Tame RA Inflammation With the Right Drinks

These beverages may help lessen joint pain.

Stephanie Guzowski

Want to lessen joint pain? These beverages, made from a variety of delicious, healthy ingredients, may help reduce inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Almond milk
This drink is made from ground almonds, a top source of the antioxidant vitamin E, which researchers at Tufts University have linked to less stiffness and soreness after a workout. Plus, almonds are high in protein and good (monounsaturated) fat and packed with bone-building calcium. Use as you would regular milk—on cereal, in tea or coffee, or straight up!

White and green teas
What makes these brews such powerful soothers? Unlike black tea, white and green teas are less fermented, so more of their active ingredients—in particular, potent anti-inflammatory flavonoids—are left intact. Not a fan of white or green tea? Try adding fresh mint leaves, a splash of pomegranate juice or a drop of vanilla extract.

Ginger tea
Ginger contains chemicals that work similarly to ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. But ginger can also act as a blood thinner, so if you’re on a blood-thinning medication, talk with your doctor before using ginger. To make your own ginger tea, bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add 2 teaspoons of grated gingerroot, turn heat to low and simmer for two minutes.

Try ginger tea as a marinade for fish, meat and veggies.

Berry smoothie
Not only are blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries delicious and refreshing—they may also tame RA-induced inflammation. The sweet gems contain anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, powerful antioxidants that may lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a blood protein that signals inflammation in the body. CRP levels often spike during an RA flare. You can enjoy the fruit as is or blend into a smoothie with Greek yogurt and cranberry juice. 

Red wine
Certain properties in wine—antioxidants called anthocyanins and resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes—have an anti-inflammatory effect when consumed in moderation. Just remember, moderation means one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.

April 2013