JRA.... Journal of a Radical Arthritis Chick

Here I give advice, speak of my experiences and give information to those who want to better understand Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am NOT a medical professional, and you should always seek advice from a doctor.

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Location: MA, United States

Hello everyone! I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) when I was just 3 years old. I've had my battles with this disease over the years, and have decided to create a blog. I want to share my stories and adivce with other RA chicks, or anyone interested, to raise awareness and get insight from others. Feel free to comment/question me about anything. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beau-TEA-ful Healthy!

Did you know tea has amazing healthy benefits?  Not only is it very delicious, but the herbs in tea have been proven to be very beneficial to us.  Numerous studies have demonstrated the anti-cancer properties of antioxidant polyphenols. Some studies have suggested that tea's polyphenols may reduce the risk of gastric, esophageal and skin cancers, if one consumes 4 to 6 cups daily. Another study showed that just 2 cups of tea may lower the risk of ovarian cancer by 46 percent in women. Other studies have found that polyphenols help prevent blood clotting and lower cholesterol levels. One Japanese study found that green tea lowers death rates from heart disease.

The healthiest way to drink tea is all-natural tea bags, with no sugar or milk.  Instant tea (bottled) may contain very little amounts of actual tea and plenty of sugars or artificial sweeteners. For health’s sake, check out the ingredients on the label.

While, we could never go off our medicines and just rely on herbs and supplements, adding healthier things to our diet could help a bit.  There are many different types of teas, so I've come up with a list of different teas, and how they are beneficial to you!

Green & Black Teas:

  • Green tea: (My personal favorite) Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.

  • Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.

  • White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas

  • Oolong tea: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.

  • Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.

  • Herbel Teas:

    Made from herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots steeped in hot water, herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black, and oolong teas. Their chemical compositions vary widely depending on the plant used.

    Varieties include ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea.

    Limited research has been done on the health benefits of herbal teas, but claims that they help to shed pounds, stave off colds, and bring on restful sleep are largely unsupported.

  • Chamomile tea: Its antioxidants may help prevent complications from diabetes, like loss of vision and nerve and kidney damage, and stunt the growth of cancer cells.

  • Echinacea: Often touted as a way to fight the common cold, the research on echinacea has been inconclusive.

  • Hibiscus: A small study found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered blood pressure in people with modestly elevated levels.

  • Rooibos (red tea): A South African herb that is fermented. Although it has flavonoids with cancer-fighting properties, medical studies have been limited.

  • The FDA cautions against taking supplements that include:
    • Comfrey
    • Ephedra
    • Willow bark
    • Germander
    • Lobelia
    • Chaparral
    These cautions aside, nutritionists say to drink up and enjoy the health benefits of tea.

    --The following information was gathered from websites like WebMD, Arthritis Foundation.


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