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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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