NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- January is National Hot Tea Month and hot tea is just what "the doctor ordered" all winter long! Although January is usually the coldest month, the cold & flu season spans the winter. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimate that 35 to 50 million Americans come down with the flu each winter season.
So what can you do to avoid colds and the flu?
The CDC strongly recommends an annual flu vaccine as the best way to reduce the chances of getting the flu. Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Council of the USA, recommends consuming plenty of fluids especially hot tea. "Hot tea soothes the throat and warms the body on chilly winter days, and it can promote relaxation."
Research findings report that drinking black tea might improve the body's defenses and quicken the response to bacteria and viruses – giving people more reason to brew a hot cup of tea this winter.
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 might strengthen the immune system, which is important during the cold and flu season.
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 another published clinical trial. According to this study, the data suggest that drinking black tea boosts the body's natural resistance to infection.(1)
Hot tea is good year-round for a relaxing, warm beverage with naturally present antioxidants. Tea can be soothing or stimulating, and it is widely available.
So steep up a cup!
So why not do something good for your body while enjoying a delicious hot beverage. It's easy to steep a cup of tea, either from loose leaf or tea bags. For black tea, bring water to a boil and immediately pour over the tea bag. Let it steep for two to five minutes depending on how strong you like your tea.
Stay healthy this cold & flu season and drink tea every day! For more information about the role of tea in a healthy diet and lifestyle, please visit www.TeaUSA.org.
(1) Kamath AB, Wang L, Das H, Li L, Reinhold VN, Bukowski JF. Antigens in tea-beverage prime human Vgamma 2Vdelta 2 T cells in vitro and in vivo for memory and nonmemory antibacterial cytokine responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 May 13;100(10):6009-14. Epub 2003 Apr 28.
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SOURCE The Tea Council of the USA