Inflammation wreaks havoc on your body. It can cause pain, chronic conditions, and dysfunction in multiple body systems. Most pressingly for Savers, inflammation is detrimental to bones.

Today we look at how inflammation affects your bone health and your overall wellbeing. Then we share three recipes for smoothies that contain delicious inflammation-fighting ingredients, such as cacao powder.

Inflammation And Bone Health

Inflammation causes a surge of immune activity, which results in an increase of cytokines. Cytokines, which are proteins that mitigate communication between cells, ultimately harm your bones by causing accelerating bone resorption, therefore, reducing bone mass and weakening the bone microarchitecture.

Studies have established that people with the highest levels of proinflammatory cytokines are at a 73% greater risk of hip fracture than people with the lowest levels.1 This increase in fracture risk is no surprise given that cytokines weaken bone.

Synopsis

Inflammation results in bone loss, in part because pro-inflammatory cytokines weaken bone by accelerating bone resorption.

Inflammation And Overall Health

Inflammation isn’t always a detriment. In fact, inflammation is an important part of the immune system. But when inflammation continues past the point of usefulness, a chronic inflammatory state can develop.

Chronic inflammation is linked to many health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.2

Chronic inflammation also has negative consequences for cognitive health. According to one study:

“Inflammation within the brain can have far-reaching acute and long-term effects. In addition to immediate and localized damage that occurs in response to neurotoxic inflammatory enzymes, neuroinflammation over time is associated with risk of dementia and cardiovascular pathology, including stroke.”3

Synopsis

Chronic inflammation causes a wide variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cognitive decline.

Fight Inflammation With Smoothies!

Diet is a simple and effective way to reduce inflammation. In fact, anti-inflammatory diets have been shown to reduce bone loss in scientific studies.4

The smoothie recipes below are rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients. You’ll notice that each one has two special ingredients in common: cacao powder and almond butter.

Cacao is derived from the seeds of the cacao tree, called cacao beans. They are turned into a powder after a process of fermentation and drying. Sometimes the dried beans are then roasted, before being crushed into nibs. Those cacao nibs can then be ground into powder. Although cacao is acidifying, it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that protect your bones.

Almond butter is included in each of these smoothies because of its ability to prevent blood sugar spikes. Studies have linked after-meal spikes in blood sugar levels to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, and reduced bone density.5 The ability of almonds to stabilize blood sugar levels makes them the perfect ingredient alongside the fruits that give these smoothies their pleasing sweetness.

For all of the recipes below, simply place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed until smooth. And feel free to adjust the quantity of almond milk, depending on your texture preference. Enjoy!

Synopsis

You can reduce inflammation by consuming anti-inflammatory foods. An anti-inflammatory diet has been linked to reductions in bone loss and the smoothie recipes below are packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients.

1. Cheery Cherry

This recipe features cherries and kale, both of which offer substantial bone-health benefits. Cherries pack a potent dose of antioxidants that protect bones from free radicals. Additionally, they contain Foundation Supplements including manganese, Vitamin C, and silicon.

Kale is also a rich source of antioxidants, such as lutein, beta-carotene, kaempferol, and quercetin. Kale contains calcium, copper, and Vitamin K, all of which support f bone synthesis.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • ½ cup pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2. Berry Bliss

This recipe features spinach. You’ll be amazed by how perfectly it blends into your smoothie, adding vitamin C, several B vitamins, vitamin A, iron, and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.

As its name suggests, this smoothie also contains berries, including bone-building raspberries. Raspberries, in addition to providing a variety of nutrients, are an excellent source of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is a powerful anti-inflammatory notable for its benefits on neurological health.6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder

3. Amazing Avocado

Avocados, in addition to being a great source of fiber, also contain Omega 3 fatty acids, which increase calcium absorption and deposition, and which help to balance cholesterol levels.

Flaxseed is also an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. This compound has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and reduce inflammation.7,8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup kale
  • ½ medium banana
  • ¼ avocado
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger

What This Means To You

The studies cited above clearly link inflammation to weak, damaged bone, increasing the risk of fractures. Furthermore, inflammation is a risk factor for a wide variety of other conditions.

Fortunately, you have the ability to reduce inflammation through changes in your diet. You can get more anti-inflammatory smoothie recipes in Blender Magic, which is included as part of the Save Institute’s cookbook and meal planner Bone Appétit. It simplifies building healthier, stronger bones with a wide variety of smoothies that are simple to make and irresistibly delicious.

Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!

Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!

Learn More Now →

References

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22392817

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579563/

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390758/

4 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbmr.3070/abstract

5 https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/19a6/db4703187353b5e295004cef8768ffa82441.pdf

6 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10072-011-0775-1

7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17955332

8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10732825

The Top 14 Things You’re Doing That Are Damaging Your Bones... And More!

  • Stop The Bone Thieves! report
  • Email course on how to prevent and reverse bone loss
  • Free vital osteoporosis news and updates.
Get It Free Now
10 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Mary

    Most of your recipes are not for me: I am allergic to almonds strawberries , cherries and a great number of other fruits and foods.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      So sorry about that, Mary!

  2. Jeannie

    I just shopped for the ingredients at my favorite organic grocery store and began by making the Cheery Cherry smoothie as soon as I unpacked. Delicious! Thank you, Vivian. These were precisely what I needed this week.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for your feedback, Jeannie! I’m glad you liked our recipe 🙂

  3. Wilma L. Greene

    Vivian I am on Cumadin & have been for 20+ years, so Kale with all the Vitamin K would not be an option for me. Salads can cause my INR to vary I check my own INR with a home machine.ANY ALTERNATE SUGGESTIONS IN SMOOTHIES

  4. Sharon A Robinson

    I used to have lots of green smoothies until I had a kidney stone. For those who are prone – could you please include some low oxalate recipes. Thanks.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Sharon, those who are prone to kidney stones can replace the high oxalate greens with low oxalate alternatives such as arugula, lettuce, and collard greens 🙂

  5. Kathy

    Thank you for these wonderful and easy smoothie recipes. I believe spinach will inhibit calcium absorption but I eat organic spinach wilted with lemon juice in moderation and smaller quantities as a snack or side. And I watch my thyroid health and try not to eat too much raw vegetables like kale and brocolli with steaming or balancing it to reduce Oxalates which affect thyroid health. All this to say, instead of Raw spinach or Kale, I will add in an Organic Romaine Spring Mix or frozen cucumbers, zuchinni, ect.
    Any advice is appreciated and thank you again! These smoothies are great after one of your Save Trainer on line workouts that I am going to do NOW!

Leave a Comment

The purpose of this comment section is to encourage you to interact with the other Savers. Thank you so much for joining the conversation!

Get Started With Your FREE
Natural Bone Building Kit.

Get a free copy of our ‘Stop The Bone Thieves’ eBook, exclusive content that you can’t find anywhere else, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.

Get It Free