What are the best teas to boost your immune system?
Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world after water, and this popularity can be mainly accredited to the rich taste, strong aroma, and health benefits of tea. Did you know that in Ancient China, where tea originated centuries ago, tea was highly valued as a beverage for its medicinal properties? Similarly, tea is still highly coveted these days for its numerous health benefits and immunity-boosting ability. Tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and it is rich in antioxidants, which are substances capable of halting or reducing the damage caused by harmful free radicals in our body. Nowadays, there are many tea types and tea infusions made with various herbs that help further elevate the health benefits of tea. Here are 5 immunity-boosting teas to strengthen your immune system.
- Green tea - Tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. These polyphenols stop or prevent the damage caused by excess free radicals in our body and potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers, stroke and heart diseases. Green tea, in particular, is rich in catechins, which is a subgroup of polyphenols. Studies have found that Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is the most abundant catechin in green tea could potentially regulate our immune responses by increasing the number of regulatory T cells in the spleen and lymph nodes.
- Chamomile tea - Chamomile tea is a caffeine-free herbal tea that possesses a light and floral flavour. This soothing immunity tea is said to boost our immune systems by fighting against harmful bacteria as Chamomile contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties.
- Turmeric tea - Apart from the antioxidants found in tea, turmeric possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties that help fight against harmful bacteria in our bodies. The major compound that gives turmeric its characteristic anti-microbial property is curcumin, which actively fights against free radicals and further help prevent the formation of free radicals.
- Black tea - Among the different varieties of tea available, black tea is the most oxidised tea available. Black tea is rich in polyphenols such as theaflavins and thearubigins. Studies have shown that these polyphenols could potentially boost our immune system.
- Ginger tea - Ginger is one of the most commonly added herbs to elevate the taste and aroma of tea, particularly black tea. In addition, apart from its flavour-enhancing property, ginger possesses strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, that can boost and elevate our immune systems.