Flu Season Is Tea Time

Jan 5 2009 - 3:03pm
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January is National Hot Tea Month and is also the height of the dreaded "cold and flu season". The CDC estimates that there will be more than 200,000 Americans affected by the cold and flu this year, which leads to missing work, school and even social gatherings. So what can one do to avoid the cold and flu?

The CDC strongly recommends an annual flu vaccine as the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu. In addition, drinking hot tea may also help you stay healthy during the cold and flu season.

Published research from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University indicates that theanine, an ingredient found naturally in tea, supports the immune system. A cup of tea contains an average of 20-25 mg of theanine. Drinking tea throughout the day may strengthen the immune system which is something important to do during the cold and flu season.

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Drinking five cups of Black Tea a day for two to four weeks boosted the body's immune defense system by four times, according to the results of a human clinical trial. According to this study, the data suggests that drinking Black Tea boost's the body's natural resistance to infection.

Tea also contains flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds known for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which scientists believe damage elements in the body, such as genetic material and lipids, and contribute to many chronic diseases.

The CDC states that healthy adults have a 30% chance of contracting the flu even with an annual flu vaccination, and the vaccine may be somewhat less effective for children and the elderly. And while drinking tea may not keep you from getting sick this season, it can help your odds of staying healthy.

So why not do something good for your body while having a hot beverage ... help stay healthy this cold and flu season and drink your tea every day!

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