How I Boost My Smoothies for Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Smoothies have long been a quick and tasty way for me to get in a variety of nutrients in a liquid form. These days, smoothie concoctions have become even more creative with the trends of making thicker smoothies for bowls and adding in nutrient-dense ingredients to create superfood blends. Last year, I created the ambitious goal of having a superfood smoothie every morning to help reduce inflammation. I quickly fell off of the wagon, but this year I am coming back for success. Here is a list of anti-inflammatory ingredients I incorporate in my smoothies to hopefully help manage the effects of my Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
If you have HS and you have been doing research to reduce inflammation, chances are turmeric is not a new ingredient for you. I have seen varying information about how turmeric works in the body and the best method for consuming turmeric to achieve the anti-inflammatory power of curcumin which is the active ingredient in turmeric. With all of this in mind, I still like to include turmeric to my smoothies just in case it might actually help fight inflammation. Studies have shown that turmeric can help to improve brain function and lower enzymes linked to inflammation in the body.
Adding berries to smoothies makes for a delicious burst of fruitiness while also providing an antioxidant punch. I personally prefer raspberries and blueberries, but it is super easy to buy a frozen berry blend from the store to enjoy the antioxidant benefits and phytonutrients of each. The high antioxidant content of berries can help to fight inflammation from the inside out. Berries are a mainstay in my smoothies to ensure that the smoothie tastes good and is good for my body too.
Flaxseeds have been a longtime favorite in my smoothie routine. I used to buy whole flaxseeds and soak them in water, but now I just buy flax meal which speeds up the process. You can also buy flaxseed oil which boosts the benefits and creates an antioxidant-rich smoothie. Flaxseeds are an excellent way to add fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids into the diet. These Omega-3s are what work to reduce inflammation in the body and thus hopefully help to decrease the amount of flares I experience.
I absolutely love the taste of ginger so I am really generous when adding this to my smoothies. If you are not fond of ginger, the taste can easily be hidden by using less of this ingredient. Ginger is another powerhouse ingredient due to its’ bioactive molecules being high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has antimicrobial properties that increase its’ fighting power. Molecules in ginger can help to inhibit the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines which makes it a no brainer addition to my smoothies.
No matter what anti-inflammatory ingredients you choose to add to your smoothies, remember that your final creation should still be pleasing to you. There are a large variety of good for you ingredients, so do not feel stuck on trying to use the one “perfect” ingredient. Chances are, if you do not like the taste of an ingredient, or at least tolerate it, you probably will not keep up your routine. So, create a smoothie that tastes yummy to you while also being good for your body to achieve the maximum benefits.
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