Rheumatoid arthritis: Green tea boasts ‘superior anti-arthritic capabilities’ study finds

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Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It is an autoimmune condition, which means it’s caused by the immune system attacking healthy body tissue. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition but you can improve symptoms by making healthy lifestyle interventions.

A surprising and promising intervention is drinking green tea.

A review of the literature supporting the use of green tea was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

As the review explains, green tea has several anti-inflammatory properties that can help to improve arthritis symptoms.

It has been demonstrated that feeding green tea polyphenols to mice prevented the onset and progression of arthritis, the review reports.

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Polyphenols are beneficial plant compounds thought to offer various health benefits.

In another study, feeding green tea polyphenols to rats significantly reduced arthritic scores.

What’s more, a study compared green tea with black tea to see which offered the most benefits for arthritis.

The study revealed that green tea had “superior anti-arthritic capabilities” compared to black tea.

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General dietary tips

In addition to focusing on specific items, committing to an overall healthy diet can help to manage arthritis symptoms.

Following a Mediterranean diet has been shown to provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis.

This type of diet includes poultry, fish, and less lean red meat than a typical UK diet, plenty of vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned), fresh fruit, olive oil, wholegrain cereals, peas and beans and nuts and seeds.

“This means saturated fats are reduced and replaced by unsaturated fats including omega-3,” adds the British Dietetic Association (BDA).

Research has shown an improvement in the symptoms experienced by people with rheumatoid arthritis when following this diet.

“To adopt this way of eating, aim for four or more portions of vegetables and two or more portions of fruit daily,” adds the BDA.

In addition to eating a healthy diet, regular exercise can reduce arthritis symptoms.

“Exercising regularly can help relieve stress, help keep your joints mobile, and strengthen the muscles supporting your joints,” explains the NHS.

According to the NHS, exercise can also help you lose weight if you’re overweight, which can put extra strain on your joints.

The health body says to find the best activities and the right balance for you – it’s usually best to increase the amount of exercise you do gradually.

“If a particular activity causes your joints to become warm and swollen, or it causes severe pain, then stop and rest,” it adds.

Try the following exercises:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Aqua aerobics.

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