Reducing Inflammation with Healthy Smoothies

Reducing Inflammation with Healthy SmoothiesInflammation is a natural process that occurs in your body as a response to damaged cells, invading pathogens, irritating chemicals, and other negative factors. It is a normal part of your immune system’s reaction to these stimuli. However, when inflammation occurs chronically, that is for long periods of time, it can do significant damage to your body.

In fact, modern medicine is just beginning to understand that this bad type of inflammation is at the root of many diseases. By eating more of certain foods, many of which are perfect in smoothie recipes, and avoiding bad foods, you can lower your overall inflammation and reduce your risk of developing some of these diseases.

What is Inflammation and why is it Bad?

Inflammation is a normal part of your immune system’s response to infection, disease, injuries, pathogens, and irritants. For instance, if you scrape your knee, the skin around that area gets red, warm, and a little puffy. This is acute inflammation and is a healthy response to the damage you suffered. When the flu virus infects you, a fever is another sign of the acute inflammation caused by the infection and your immune response. Blood and immune cells race to the sites of trauma or infection and begin to work healing you, causing redness, pain, heat, and other symptoms.

Acute inflammation is not only normal, it is necessary. Without it you would not be able to heal from infections, injuries, and other bad illnesses and traumas. Inflammation only becomes a problem when it occurs over a long period of time. This is called chronic inflammation and it is this form of the immune response that causes harm and damage to your body.

Over time, chronic inflammation can cause heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and other devastating illnesses. Several factors can lead to chronic inflammation, including your personal genetics, a lack of exercise, stress, and exposure to toxins. But, one of the most important causes is diet. Many of the foods common in most American diets cause chronic inflammation and resulting illnesses.

Foods that Cause Chronic Inflammation

Although times are changing and people are getting wise to nutrition and health, the typical American diet is still packed with inflammatory foods. Trans fats, which are common in processed foods, sugar, and alcohol all cause inflammation. Fats from factory farmed animal sources are another important culprit. This includes dairy and meat.

Most of us also consume an inappropriate ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Many vegetable oils are responsible for the imbalance, as they are high in omega-6, but not omega-3 fats. To rebalance, you do not necessarily need to cut out vegetable oils, but you should add many more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Smoothie Ingredients that Reduce Inflammation

To reduce your overall amount of chronic inflammation, it is important to eliminate, or at least limit, the foods that cause it, and increase foods that inhibit inflammation. You can do this by using your smoothies as vehicles for anti-inflammatory foods. Here are some that go particularly well in many smoothie recipes.

  • Turmeric. This spice from Asia is one of the best ingredients for reducing chronic inflammation in your body, and it can give you a vibrant, yellow-colored smoothie. The yellow pigment in turmeric is called curcumin. This compound has been shown in research to block chemicals in your body that produce inflammation.
  • Ginger. Ginger is another spice that reduces inflammation and is found in a lot of Asian dishes. You can find ginger root at nearly any grocery store. Peel the skin off and put small pieces of the root into your smoothies. The flavor is powerful, so experiment with different amounts and with combining it with other ingredients. Ginger tastes great with most fruits and with chocolate. As an added bonus, ginger can soothe an upset stomach.
  • Berries. Any berry is a great ingredient in a smoothie. They taste great, add a natural sweetness and a beautiful color, and they reduce inflammation. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, as well as similar fruits like pomegranates and cherries are packed with flavonoids, compounds that are known to reduce inflammation.
  • Chia Seeds. These nutritious little seeds are high in omega-three fatty acids, which most of us need to increase in our daily diets. Many Americans consume an incorrect ratio of omega-three to omega-six fatty acids, and this leads to inflammation. By increasing the amount of omega-three fatty acids in your diet, you can reduce it.
  • Kiwi and Pineapple. What could be tastier in a fruity smoothie than pineapple and kiwi? These two flavorful tropical fruits are not just sweet and delicious, they can also reduce inflammation. Both are high in natural enzymes that, when consumed raw, enter your bloodstream and break down the proteins and other molecules involved in the inflammation pathway.
  • Greens. Greens, like kale, spinach, or chard can help reduce inflammation because they are high in the mineral magnesium. Research shows that people with a lot of chronic inflammation tend to have low levels of magnesium. If you consider greens a chore to eat, a smoothie is the perfect place for them. Add a cup of greens to your next recipe and you will get all the nutrition without the flavor.
  • Tea. Green, white, and oolong tea are full of antioxidants, and these are compounds that can limit inflammation. The antioxidants destroy free radicals in your body. These are compounds that cause a type of damage called oxidative stress, which in turn can cause inflammation. Use tea as the liquid in your next smoothie for an antioxidant boost.

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothies

You can find a plethora of smoothie recipes throughout my site featuring these ingredients. Use the search box or browse smoothie recipes by ingredient by clicking here. Or create your own unique inflammation fighting smoothie.

One of my most popular smoothie recipes of all-time just happens to be one that address inflammation head on. It’s a little spicy, but I bet you’ll like it – Spicy Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Other Ways to Reduce Inflammation

Diet plays a very important role in the level of chronic inflammation in your body. Most Americans consume far too many foods that promote inflammation, and too few that reduce it. By adding in more anti-inflammatory foods to your smoothies, you are taking a big step towards reducing your own chronic inflammation, but there are other steps you can take as well. Here are some lifestyle factors that will complement your anti-inflammatory diet:

  • Reduce Stress. Research has shown that people who have good stress-management strategies have lower levels of chronic inflammation. Both regular yoga and meditation are excellent ways to lower stress and reduce your inflammation.
  • Get a Massage. It may seem like the ultimate indulgence, but a massage is actually good for your health. It can reduce your stress, but it also seems to play its own separate role in lowering chronic inflammation. Studies have shown that after just one 45-minute session of massage, the levels of hormones that promote inflammation are significantly reduced in the body.
  • Get Plenty of Sleep. Adults need a minimum of six hours of sleep every night for maximum health. It is even better to get seven or eight hours each night. Research indicates that if you get fewer than six hours of sleep, your body will begin to produce more of the compounds that promote inflammation.
  • Get More Exercise. Exercise is very important for lowering inflammation in your body. One reason is that it can help you lose weight, and being at a healthy weight will automatically reduce inflammation. Even if you are already at a healthy weight, vigorous exercise lowers inflammation every time you do it.

As medical research continues to unravel the mysteries of human health and wellness, we get to learn better ways to care for our bodies and minds. We now know that inflammation, that necessary aspect of your immune system can also harm us. If you take steps to lower your chronic inflammation, you can reduce your risk of contracting heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and a number of other chronic conditions.

Put the right foods into your smoothies, avoid the bad foods, and make some lifestyle changes, and you will be on the road to excellent health with less inflammation.

Sources for this blog post include:


32 Responses to Reducing Inflammation with Healthy Smoothies

  1. Pat Hopkins #

    I have just been told I have diverticulitis and not to have anything with seeds in would strawberry blackberry and other blend down to be safe for my stomach,at the moment I have banana &apple &fresh mint in my smoothie, but want to try others can you help…

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Pat,

      I’m not in a position to offer advice on what you should and shouldn’t consume if you have diverticulitis. That said, a powerful blender such as a Blendtec will pulverize most seeds.

      My recent article on stomach soothing smoothies should be of interest to you.


      • jimmy #


        Hi, my name is Jimmy Beasley. I have been on this health journey for three years with no support and help from the family. My goal is to reduce the brain inflammation to lift the brain fog so I go and take my A+ Certification from CompTIA. Any information you can provide would be most helpful.

        • Ryan Carmody #

          Hi Jimmy,

          The information above is the best I have to offer on reducing inflammation at this point. If I come across new information I’ll update this comment and the article above.


        • Paul Whyley #

          I have diverticular disease. Different foods affect different people. I had seeded bread once and got an infection the next day so now I avoid it. It’s all trial and error really.

    • Aubrey #

      Avoiding seeds from (divertic) is nonsense-a family member has that and was told by a dr-that is incorrect information-and he has not avoided seeds since, and has not had any problems

    • Sharon #

      Pat check out this link. You can eat all the seeds and nuts you like. That’s old info your doctor has.

  2. Erica #

    Ryan, I just want to say a big thank you for not blaming chronic inflammation solely on the consumption of gluten and for not saying that the only way to rid yourself of inflammation is to “go gluten free” which is extreme. I like your recipes and I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for being helpful!


    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Erica,

      Being helpful is what I’m all about :) I hope you enjoy my smoothie recipes.


  3. Lyssa Weitzel #

    Looking forward to more healthy smoothie ideas

    • Ryan Carmody #

      New recipes are posted every week or two…

  4. julie #

    healthy smoothies are a must

    • Ryan Carmody #

      I couldn’t agree more :)

  5. Sandra bovee #

    THANK YOU ever soon much for this delicious smoothie. To know it’s healthy and delicious and that it has a successful health improvement purpose is fantastic. I have some food allergies/intolerances so I’ve adapted it to work for me. I use only organic produce. Many thanks for your sincere dedication to people’s health that you spend your valuable time giving your knowledge FREELY. Much love and blessing to you and your work.
    Sandra Bovee

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Thank you so much for the kind comment, Sandra :) It brought a huge smile to my face. Nice to hear you were able to create your own version of this smoothie with organic produce only.


  6. kathleen #

    hi i need an inflammantion reducing smoothie but it has to be low histamine as well can you advise me please, i’ve only just found out that i need to forego high histamine foods and i’m only learning what to eat and avoid, i would be grateful for your help,

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Kathleen,

      I’m not that familiar with high and low histamine foods. A Google search uncovered quite a few high histamine foods. I suggest you take one of my anti-inflammatory smoothies such as this one:

      and omit or replace any ingredients you need to avoid. It appears most are low histamine, but I couldn’t find a definitive list of low vs high foods.


  7. Aubrey #

    You need a button where you can email this page to yourself, im on an ipad-no printer

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Great idea, Aubrey. The entire page or just the recipe? I’ll see about both.

  8. Carol #

    Hi Ryan,
    I was reading your page on healthy anti-inflammatory smoothie recipes. Some other sights wanted you to sign up for their newsletter at a monthly cost. Your free advice and your recipes really caught my eye. After going through a battery of testing and doctors have told me that I have inflammation in my GI tract but no one can figure out the cause so I am trying to find resources to help me. I’m sure you can after reading all of your very positive comments from people. Thank you in advance!

  9. Anna #

    How often should you drink anti inflammatory smoothies?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Good question, Anna. I recommend at most one a day. I like to mix it up; and would consume an anti-inflammatory smoothie 3-4 days a week and a chocolate smoothie on the other days.

  10. kim #

    Hi,I have osteoarthritis,chronic pain,stiffness,swelling,pain in most of my joints and the only pill I take is the Tylenol for arthritis but it doesn’t help very much.I go swimming with my cousin and friends but not the time and the warm water helps my symptoms out a lot but I want to try out your anti flammatory smoothies but I don’t like spices or herbs that are over spicy.
    What anti flammatory smoothie would you recommend that I make in my blender?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      The spices and herbs are the key ingredients, Kim. Can you try reducing the quantity of each – you may not even taste them.

  11. Jolene #

    Where can I get more anti inflammatory smoothie recipes for chronic gastritis?

  12. Jill #

    FREE Smoothie book

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Check your email, Jill.

  13. Blanca #

    Do you have videos???

    • Ryan Carmody #

      No videos, someday, Blanca.

  14. Please send me your smoothie recipe e-booklet

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