“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 and president of the Institute for Natural Medicine.
If you live with an autoimmune disease, you’re probably well aware of all the food that can relieve the pain and all the food that can make the pain worse. Our diet plays a vital role in fighting and aiding inflammation and the food you regularly intake can really help your body do so. “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.
Chronic inflammation leads to a host of unpleasant symptoms, from fatigue to pain. When your body heats up or gets swollen or turns red – that is inflammation at work. You can’t even see inflammation when it happens deep inside your body until you actually start to feel yourself take a downward turn. If you deal with chronic inflammation, or generally want to prevent inflammation in your body, there are specific tonics and natural remedies can help significantly.
Here are five research-backed drinks that can help fight inflammation in your body.
1. Baking soda + water
Baking soda is a kitchen staple and go-to home remedy for many conditions, including inflammation and is widely used to treat inflammatory diseases. A recent study in the Journal of Immunology discovered that drinking an anti-inflammatory tonic of baking soda and water may help reduce inflammation. However, some studies suggest that there may be harmful side effects if baking soda is taken regularly over time, like liver damage and bone loss. Use this tonic for short-term inflammation relief.
Baking soda benefits
- tells the body to calm its autoimmune response
- easily accessible
- should only be consumed short-term
Method: Combine 1/4 tsp of baking soda with 8 to 12 oz. of water. Drink this anti-inflammatory tonic after a meal twice a week, but for no more than four weeks. Long-term use of this anti-inflammatory tonic might cause issues like liver damage or bone loss.
2. Parsley + ginger green juice
Studies have found that parsley’s active ingredient, carnosol, targets inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Carnosol in parsley is considered to be a powerful anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent.
Ginger is also a well-known anti-inflammatory and is considered to be one of the healthiest spices on earth. It prevents the production of inflammatory molecules like leukotriene and prostaglandin in our body as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines. These are a type of protein found in our cells.
Drinking parsley and ginger green juice is an effective way to feel recharged and revitalized. Highly alkalizing spinach tastes mild but is packed with nutrition and the apple balances everything out with a little sweetness!
- contains gingerol, a powerful anti-inflammatory
- aids digestion
- may help reduce muscle soreness and pain
Method: For this easy green juice recipe, add parsley, spinach, apple, lemon juice, cucumber, celery stalks and ginger to a juicer. Drink this parsley and ginger green juice once daily for 10 to 12 weeks.
3. Lemon + turmeric tonic
Numerous studies have shown that curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric, which can help to reduce the body’s inflammatory response and provide relief for inflammation and joint pain caused by illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis. A study analysis published in Neurological Sciences found that curcumin was a powerful antioxidant as well as a powerful anti-inflammatory substance. It can effectively control enzymes, proteins, and cytokines in central nervous system-related disorders like multiple sclerosis.
This lemon and turmeric tonic helps to reduce inflammation.
- helps with chronic inflammation
- provides antioxidant protection by neutralizing free radicals
- fights brain degeneration
Method: In a small saucepan, combine freshly grated turmeric, freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, lemon rind and water. You can also add maple syrup, raw honey or a pinch of cayenne pepper to enhance the taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and then strain the liquid. This can also be stored in the fridge for a couple of days, just reheat the anti-inflammatory tonic before drinking. Drink one cup of lemon and turmeric tonic every day for up to a month to reap its full benefits.
4. Bone broth
Bone broth has become very popular recently given its several health benefits. It’s a great source of anti-inflammatory amino acids like glycine, proline, and arginine. Bone broth from chicken is specifically nutritious as it supports joint health through the substance glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate found in the cartilage. Bone broth is prepared by simmering the bones and connective tissue of animals. It is highly nutritious stock and used extensively in soups, sauces and gravies and has recently gained popularity as a health drink.
Bone broth benefits
- fights inflammation
- contains collagen (good for joint health)
- promotes better sleep, mental function and memory
Method: In a slow cooker, combine chicken bones, chicken feet, onion, carrots, celery stalk, apple cider vinegar and lots of water. Parsley, sea salt, peppercorns and herbs are optional. Simmer for a few hours and after the liquid cools strain the stock. Drink 1 to 2 cups of bone broth daily. You can also enjoy it as a soup.
5. Functional food smoothie
“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.
Functional food powders are loaded with bioflavonoids and antioxidants from sources like rosemary, ginger, and turmeric. These can help boost your immune system and act as an anti-inflammatory substance in our body. Other functional food powders can help heal leaky gut issues, allowing your body to absorb more nutrients while keeping out allergens and toxins that cause inflammation. Functional food smoothies also contain vitamin D and A, which help to fight inflammation.
Cod liver oil benefits
- contains vitamins A and D, both powerful antioxidants
- may help reduce joint pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis
- is a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
Method: In a blender, combine different ingredients that are rich in functional foods with water to make a smoothie. Organic berries and coconut milk can also be added – optional. Drink this food smoothie as a meal replacement for breakfast or drink with your regular breakfast.
Anti Inflammatory tonics are probably the best way to reduce inflammation. So always think of your next meal as an opportunity to load your body with foods that will make you feel energized and active besides improving your long-term health. Try one of these healthy sips packed with anti-inflammatory powerhouses like parsley, ginger, turmeric and bone broth and feel your pain fade away.