Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Spicy Anti-Inflammatory SmoothieThis is the most potent anti-inflammatory smoothie recipe I could concoct based on my current knowledge, research, and ingredients on hand. Whether you’re battling a health issue (many of which inflammation is at the root of) or sore from an intense workout, reducing inflammation through a delicious smoothie is easier than most other modalities.

There are a handful of spices known for their anti-inflammatory properties, four of which I included in this recipe. Turmeric, a new smoothie favorite of mine, ginger, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, the first spice I began blending into smoothies years ago. Not only do these spices provide a wide array of health benefits, they imbue your smoothies with a wonderful flavor…if used in the right proportions.

Let me quickly cover the ingredients that comprise this smoothie from top to bottom, starting with the liquid base, green tea. Green tea contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds known as flavonoids, which studies have shown help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Next up are blueberries and papaya. The phytonutrients found in blueberries provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and are responsible for many of the health benefits attributed to blueberries. Papayas contain the protein-digesting enzyme, papain, which when combined with vitamin C and E confers anti-inflammatory action.

Chia seeds round out this smoothie. The high amount of omega-3s present in chia seeds combat inflammation, and help lubricate your joints. People suffering from arthritis often experience less pain and inflammation after consuming chia seeds for several weeks.

And there you have it, my best effort at reducing inflammation through modern day blender alchemy. Enjoy!

Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie Recipe

The Ingredients

  • 1 cup green tea, brought to room temp or chilled
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen papaya chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or chia seed gel
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A dash of a high quality salt
  • A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten (optional)

The Add-ons

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Show Time

Load the ingredients into your high speed blender and blend for around 30-45 seconds or until your desired consistency is reached.

I’d love to hear what you think of this Spicy Anti-Inflammatory smoothie, or if you try it out, in the comments below. Happy Blending!

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25 Responses to Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

  1. msdiffthanmost #

    Loving these recipes! Will surely try to get others on this site!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      I’m glad you like the recipes. Stay tuned, because there are more good ones on the way…

  2. sdreamcatcher #

    THANK YOU for this wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to try it out :)

    • Ryan Carmody #

      I think you’ll like it…it’s a dandy :)

  3. Zoe #

    I’ll try this recipe, but with a few modifications. I’ll substitute white tea which has less caffeine than green tea and more antioxidants. And since I don’t like anything spicey, I’ll just leave out the cayenne pepper and hope that the ginger will not be too spicey for me. I’ll add banana instead of cherries for the creamy texture. Also you might try adding a raw date to sweeten instead of honey or another sweetener for the fiber and vitamins and minerals. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Zoe,

      I love your creativity in modifying this smoothie to suit your preferences. That’s what it’s all about and what I regularly encourage on my site.

      Raw dates, yes, those are also a great option to sweeten. Enjoy!

      Cheers!

      Ryan

  4. Del #

    Like it but could not find frozen papaya so had to use pineapple

    I will caution that the spices gets trapped on the sides of the blender so the best idea is to blend tea ( white tea is better) with the fruit. Once blended add spices and blend slowly
    The last thing added is chia seeds
    Wait 5 min to allow seeds to gel or just add gelatinized chia seed

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Del, pineapple is a good substitute for papaya. Thanks for the tip on blending the spices and tea first – those will a less powerful blender will need to go that route.

  5. YUM! I added a medjool date along with the spinach add-on. I will be adding this to my delish smoothie recipe list.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      A Medjool date and spinach, nice, thanks for sharing.

  6. Abe Annis #

    Pineapple is actually one of the best antiinflammatory foods there are! But only if it’s fresh, not canned or dried. I am not a fan of papaya, so I substituted that with about 1/4 of a large, fresh pineapple and added an avocado for more flavor and nutrients.

    I also used fresh, chopped ginger and ground flax seeds.

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I know I changed it around a bit, but it was an excellent place to start and I drink this every day now. It has really helped a lot, too!

    Best of luck,
    Abe

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Abe,

      Not sure how I overlooked pineapple and its powerful anti-inflammatory affects. Thanks for the heads up. Substituting fresh pineapple for papaya, adding an avocado, and ground flax seeds to make your own unique creation brings a huge smile to my face :) That’s precisely what I’d like others to do.

      Thanks for leaving such a great comment.

      To your good health!

      Ryan

  7. Abe Annis #

    Oh, and one more thing! I was doing a bit more research on turmeric and found that it’s actually not very effectively absorbed in your gut unless it is cooked with olive oil and black pepper. For this reason, a lot of turmeric and curcumin supplements have black pepper incorporated into them. I added 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and a tablespoon of olive oil to the mix and it didn’t change the flavor much. I need more research to figure out the exact correct ratio.

    There is also an inflammatory rating system called IF rating that is very useful! Just Google that and you will find more information. Fresh parsley is a great antiinflammatory food and is wonderful in these smoothies too!

    Sorry I can’t post any links from my phone.

    Namaste!
    Abe

    Ps – Unfortunately, the best antiinflammatory is still illegal in most of these United States. If you live in Colorado, California or Washington state, try to find some CBD-rich strains and talk to a cannadoctor. That discussion unfortunately belongs on another board.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hey Abe,

      Thanks for the info on turmeric. I’ve actually heard the same thing, and often sprinkle it and black pepper on my eggs. I’ve only used black pepper with turmeric in a smoothie a couple of times. According to my local go-to homeopath, turmeric and fish oil taken at the same time on an empty stomach is a potent anti-inflammatory combo.

      Hadn’t heard of the IF inflammatory rating system. Pretty cool. Apparently many spices are good for much more than adding flavor to your food and smoothies :)

      Cheers!

      Ryan

  8. Debbie #

    Cayenne pepper is a night shade and not recommended for those sensitive to night shades.

  9. Joyce #

    Thanks for the recipe. I was looking for a good anti inflammatory smoothie and came across your blog. Had a variation on your recipe already prepared so just added the spices and wow, it’s good.
    Sprained an ankle a few days ago so this is a keeper.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Joyce,

      This is one of my most popular recipes, among readers and myself. The spices are key. I hope your ankle is good as new in no time.

      Cheers,
      Ryan

  10. Storie #

    I made the smoothie, and I couldn’t even smell it without gagging. I tasted it and gagged. I love all foods, especially spicy foods, especially garlic but this made me want to throw up. I re-made it without the spices. Delicious. I’ll consume those spices in other foods at taste good thank you! Fruit and garlic just doesn’t do it for me.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Storie,

      I appreciate the honesty. We are all unique individuals and our taste preferences don’t always align. As long as you’re getting all those healthy spices into your diet in one way or another I can sleep well at night :)

      Cheers,
      Ryan

    • Chris #

      The recipe doesn’t have garlic… ??? Did I miss something? I don’t think I would ever try to incorporate garlic into a smoothie. I get enough of that from almost every other thing I eat LOL

      • Ryan Carmody #

        No garlic, Chris. Rest easy ;)

  11. Chris #

    This was wonderful! I’ve been incorporating turmeric and ceylon cinnamon into my smoothies, but your additions were great! Because this was a meal, I added a cup of spinach, a carrot, raw cranberries and some coconut milk. I used mango instead of papaya… no sweetener. Added a tiny bit of ground black pepper to help the turmeric. Very tasty with a little kick. For those not used to using chia, if you are going to let it sit for any amount of time you will need to add more liquid and it is very quick to absorb all the liquid and you soon have a gelly rather than a smoothie :p Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hey Chris,

      Great to hear you enjoyed this smoothie and made several modifications to create your own unique concoction! I can’t emphasize enough how important that is. Everyone has different nutritional needs and taste preferences.

      No sweetener, nice. Black pepper to potentiate the effects of the turmeric, very nice. I often forget to make that point about chia seeds, and gelatin, let it sit and it will gel up.

      Cheers,
      Ryan

      • Toni #

        I was wondering…must you let the Chia seeds gel up prior to drinking it. I would love to try this smoothie because I love spicy drinks and need the anti-inflammatory properties of this smoothie.
        Is it okay to drink it right away or must you wait for the Chia gel up.
        Also, do you know how much this recipe yields. I am only making it for one and would like to add the spinach. Should I cut it in half?

        • Ryan Carmody #

          Hi Toni,

          You can either use chia seeds or chia seed gel (make before adding into your blender). You don’t need to wait for them to gel before consuming the smoothie.

          This recipe yields one large serving size. If it seems like too much for you please do reduce the amount of each ingredient. Serving size depends on a number of factors such as weight, health goals, activity level, etc.

          Cheers,
          Ryan

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