Inflammation in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. (See also: acute inflammation, like the bruising or swelling that happens as a side effect of your body's natural healing process). But when it becomes chronic, inflammation can lead to a variety of health issues—including leaky gut, autoimmune issues, painful periods, cardiovascular disease, and even some forms of cancer.
Oh, and don't forget our favorite fickle friend, anxiety. This unpleasant mental state can then (you guessed it) actually heighten your inflammatory symptoms. Talk about a vicious cycle. For context, it's not unlike your inability to make a decision about what to order for delivery—you start to get frustrated because it really shouldn't be that hard to just pick something, but then that makes you even less capable of making a decision, which makes you even more frustrated.
- Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and women’s health expert
Is your heart racing already? Same. But no need! There are plenty of simple, fuss-free ways to fight inflammation in your daily life. One of the most effective methods is to consume anti-inflammatory nutrients. Plenty of these healthy ingredients—such as ginger, lemon, or turmeric—can be (of course) consumed through food. But be careful not to overlook the beverages you're sipping throughout the day, as these present another excellent opportunity to quell your body's inflammatory response. "Because we are such a food-focused society, it’s easy to subconsciously tune out the benefits of drinking good-for-you beverages, like tea," says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, registered dietitian and author of The Better Period Food Solution.
Best part? Tea has been shown to curb anxiety symptoms, too. Here, discover four of Beckerman's favorite soothing anti-inflammatory teas to start sipping on when you're ready for some R&R.
4 RD-approved anti-inflammatory teas that will bliss you out
Ginger contains a compound called gingerol that acts a super potent antioxidant. “If you are looking for a health boost without the caffeine, lemon ginger tea can enrich the body with calming and soothing effects. This can relax and aid the body in fighting against unwanted inflammation brought on by stress, lack of sleep, or a sedentary lifestyle,” Beckerman says. BTW, this BLK & BOLD blend can be brewed either hot or iced, so it’s a great select for summertime (or any time).
People in Japan, China, and Korea have been drinking matcha, a powdered tea, since the 12th century. “Matcha is chock-full of catechins—aka ECGC—which contain anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting compounds,” Beckerman says. “These helpful antioxidants go after inflammation in the body and work to repair and heal the damage.” This tin of matcha from Golde is made entirely from green tea leaves from Uji, Japan, and it tastes downright divine in lattes, over ice, and (of course) when served the classic way: whisked into hot water.
“Chai tea is a very potent source of many health-boosting ingredients like ginger, black tea, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Between the antioxidant activity and the polyphenol properties in these ingredients, chai tea is practically bursting with anti-inflammatory benefits,” Beckerman says. This blend also contains Tanzanian black pepper that’s harvested when it’s ripe. This process gives the peppercorns a deliciously rich, robust flavor compared to traditional peppercorns, which are harvested before they are ripe. Once you taste the tea, guarantee you’ll see what we mean.
“I’m always a strong proponent of ginger, and even more so in tea,” Beckerman says. “Ginger’s ability to aid in digestion and boost stagnation when you are feeling sluggish makes it one of my go-tos.” This blend from Pukka is made with ethically-sourced, 100-percent organically-grown ingredients, like antioxidant superstar spices ginger and turmeric, plus the lesser-known but just-as-beneficial root spice, galangal.
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