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Posted on: June 21, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful disease for all of those who experience it. They suffer from inflamed, stiff, and swollen joints and low energy levels.

Although there are medications available to ease the discomfort of this disease, it’s important for patients to adapt a healthier lifestyle to help alleviate the symptoms. This includes a healthy diet, proper rest, exercise, and stress management to fight the disease’s joint inflammation. [1]

Functional anti-inflammatory foods should come from all corners of your diet, and just one fun way to incorporate these is through a refreshing glass of homemade iced tea.

“Tea can be beneficial,” says Mahsa Tehrani, MD, rheumatologist and co-founder of the Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinical Center of Northern Virginia in Vienna. “Tea has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties, which can help, theoretically, with the underlying inflammation associated with arthritis.” [2]

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Before making any major changes to your diet, such as adding therapeutic teas, contact your doctor to ensure they won’t interact with any arthritis medications or other prescriptions. Once you receive the go-ahead, brew your favorite tea recipe, or all of them if you wish, and enjoy every sip.

1) Ginger Mint Iced Tea

Most people associate ginger with nausea and upset stomachs, but its benefits are much farther reaching. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that function similarly to drugs for pain and inflammation. An Italian study found that ginger supplements improved inflammation and chronic knee pain in their participants with arthritis. [3] When brewed with mint, ginger becomes a soothing hot drink for the palate and the joints.

Directions:

  1. Pour 6 cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add 6 oz of peeled and finely diced fresh ginger, and 4 bags of mint tea into the pot. Turn off the stove.
  3. Steep the ginger and tea for 8 minutes then strain.
  4. Add honey to taste.
  5. Cool to room temperature and serve over ice.

2) Blueberry Green Iced Tea

Blueberries have become famous for their antioxidants. They help improve heart and bone health and decrease the inflammation caused experienced with arthritis. They are also delicious, and tea is a tasty and fun alternative to munching on raw blueberries. [4] Pair those benefits with green tea. Researchers from the University of Michigan showed that compounds call EGCG from green tea can be beneficial for people with arthritis.[5] Consuming green tea on a regular basis could help to fight inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Try this berry tea duo to double down on their anti-inflammatory properties.  

Directions:

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil then remove the pot from heat.
  2. Add 4 bags of green tea and allow them to steep for 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the tea into a blender and add 1 cup of (fresh or frozen) blueberries.
  4. Blend, strain the mixture until it’s completely smooth, and allow to cool.
  5. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.

3) Strawberry Nettle Iced Tea

Despite their candy-like sweetness, strawberries are naturally low in sugar, about half that of apples or blueberries by weight. They also contain more vitamin C per serving than oranges, which can support our immune systems, aid in collagen production, and aid arterial health. Strawberries are also high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a perfect fruit for this tea recipe, coupled with the power of the stinging nettle plant. A study published in 2015 discovered that the antioxidants in nettle leaf extracts can reduce inflammation in the body by inhibiting key enzymes in the inflammatory process. [6] [7]

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Directions:

  1. Pour 6 cups of water, 1½ cups of sliced strawberries, and ¼ tsp vanilla extract into a large pot.
  2. Bring the pot to boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 2 tbsp of dried nettle leaf. Steep for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea, allow to cool, and serve over ice.

4) Rosehip Iced Tea

Rosehip is a common ingredient in many teas for good reason; it has a delicious flavor and incredible health benefits. Researchers analyzed three trials involving 287 patients with inflammatory diseases, including arthritis. Many of the participants who were treated with rosehip powder reported reduced pain and out measured the placebo group’s positive reports by double. Rosehip is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb with minimal side effects. [8]

Directions:

  1. Steep 4 rosehip tea bags in 6 cups of boiling water.
  2. All the tea to cool and serve over ice with mint leaves.
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5) Lemon Iced Black Tea

The traditional tea-time beverage is actually rich in health benefits. Black tea has a high amount of quercetin, a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory effects. A study published in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics tested animal subjects and found that quercetin reduced their inflammation and increased their antioxidant defense against diseases.[9] Black tea does contain caffeine at around 47mg per cup, which is approximately half that of drip coffee. Use a decaffeinated variety if needed.

Directions:

  1. Place 2 black tea bag into a heatproof pitcher and pour 4 cups of boiling water into it.
  2. Allow it to steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags and add 2 oz of lemon juice.
  4. Use honey to sweeten to taste.
  5. Serve over ice.
  1.  Rheumatoid Arthritis https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Rheumatoid-Arthritis
  2. Best Beverages for Arthritis https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/best-foods-for-arthritis/best-beverages-for-arthritis.php
  3.  The effect and safety of highly standardized Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) extract supplementation on inflammation and chronic pain in NSAIDs poor responders. A pilot study in subjects with knee arthrosis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27737573
  4. Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Rheumatoid Arthritis https://www.rheumatoidarthritis.org/living-with-ra/diet/anti-inflammatory-foods/
  5.  Green Tea Compound, EGCG, May Be A Therapy For People With Rheumatoid Arthritis https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070429113444.htm
  6. Best Fruits for Arthritis https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/best-foods-for-arthritis/best-fruits-for-arthritis.php
  7. Inhibition of Cytosolic Phospholipase A2α (cPLA2α) by Medicinal Plants in Relation to Their Phenolic Content https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/20/8/15033/htm
  8. Rosehip – an evidence based herbal medicine for inflammation and arthritis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22762068
  9. Quercetin reduced inflammation and increased antioxidant defense in rat adjuvant arthritis https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003986115300345

 

 

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Sarah Biren
Founder of The Creative Palate
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender. Her blog The Creative Palate shares the nutrition and imagination of her recipes for others embarking on their journey to wellbeing.

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