients, including baking soda and parsley, may help relieve symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Try one of these healthy sips packed with anti-inflammatory powerhouses like ginger, parsley, and turmeric … and feel your pain fade.
If you live with an autoimmune disease, you’re well aware that food can relieve pain or make it worse. That’s because of the role food plays in fighting or aiding inflammation.
“Inflammation that’s continued beyond the healthy, acute healing phase has been implicated in almost every chronic health condition and a number of autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis,” says Michelle Simon, a licensed naturopathic doctor.
But the foods you put in your body can help.
“Naturopathic medicine remedies, such as tonics and broths with natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients and immune-modulating agents, can help support the body’s natural healing process,” Simon adds.
Here are seven research-backed drinks that can help fight inflammation in your body.
But be careful with this one: Some studies suggest there may be harmful side effects to ingesting baking soda regularly over time, like
Use this tonic for short-term inflammation relief. But no longer than a month, Simon cautions.
Baking soda benefits
- easily accessible
- tells the body to calm its autoimmune response
- should only be consumed short term
Try it: Combine 1/4 tsp. baking soda with 8 to 12 oz. of water.
A baking soda and water tonic can provide short-term relief from inflammation, but do not drink it for more than 2 to 4 weeks.
Parsley’s active ingredient, carnosol, targets inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Simon explains. A
Ginger is a well-known anti-inflammatory. It
- contains gingerol, a powerful anti-inflammatory
- may help reduce muscle soreness and pain
- aids digestion
Try it: Make your own juice at home.Add to a juicer:
- 1 large handful of parsley
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 green apple
- 1 lemon
- 1 small cucumber
- 2 to 3 celery stalks
- 1 to 2 inches of ginger
Parsley and ginger green juice may help reduce inflammation.
While additional research is needed, a
A 2018 study analysis found curcumin was a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance. It could help control proteins, enzymes, and cytokines in central nervous system-related disorders, including multiple sclerosis.
A bonus of this tonic (which was modified from Minimalist Baker): The ginger and lemon will help aid in digestion, Simon adds.
- helps with chronic inflammation
- provides antioxidant protection by neutralizing free radicals
- fights brain degeneration
Try it: In a small saucepan, combine:
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated turmeric
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- juice of 1 lemon
- rind of that lemon
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1–2 tsp. maple syrup or raw honey
- pinch of cayenne pepper
Bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat, then turn off heat. Be careful not to let it fully boil.
Set a small strainer over serving glasses and divide liquid between two mugs.
Store strained leftovers in the fridge up to 2 to 3 days. When ready to eat, reheat on the stovetop until just warm.
Tumeric may help reduce the body’s inflammatory response and has other health benefits.
“Bone broth from chickens specifically, not beef or pork or fish, supports joint health through the chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine found in the cartilage, and it’s a good source of anti-inflammatory amino acids like proline, glycine, and arginine,” Simon says.
Bone broth benefits
- fights inflammation
- contains collagen, which helps support joint health
- may promote better sleep, mental function, and memory
Try it: In a 10-quart slow cooker, combine:
- 2 lbs. of chicken bones (preferably from high quality, free-range chickens)
- 2 chicken feet
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 tbsp. or more sea salt
- 1 tsp. peppercorns
- additional herbs of your liking
Simmer for 24 to 48 hours, skimming fat occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Discard solids and strain the remainder in a bowl through a colander. Let stock cool to room temperature, then cover and chill.
Bone broth varies in the way it’s prepared and the quality of ingredients used. Pay special attention to where you purchase bone broth from and look for high quality ingredients.
Compounds in chicken bone broth may help reduce inflammation and support joint health.
Whole foods are always best, but there are a handful of functional food powders that help deliver a ton of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories into one drink, says Gabrielle Francis, a licensed naturopathic doctor and herbalist based in New York City.
Powders loaded with bioflavonoids and antioxidants from sources like ginger, rosemary, and turmeric can help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body.
Other functional food powders can help heal leaky gut issues, allowing you to absorb more nutrients while keeping out the allergens and toxins that cause inflammation, Francis adds.
Her smoothie also includes vitamins A and D. Studies show that vitamin A and D deficiencies
Cod liver oil benefits
- contains vitamins A and D, both powerful antioxidants
- source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
- may help reduce joint pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis
Try it: In a blender, combine:
- 2 scoops of your favorite functional food powder
- 1 cup frozen, organic berries
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup rice, hemp, or coconut milk
- 1 tsp. arctic cod liver oil
Ingredients like fish oil contain omega-3 fatty acids that may help reduce chronic inflammation.
With its high concentration of catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), green tea packs a powerful dose of antioxidants. The powdered green tea known as matcha is an especially potent anti-inflammatory.
Matcha, a powder of finely ground green tea leaves, is higher in antioxidant compounds than other types of green tea because of the way it’s grown and prepared.
To make a typical cup of green tea, you steep green tea leaves in hot water and drink the water. To make matcha, you mix matcha powder directly into hot water, so you consume the actual benefit-containing tea leaves.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, the EGCG in green tea may also support heart health and cognitive function.
- an excellent source of the catechin EGCG
- offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
- may support heart health and cognitive function
Try it: In a small saucepan, combine:
- 1 sprig of fresh mint
- 2 tbsp. sliced fresh ginger with skin
- 2 cups water
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Remove mint and ginger, then add:
- 2 tsp. matcha green tea powder
Using a whisk, vigorously stir the matcha into the hot tonic.
- 2 tsp. honey
Matcha green tea contains more anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants than other forms of green tea.
This hearty smoothie (which was modified from Simple Green Smoothies) is loaded with whole fruits and veggies known to help combat inflammation. Dark leafy greens, berries, and beets are all rich in antioxidants and gut-healthy fiber.
Berries contain polyphenols that may help reduce pain and inflammation associated with inflammatory arthritis. Studies suggest that anthocyanins, quercetin, and other phenolic acids in berries may help
- rich in polyphenols like anthocyanins and quercetin
- potent antioxidant effects help combat damage from free radicals
- may help reduce symptoms and progression of arthritis
Try it: In a blender, combine:
- 1 cup dark leafy greens, like kale, beet greens, or spinach
- 1/2 peeled beet
- 1/2 cup of ice or water
- 1/2 peeled orange
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple or mango
- 1 tsp. peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
Berries contain compounds called polyphenols that may help reduce inflammation in conditions such as inflammatory arthritis.
Rachael Schultz is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on why our bodies and brains work the way they do and how we can optimize both (without losing our sanity). She’s worked on staff at Shape and Men’s Health and contributes regularly to a slew of national health and fitness publications. She’s most passionate about hiking, traveling, mindfulness, cooking, and really, really good coffee.