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The 4 Best Foods to Eat to Reduce Inflammation After a Workout

In a world of neon-emblazoned workout recovery supplements, it’s easy to forget the basics. Good health is built on a foundation of regular exercise and a solid diet. Long before anyone uttered the word “superfood,” tried and true nutritional staples stuck around for cramming a wealth of nutritional benefits into a compact (not to mention delicious) wrapper.

When you work out, the stress you put on your muscles encourages those muscle fibers to start self-repairing, a process that can lead to inflammation and soreness. That’s why your body’s need for well-balanced, anti-inflammatory foods goes double during athletic recovery — and a little pharmaceutical technology CBD could take that post-workout diet to the next level.

1. Antioxidant-Boosting Berries

In addition to bringing immune-supporting antioxidants to the table, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries defend against common inflammation markers (including those associated with heart disease), appeal to taste buds and make the perfect addition to just about any workout recovery smoothie under the sun.

To up your berry smoothie game, mix in your preferred dosage of CBD. In an experimental 2018 study from the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, various phytocannabinoids (including CBD) were found to alter the course of molecular inflammatory processes, thus possibly easing the mechanisms of inflammation. RESET Bioscience’s Balance CBD is water based, meaning it mixes great with your favorite smoothie and absorbs better prior to that muscle soreness kicking in! 

2. Fish for Omega-3s

After your workout, ditch the refined carbs, processed snacks, fried foods and sugars — all of which can actually increase inflammation — in favor of cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel or anchovies. Full of muscle-building lean protein and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, these types of fish also offer the body a way to defend against diabetes and kidney complications.

In the fight against inflammation, omega-3s form a crucial ally. These healthy fats combat C-reactive proteins and interleukin-6, two inflammatory proteins released when you put stress on your muscles.

3. Protein- and Fat-Containing Nuts

Omega-3s aren’t alone when it comes to easing inflammation. Throwing back a handful of nuts makes for an easy, no-mess post-workout snack that you can pack to the gym without any hassle, and it works against inflammation by delivering essential monounsaturated fats (not to mention the protein and fiber your body needs).

Go with almonds, pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts for a filling inflammation fighter.

4. Green Veggies

Brussels sprouts, kale and broccoli have more than just their green hue in common. Cruciferous veggies contain antioxidants like sulforaphane, which reduce inflammation drivers such as cytokines. Speaking of green, RESET’s hemp-derived CBD blends perfectly with green smoothies, with no weird artificial flavors to speak of. Although CBD is not currently FDA-approved for the treatment of pain or inflammation, research suggests it could someday be a promising target.

Pro tip: Add a dash of turmeric to your green machine to provide a little spice and plenty of the anti-inflammatory nutrient known as curcumin.

Dan has been a freelance writer since 2009. In the health and wellness field, he’s fortunate enough to have collaborated with the likes of Civilized Life, LIVESTRONG, Cetaphil, DermStore and more, with his work appearing in publications such as USA Today, The Seattle Times, Chron Fitness, Healthfully and, among others.