When it's cold outside, a cup of tea might just be the perfect drink to warm you up. Beyond the benefits of the heat itself, many teas also have healing properties to boost your immune system and keep you healthy. And, during the winter, it's especially important to protect your body against germs, as it's so easy to get sick. Try one of these delicious teas that will also help prevent a nasty cold.
"While ginger tea is very popular, you can boost your antioxidant and immune-boosting benefits by picking up a ginger-turmeric tea next time instead," says Kelly R. Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN. "Both turmeric and ginger are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and may be able to help your immune system during winter months when you're more likely to get sick," she says. Plus, ginger also has a calming effect on the stomach, in case you do wind up with a bug.
Holy Basil Tea
Holy basil tea is becoming more popular, as word is getting out about the potential benefits of so-called "adaptogens." "Adaptogens may help the body deal with stress, and some research suggests holy basil is helpful at regulating blood sugar. Many people are more stressed in the winter months with shorter days that provide less sunlight," so this tea can be especially useful when it's chilly outdoors, she says.
Keep your immune system strong this winter by drinking green tea or matcha. "Green teas are rich in antioxidants such as catechins. The strongest of all catechins are found in green tea and are called epigallocatechin or EGCG. EGCG is at least 25 times more potent than vitamin C and vitamin E," says Rebecca Lee, a registered nurse in NYC. Plus, there are several benefits to drinking green tea in general, too, such as speeding the metabolism and easing digestion. The same goes for matcha, which you can enjoy as a frothy latte, on a cold winter morning.
It might be less known, but honeysuckle tea is also a great tea for winter. "Honeysuckle is made from a sweet orange flower. Research shows that honeysuckle builds stronger and faster immune systems than diet alone can. And, building a strong immune system during the winter months can help you prevent or shorten the duration of the cold or flu," says Lee.
Ginseng is an Asian root that has been used for centuries due to its amazing health benefits. "Ancient Asian physicians used ginseng to lower blood pressure, fight obesity, increase lifespan and fight off cancer. It boosts the immune system and fights off infections by increasing the production of white blood cell and interferons, which are proteins that prevent virus replication," explains Lee. And, it makes a pretty tasty tea, as well.
The yellow flowers that you might find in your garden are actually loaded with health benefits, especially during the wintertime. "Asian countries have been using dandelion tea to battle the cold for centuries. It is believed that dandelions can treat ulcers, osteoporosis, gum diseases, bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can fight off cancer (due to its high vitamin K content)," says Lee.
As for the common cold, "dandelions can help fight off your cold due to their powerful antioxidant