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Green Tea Protects You From Colds And Flu, Study Finds

Green Tea Protects You From Colds And Flu, Study Finds

A natural way to prevent colds and flu

Do you seem to get every cold and flu virus that goes around? Do you dread the start of flu season, knowing that you will probably have to miss out on work and social engagements as you lie in bed with a host of unpleasant symptoms? Luckily, there’s a natural remedy proven by scientific research to offer some protection against cold and flu. Read on to discover what scientists have discovered about this delicious, natural drink, and how you can start incorporating these findings into your healthcare regimen. Small everyday changes can be enough to make all the difference between good health and recurrent illness.

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Green tea – research findings

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition by Japanese scientists shows that green tea consumption is associated with lower rates of influenza. Using questionnaires administered to children in an area of Japan in which green tea is grown, the researchers demonstrated that children who drink several cups of green tea per week are significantly less likely to contract the influenza virus during flu season. Therefore, green tea appears to be an easy, natural way to prevent such illnesses. These findings supported previous clinical studies showing that green tea has a similar protective effect for adults. Other research indicates that regularly consuming tea extracts boosts the immune system in healthy adults, resulting in a lower risk of infectious diseases such as colds and flu.

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How exactly does green tea work in preventing the influenza virus from taking hold? Researchers believe that the catechins contained in green tea work directly on viruses to impair their activity, which in turn means they are less likely to take hold and cause unpleasant illnesses. Specifically, these catechins bind to a key molecule within the virus cells and prevent them from reproducing at a normal rate. Therefore, drink green tea regularly and you won’t have to worry about wiping door handles or avoiding poorly family or friends – your natural immunity will give you a great chance at fending off the virus even if you come into contact with someone with the flu!

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In addition, green tea contains high levels of antioxidants. These chemicals rid your body of free radicals – the natural byproducts of toxin breakdowns. We take in toxins from the environment and the food we eat, and the free radicals can compromise your general bodily functioning, leaving you more vulnerable to illness. Keeping your antioxidant levels high is therefore essential for good health.

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Getting started with green tea

Most supermarkets stock green tea, available in teabag form for easy consumption. Simply place a bag in a cup or mug, pour on freshly-boiled water and leave to infuse for 2-3 minutes before drinking. Green tea can take on a bitter flavour if infused for too long, so remember to take the teabag out! If you dislike the taste of regular green tea, there are many flavoured varieties out there to try – green tea with lemon is a popular combination. Visit your local health food shop and you will be amazed at the sheer number of varieties on offer. Some also have added vitamins and minerals for health-boosting effects. Green tea is also available in powdered form, and you can add it into smoothies and soups. Research suggests that drinking 3-5 cups per day will have a significant protective effect. Normal consumption within these guidelines is highly unlikely to cause any unpleasant side-effects. However, if you are taking any medication or have a serious medical condition, always check with a qualified health professional before drinking large quantities of green tea.

Remember that green tea, whilst containing plenty of health benefits, does contain caffeine. Therefore, if you are especially caffeine-sensitive, you should be careful not to consume green tea in excessive quantities. If you notice that you feel irritable or are suffering headaches on a regular basis, reduce your intake.

Featured photo credit: 5 second Studio via shutterstock.com

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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