When it comes to health problems, the word inflammation gets tossed around a lot. However, inflammation is not technically a problem, at least not at the cellular level. Instead, it only becomes a problem when your body triggers inflammation too often or when it's not needed.
Fortunately, there are several ways to mitigate inflammation in your body. For example, juicing for inflammation can help alleviate symptoms and side effects with all-natural ingredients. So, with that in mind, let's dive into this condition and how juicing can work.
In This Article:
What is Inflammation?
Your body's immune system is continually working to destroy pathogens and other harmful elements inside your body. Inflammation is when your white blood cells move into an area to attack any invasive components. So, when you get an infection or scrape your knee, you experience inflammation. This process is known as acute inflammation because it happens based upon a specific trigger.
The other kind of inflammation is chronic, and it's much more of a problem. Unfortunately, we can accumulate various toxic elements in our bodies, which triggers the immune response. For example, a buildup of fat in the arteries can cause inflammation as the body tries to remove these foreign entities. In this case, the inflammation can cause serious side effects, such as a heart attack.
How Does Chronic Inflammation Affect the Body?
There are quite a few diseases that can be attributed to chronic inflammation. They are:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Arthritis and Joint Pain
- Seasonal or Chronic Allergies
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Because many of the side effects of these diseases are triggered by inflammation, anti-inflammatory medicines and foods can alleviate symptoms. However, on the flip side, certain foods can make the situation worse. For example, if you're allergic to a specific type of food (i.e., shellfish), eating it can cause significant swelling and discomfort. Also, fatty acids can trigger inflammation, which is why fast food can also be problematic.
Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation
When you experience acute inflammation, you'll likely have one or more (or all) of these symptoms:
- Loss of Function
The degree of these symptoms will depend on the amount of inflammation.
When talking about chronic inflammation, the symptoms can be much less noticeable. In some cases, the side effects are all internal, so individuals don't know what's going on until it's too late.
One excellent way to spot chronic inflammation is by measuring biomarkers. Biomarkers are natural elements within the body that can indicate how well various internal systems are working. For inflammation, the most common biomarker used is C-reactive protein (CRP). So, if you have elevated levels of CRP, that's a good indicator that you have some form of chronic inflammation.
How Dangerous is Inflammation?
The primary reason to pay attention to inflammation is that it can cause a lot of stress on your body. Your immune system shouldn't be working all the time, as it can damage various internal parts and systems. For example, if you have chronic heart disease, the inflammation can weaken your arteries and muscles, causing a heart attack or arrhythmia.
So, taking anti-inflammatory medications or eating anti-inflammatory foods can help mitigate the worst effects. Fortunately, juicing allows you to incorporate many of these beneficial ingredients into your diet.
What is Juicing and Juicing For Inflammation
Juicing is the process of extracting liquids from various fresh fruits and vegetables. You can do this in two different ways - manually or electronically. Manual juicers require a lot of effort since you're using your muscles to get the liquid out. Because of the design of manual juicers, they only work for fruits and veggies with a high juice yield (i.e., oranges).
Electric juicers are much easier to use, and they come in a few different varieties. You can buy a centrifugal, masticating, or triturating juicer. Here is a quick overview of each model:
- Centrifugal Juicer - This machine looks kind of like a blender, except that the pulp and juice are kept separate. These juicers work quickly and efficiently, but they can leave a lot of wet pulp behind. Use a centrifugal juicer if you're in a hurry.
- Masticating Juicer - Rather than using a spinning motor, masticating juicers use an auger to extract juice from your ingredients. This process yields cold-pressed juice because the machine works slowly and methodically. You can work with a lot more foods with this juicer type.
- Triturating Juicer - This machine is a step up from a masticating juicer because it uses two augers instead of one. However, these devices are much more expensive, so they're only meant for hardcore juicing enthusiasts.
How Juicing Can Help Inflammation
Many fruits and vegetables have natural anti-inflammatory properties. So, by juicing these ingredients, you can extract most of the nutrients from them. Also, it's easier for your body to absorb those vitamins and minerals so that they can act quickly to alleviate symptoms. In some cases, you can go on a juice cleanse to absorb more nutrients.
That said, some fruits and vegetables work best as a whole ingredient, meaning that you want to try to use every part of the food, including any peels or pulp. For example, apples have flavonoids and polyphenols in their skin, so you need to eat the skin to get the total nutritious value.
Here's a quick rundown of the top fresh fruit and vegetable options to help with juicing for inflammation.
Kale, Spinach, and Other Leafy Greens
No matter what, you should start incorporating as many leafy green veggies into your diet. These ingredients are chock-full of nutrients, including those that help fight inflammation. When it comes to green juice, you will need to use a masticating or triturating juicer to get the most liquid out of your greens. That said, if you want to get all the nutrients, we recommend tossing a handful into a green smoothie instead.
Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries all have polyphenols. Research shows that polyphenols that you find in foods have anti inflammatory properties. Berries also have anthocyanins, which help them get their distinctive colors. Preliminary evidence suggests that anthocyanins are potent anti-inflammatories as well.
Fortunately, it's pretty easy to juice all kinds of berries, no matter what type of juicer you have. Best of all, you can mix and match different berries to get tastier flavors and more nutrients.
This fleshy, juicy fruit contains a lot of lycopene, which research shows can have anti inflammatory compounds. Lycopene is also a powerful antioxidant, so you're getting a double dose of healthy nutrition. Best of all, watermelons are super easy to juice.
The secret to pineapple's effect on inflammation is the element bromelain, which aids digestion and reduces inflammation. Fortunately, pineapple juice is easy to make and tastes great too.
This fruit is also high in lycopene, making it a potent anti inflammatory food. Tomatoes are pretty easy to juice, but they can be an acquired taste (unless you really like V8 juice). Fortunately, you can combine tomatoes with sweeter ingredients to make your beverage more palatable.
Tart cherry juice has a lot of anthocyanins and another element called catechin. Both of these components work as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, so you get the best of both worlds.
While you can't exactly make turmeric juice, you can add the powder to your finished beverage, so it's easy to incorporate into your diet. The secret ingredient of turmeric root is curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, at least according to this research. Black pepper is another seasoning that has similar properties, if you don't like the taste of turmeric powder.
Beetroot has quite a few nutritional properties, including betalain, which acts as a potent anti-inflammatory compound. If you haven't had freshly-made beet juice before, it's also quite tasty, either by itself or with other fruits and vegetables.
When looking at most juicing recipes for inflammation online, many of them will include fresh ginger root. Like turmeric, ginger juice has a lot of healthy ingredients, including anti-inflammatories. Some people recommend ginger for arthritis, although the science is not definitive about that.
Top 5 Juice Recipes for Inflammation
Knowing the best fruits and veggies for inflammation is one thing - turning them into a delicious anti inflammatory drink is another. So, we've compiled a list of the top five fresh juice recipes for inflammation.
Pineapple Cucumber Juice
This recipe can take you on an island excursion, thanks to its rich pineapple flavor. The juice also incorporates some cinnamon for a mild kick that will keep you coming back for more.
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 whole pineapple
- 15 small pieces of fresh turmeric root
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
Since you're using so many ingredients at once, you'll be able to drink this juice a few times during the day. However, you may need to cut down on the turmeric, depending on how much you like the flavor.
The Ultimate Anti Inflammatory Juice Recipe
While this recipe does fight inflammation, the ingredients can help your body in a few different ways. That said, you'll get more nutrition out of these foods if you can incorporate the pulp somehow. For example, apples have lots of dietary fiber, which helps with digestion and blood sugar. If necessary, you can turn this into an anti-inflammatory smoothie instead.
- 4 celery stalks
- ½ cucumber
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- ½ green apple
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 lemon
- 1 knob of fresh ginger
Another way that this anti inflammatory juice will help you is with digestion. If you have any gastrointestinal issues, drinking a glass of this recipe every day can help. Lemon juice, apple juice, and pineapple juice are all excellent digestive aids. Plus, it never hurts to get more vitamin C in your diet.
Celery juice also provides excellent hydration. If celery is too mild for you, you can add carrot juice instead, since carrots are also full of water.
Apple Blueberry Juice
While all berries work well as anti-inflammatory agents, blueberries are probably the best of the bunch. Not only do they help with inflammation, but they have lots of antioxidants, too, so you get an even better nutritional balance. Once again, try to incorporate the pulp if possible, either in the juice itself or separately. For example, apple pulp works well in baked goods like muffins.
- 2 red apples
- 2 cups chopped spinach leaves
- 2 cups of blueberries
When drinking anti-inflammatory juice, keep in mind that it works well as a pre-workout beverage. Since your muscles can get inflamed during a workout, drinking juice like this can mitigate the effects and help you recover faster. Vitamin k, as found in leafy greens, also helps your muscle recovery.
Watermelon Detox Juice
Of all the fruits we listed, watermelons are the ones with the highest yield. Depending on the size of your melon, you might have enough juice to last a few days. Just be sure to increase the amounts of the other ingredients as well. Otherwise, you'll throw off the flavor.
- ½ lime
- 6 basil leaves
- 1 small seedless watermelon
Another prime benefit of watermelon is that it can help you stay hydrated. Since most people struggle with getting enough water in their diets, adding juice blend like this can be a considerable boost. If you want something a bit tastier, we recommend adding some fresh orange juice as well.
Pineapple Cucumber Juice
If one set of berries has loads of anti-inflammatory properties, why not mix as many of them as possible? This fruit juice recipe will help you maximize your fight against inflammation by using three different berries. Plus, it incorporates mint leaves to add a more refreshing flavor.
- 1 cup chopped mint leaves
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
Mint leaves are also good at helping with inflammation, but the taste may be a bit too strong for some people. If necessary, cut the recipe down to ½ cup leaves.
Bottom Line: Stop Inflammation With Juicing
Since chronic inflammation can be so troublesome, drinking anti-inflammatory foods regularly can help mitigate your symptoms. Juicing makes it easy to mix tons of nutritious ingredients for a tasty and powerful anti-inflammatory drink. Now that you know which fruits and vegetables work best for inflammation, you can start helping your body. Happy juicing!