What Can I Drink To Reduce Inflammation? That is a common question asked by many people. There are lots of drinks that can reduce inflammation and one of them is ginger tea. Ginger tea has been proven to have many health benefits because it has anti-inflammatory properties. In this article, I will provide more information on the anti-inflammatory properties that are found in this herbal drink and describe how you can reduce inflammation with ginger tea.
What Can I Drink to Reduce Inflammation?
An anti-inflammatory diet is one of the most important and effective components of a healthy lifestyle or treatment plan. But in addition to what you eat, you might be wondering, “What can I drink to reduce inflammation?” Chronic inflammation is a key player in many of the negative symptoms and chronic diseases we face today. Wouldn’t it be great if there were one anti-inflammatory drink to protect us from out-of-control inflammation?
It may not be that easy, but there are several drinks including coffee, green tea, fruit and vegetable juices, chlorella water extract, milk, and hydrogen water that have been shown to reduce inflammatory biomarkers. In addition, liquid fasting, such as water-only fasting, may be beneficial for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. When it comes to plain water, there’s really no target amount for reducing inflammation levels, but we do know dehydration has a number of health consequences.
In this article, I’ll discuss inflammation, why it’s important to keep it under control, and the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet. We’ll also dive into the research on what you can drink to reduce inflammation, as well as the foods and drinks that may cause inflammation that you’ll want to limit or avoid.
What Is Inflammation?
The word inflammation is thrown around quite a bit, but what is inflammation and is it always a bad thing?
If you’ve ever sprained your ankle or cut yourself, you’ve seen inflammation in action. Swelling, pain, loss of function, redness, and warmness can all occur when you experience such a trauma.
Inflammation is one way your body protects itself. When you have an infection or injury, chemical reactions and complex responses occur to fight off that infection and increase blood flow to the areas that need healing. In addition, pain is often increased to signal there’s a problem that needs to be addressed
This type of acute inflammatory response, which usually sets in pretty rapidly and resolves in a few days, is critical for proper healing.
While any physical trauma to the body can trigger the inflammatory response, other causes of inflammation can include:
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or environmental agents
- Overuse, perhaps with exercise or manual labor
- Infection, whether viral or bacterial
Is Inflammation Always Bad?
Inflammation must be analyzed in context. The acute inflammatory response is especially beneficial when it comes to managing infections and healing wounds, but when this response is sustained and left unchecked, chronic inflammation can result.
Chronic inflammation is the low-grade inflammation that not only prevents your body from properly repairing itself, but over time it starts to negatively impact your healthy cells.
This type of inflammation is considered pathological in many chronic disease conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases (like Alzheimer’s disease), and cancer . But it’s not as easily identified since the typical signs and symptoms of acute inflammation may not be present.
What Can I Drink to Reduce Inflammation?
There are several anti-inflammatory drinks to choose from based on your preference. Some beverages that have shown to reduce markers of inflammation include:
- Fruit/vegetable concentrates (100% orange juice, pomegranate juice, tomato juice, blackcurrant juice, tart cherry juice, cranberry juice, mandarin juice, red orange juice, 100% Concord grape juice, beet juice)
- Green tea
- Chlorella water extract
You may be wondering about bone broth and kombucha, which are often touted to have a variety of health benefits. There’s currently no research to support either of these having a specific anti-inflammatory effect, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help to reduce inflammation. Bone broth is a nutritious drink that can be used as part of an anti-inflammatory fast, and kombucha is high in probiotics (which are anti-inflammatory).
Let’s take a look at some of the research on what you can drink to reduce inflammation.
Is Coffee an Anti-Inflammatory Drink?
Coffee is a beloved beverage around the world, but the information surrounding coffee and health has been conflicting at times. When it comes to inflammation, coffee seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect overall.
- Heavy coffee drinkers tend to have lower levels of inflammatory markers when compared to non-coffee drinkers
- A 2019 observational study found those who drank at least four cups of coffee per day had 16.6% lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and 8.1% less interleukin (IL-6), along with 9.3% more adiponectin, which is a hormone that lowers inflammation. The researchers concluded the “data indicated that coffee consumption is associated with favorable profiles of numerous biomarkers in key metabolic and inflammatory pathways”
- In one 2016 randomized controlled trial, participants were randomized to drink four cups of regular coffee or four cups of a coffee-like placebo every day for 24 weeks. While the researchers found no significant effect on inflammation between the two groups, coffee consumption didn’t increase inflammation and participants in the coffee group experienced weight loss and positive changes in fat mass, which can affect inflammation levels .
- In addition, coffee with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, is associated with less risk of type 2 diabetes .
Are Fruit and Vegetable Juices Anti-Inflammatory Drinks?
The information about fruit and vegetable juice is often conflicting. Many health professionals recommend avoiding these types of beverages due to their often-high sugar and added sugar content. But fruit and vegetable juices can be included in what you can drink to reduce inflammation.
You’ll want to choose 100% fruit or vegetable juices (without added sugar) to reap the most anti-inflammatory benefits. For example, one 2021 randomized controlled trial found the moderate consumption (defined as 75 to 224 mL) of 100% fruit juice daily is associated with health benefits such as improved vascular function, reduced blood pressure, nutrient adequacy, reduced risk of stroke, and potential cognitive benefits .
Just make sure to avoid packaged juice beverages with added sugar (which is inflammatory). Some other findings:
- 100% orange juice, pomegranate, tomato juice, and beet juice may significantly lower inflammatory markers (IL-6, high-sensitivity CRP, and TNF-ɑ).
- Fruit and vegetable concentrates can lower inflammatory markers and strengthen immune function, but they shouldn’t take the place of eating whole fruits and vegetables.
- Orange and blackcurrant juices have been shown in a randomized controlled trial to decrease CRP levels, whereas a sugar drink increased CRP levels .
- 100% Concord grape juice has been shown to reduce inflammatory biomarkers, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and platelet and arterial function in healthy people and those with cardiovascular disease
Is Green Tea an Anti-Inflammatory Drink?
Green tea has been consumed for centuries. It may have a number of health-promoting benefits related to the catechin polyphenol content. While research on green tea’s anti-inflammatory effects is mixed, there are a number of health benefits associated with green tea, so it’s probably a good choice. For example:
- A 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that drinking green tea didn’t significantly reduce inflammation levels. However, most of the studies were performed on healthy people, so the results may be different when studied in people with high levels of inflammation .
- A 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis found green tea consumption (some of which was green tea extract) was associated with significant reductions in CRP in people with type 2 diabetes when compared to control groups
- A 2013 randomized controlled trial found people with type 2 diabetes who drank four cups of green tea per day had significant decreases in body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure, which may help to lower levels of inflammation
Is Milk an Anti-Inflammatory Drink?
Cow’s milk is a common dietary intolerance. For those who are sensitive to either lactose (milk sugar) or casein (milk protein), milk can trigger inflammation. It’s best to listen to your body when it comes to determining how milk affects you personally.
If you aren’t sensitive to milk, some research shows that it can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- One 2019 systematic review of randomized controlled trials found milk and dairy product consumption had a weak anti-inflammatory effect in healthy people, those who are obese or overweight, or have metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes .
- A 2011 randomized controlled trial found smokers who drank regular milk for six weeks had significantly reduced fasting IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-ɑ over the course of the study.
- A 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis found high consumption of dairy products was associated with a significant reduction in CRP, TNF-ɑ, and IL-6, but when the highest-quality studies were examined, no beneficial effects of dairy intake on inflammation were observed. However, this study included all dairy products, not just milk.
Does Water-Only Fasting Lower Inflammation?
Research on the effects of water-only fasting for inflammation is limited. One study found a five-day water fast increased regulatory T-cells, which are immune cells associated with anti-inflammatory effects. Other studies have found beneficial effects of water-only and juice-only fasts related to weight loss, body composition, blood pressure, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. These types of fasts should be completed only under medical supervision.
Making Your Own Anti-Inflammatory Smoothies and Juices
Sure, you can purchase pre-packaged smoothies and juices at your local grocery store, but you can also make your own! Making smoothies and fresh juices is a great way to increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods that you may not otherwise eat during the day. But there are some possible pros and cons of smoothies and juices to consider.
- Convenience: You can add many different types of fruits and vegetables to your blender and make a smoothie to be enjoyed throughout the day. For some, this will increase their overall servings of fruits and veggies, and thus their overall nutrient and phytonutrient intake.
- Blenderizing fruits and vegetables may increase your ability to absorb certain antioxidants.
- Decreased antioxidant density of certain fruits in juice form.
- Decreased fiber consumption with juices.
- Increased intake of FODMAPs, which could exacerbate abdominal symptoms in some people.
- Increased intake of oxalates, which can increase the likelihood of kidney stone formation in some people.
What Foods and Drinks Can Increase Inflammation?
While increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods and anti-inflammatory drinks is important, it’s equally important to reduce the foods and drinks that can cause or worsen inflammation, which may include:
- Foods or beverages you’re personally sensitive to, such as gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, artificial sweeteners or dyes, and corn
- Refined seed vegetable oils, such as soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, peanut, and cottonseed
- Highly processed foods with hydrogenated fats and added sugar
- Sugar-sweetened beverages, which are associated with weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes risk
- Processed meats like deli meats, hot dogs, bacon, and sausage
- Sweets like candies, cakes, cookies, and pies
The Bottom Line on Anti-Inflammatory Drinks
Your lifestyle and diet on the whole have a major impact on your level of inflammation. There’s no one anti-inflammatory drink that will improve your health and protect you from chronic inflammation.
Adding anti-inflammatory foods and drinks can help improve your health, but avoiding inflammatory foods and beverages is equally important.
If you’d like to learn more about an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You is a comprehensive guide. If you have implemented the strategies but are still struggling with inflammation, contact us at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine.
8 Drinks To Reduce Inflammation
What can I drink for inflammation?
In the short-term, inflammation can be beneficial as it helps to protect against injury or infection. Chronic inflammation, however, can pose problems for various aspects of our health. It can, for example, worsen the symptoms of IBS, an allergy, arthritis and even fibromyalgia.
Fortunately, though, there are several anti-inflammatory drinks which could provide some relief. Some of my top anti-inflammatory drinks include:
- Beetroot juice
- Turmeric latte
- Ginger tea
- Fruit smoothie
- Green smoothie
- Lemon matcha iced tea
- Fruit juice.
1. Beetroot juice
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have traditionally been used to treat inflammatory conditions. However, this medication has been associated with side effects such as stomach upset, drowsiness and headaches. As a result, there is an increasing focus on how natural remedies and diet can be used to manage inflammatory problems.
Beetroot is one ingredient which we could turn to. Studies show that pigments within beetroot called betalains make this vegetable anti-inflammatory in nature.1
In addition, beetroot contains nitrates which can boost oxygen levels in the blood. This makes it a particularly good drink to have post-workout in order to aid muscle recovery.
My Top Tip:
Biotta’s Apple, Beetroot and Ginger Juice is 100% organic, with no preservatives or added sugars.
This combination supports muscle function, whilst the addition of ginger, in particular, provides some anti-inflammatory benefits.
Enjoy one 100ml glass daily.
2. Turmeric latte
Turmeric-based drinks are aromatic and comforting, plus they are a good natural anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory benefits come from a component called curcumin. This is also the part of the spice that gives turmeric its bright orange colour.
Research shows that this makes turmeric particularly good for managing symptoms of arthritis,2 plus it can help to calm inflammation in the muscles after a bout of exercise.3 This will aid muscle recovery and reduce stiffness.
Turmeric lattes are a tasty, caffeine-free alternative to regular coffee and can be purchased in most supermarkets. Alternatively, why not try making your own at home?
3. Ginger tea
Ginger contains a compound called gingerol which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. This makes ginger tea the ideal drink for anyone suffering from chronic inflammation.
Whilst plain ginger tea is a popular option, you could also opt for lemon and ginger or a spiced ginger tea if you like your drinks a little sweeter.
When it comes to managing inflammation, green tea could also prove useful as it contains polyphenols and antioxidants which could reduce the problem.
Water is generally very good for our health, helping to keep the skin, muscles, joints and digestion healthy.
On top of this, drinking enough water helps to flush out toxins from the body which could reduce inflammation in the process. If we fail to get enough water it could, therefore, make inflammation worse.
As lemon also helps to get rid of toxins from the body, I would recommend adding our lemon, mint and cucumber detox water to your routine. This is a tasty and refreshing way to up your water intake.
5. Fruit smoothie
A fruit smoothie is a good way to pack in various anti-inflammatory ingredients like strawberries, cherries, oranges, blueberries and pineapple.
You could mix up your own with your favourites out of these ingredients, or check out the smoothie recipes over on our food hub.
For an extra dose of inflammation-fighting ingredients, I’d recommend adding a handful of nuts or seeds, like almonds, walnuts and chia seeds, to your smoothie.
6. Green smoothie
Sweet, fruity smoothies are a favourite but we mustn’t forget that green ingredients like spinach, celery, Bok choy and kale are also anti-inflammatory and can be mixed up to make a delicious smoothie.
Our Apple & Spinach smoothie is a good option. Not only is spinach anti-inflammatory, it is also high in magnesium which can help the muscles relax and reduce muscle and joint pain.
7. Lemon Matcha Iced Tea
Matcha powder has seen a massive growth in popularity in recent years and it is very easy to see why!
Matcha is grown from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant that is used to make green tea. Different production methods, however, are used to create matcha powder and green tea leaves.
Matcha powder is very good for our health as it is naturally high in protein and fibre. Matcha powder also contains antioxidants which make it anti-inflammatory.
8. Fruit juice
Now, I mentioned above that there are several fruity ingredients that offer anti-inflammatory benefits. As well as trying these in smoothie form, you could consume them through fruit juice.
Orange, pineapple, cherry, apple, blueberry and cranberry are all yummy options – just be sure to opt for fresh varieties rather than any juices ‘from concentrate’. These are heavily processed and tend to be high in sugar. Sugar is actually linked to inflammation so we don’t want to get too much of it!
Also, it’s worth remembering that only one glass of fruit juice counts towards your five-a-day so I would recommend eating some fresh fruit in addition to your daily glass of fruit juice in order to reap all the anti-inflammatory benefits.
Baking Soda and 4 Other Wonder Tonics That Fight Inflammation and Pain
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 and president of the Institute for Natural Medicine.
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 five research-backed drinks that can help fight inflammation in your body.
1. Baking soda + water
A recent study in the Journal of Immunologyfound drinking a tonic of baking soda and water may help reduce inflammation.
But be careful with this one: Some studies suggest there may be harmful side effects to ingesting baking soda regularly over time, like liver damageTrusted Source and bone loss. Even this new study capped intake at two weeks.
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.
Drink a baking soda and water tonic
after a meal twice a week, but for no more than four weeks.
2. Parsley + ginger green juice
Studies have found that parsley’s active ingredient, carnosol, targets inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Simon explains.
Ginger is a well-known anti-inflammatory. It prevents the production of inflammatory molecules like prostaglandin and leukotriene, as well pro-inflammatory cytokines. These are a type of protein found in cells, Simon says.
- 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
Drink parsley and ginger green
juice once daily for 8 to 12 weeks.
3. Lemon + turmeric tonic
“Numerous have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, can help reduce the body’s inflammatory response and provide relief for joint pain and inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis,” Simon says.
In fact, a study analysis published earlier this year in Neurological Sciences 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.
- help with chronic inflammation
- provide antioxidant protection by neutralizing free radicals
- fight brain degeneration
Try it: In a small saucepan, combine:
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated turmeric
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- the juice of 1 lemon
- the rind of that lemon
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 to 2 tsp. maple syrup or raw honey
- a 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 two to three days. When ready to eat, reheat on the stovetop until just warm.
Drink 1 to 1 2/3 cups of lemon and turmeric tonic
every day for up to four weeks.
4. Bone broth
“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 of 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 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 to look for high-quality ingredients.
Drink 1 to 2 cups of bone broth per
day. You can also eat it as a soup. Use batch within a week, or freeze up to
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.
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 arctic cod liver oil. It’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can suppress the proteins that promote chronic inflammation.
Her smoothie also includes vitamins A and D. Studies show that vitamin A and D deficiencies can contributeTrusted Source to chronic inflammation.
There are a handful of more pricey ingredients in this smoothie than the budget-friendly ones above. But if you’ve tried other alternative remedies and they didn’t work to reduce your inflammation, then this could be a great option.
Cod liver oil benefits
- contains vitamins A and D, both powerful antioxidants
- is a 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 Metagenics
- 1 tbsp. Designs
for Health GI Revive
- 1/2 tsp. Designs for Health
- 1 tbsp. arctic cod liver oil
- 1 scoop Designs for Health Paleo Greens
- 1 tbsp. Designs
for Health Paleo Reds
- 12 to 16 oz. purified water
- 1/4 cup frozen, organic berries
- 1/2 cup rice, hemp, or coconut
Drink this food smoothie as a meal replacement for breakfast, or
drink with your regular breakfast.