Sip on These 7 Types of Tea to Help Soothe Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural and powerful tool that our bodies need in order to fight off disease, heal injuries, and keep infections at bay. But when inflammation becomes chronic, it goes from being beneficial to problematic.
Why Inflammation Can Be a Problem
"Many chronic diseases have been linked to inflammation such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, cancer, and arthritis," explains Ale Zozos, M.S., RDN. Constantly fighting low-grade inflammation is also tough on the body and can lead to a weakened immune system over time.
Supporting your body in its inflammatory response is a multi-pronged approach that includes adequate sleep, healthy eating habits, and a few beneficial lifestyle changes. What we eat and drink—from green tea to salmon to Swiss chard—can be powerful tools in our inflammation-fighting arsenal—especially those proven to possess key nutrients to combat chronic inflammation.
How Tea Can Help
An easy way to help soothe inflammation? Sip on a simple cup of tea. We've long-known that drinking tea has a host of health benefits, and research shows that the polyphenols in tea, as well as some of the commonly used herbs and spices found in a variety of tea blends, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. "While the levels of anti-inflammatory properties will vary from tea to tea, it's thought that most teas have over eight times the antioxidant power of fruits and vegetables," says Brynne McDowell, R.D. "Studies conducted indicate that people that routinely drink green tea or black tea, for example, have been shown to have decreased levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation in the body."
Tea as One Part of the Solution
While drinking tea can help support the body's anti-inflammatory response, McDowell reminds us that it's always important to consider the full picture. "In order to really decrease chronic inflammation, it's important to focus on eating an overall diet full of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and nuts rather than focusing on a single "superfood" ingredient." (Part of a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet also includes easing up on foods that cause inflammation, too—think of it as addition by subtraction!)