Tea and Immunity

Tea and Immunity

14 Jul 17  |  By Tiffany D'lima

Tea has had a reputation for its health benefits and medicinal properties since its discovery by the Chinese 5000 years ago. But a few sips of this flavorful beverage a day may just help you keep the doctor away. From preventing Cancer to reducing the risk of heart disease, studies suggest that the Camellia Sinensis plant has certain properties to boost your immunity and keep you feeling fit and healthy.

The immune system is governed by a collection of biological structures and processes that help keep away harmful bacteria and viruses. It is essentially the defense mechanism against diseases, and a strong immune system is crucial for a healthy body.

It is a well-known fact that tea contains plenty of antioxidants. The leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant have a high content of Polyphenols and Flavonoids - chemical compounds synthesized by certain plants that have antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming items that are high in antioxidants helps the body improve its defense mechanisms to fight illnesses - be it a minor common cold or a major disease such as Cancer.

Experiments have proven that immune system blood cells of tea drinkers respond five times faster to germs than that of coffee drinkers. As per the research of Dr. Jack F. Bukowski, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School, the disease defenses of the body can be sharpened by the consumption of five cups of tea a day.

Chemicals known as alkylamines, which are present in some bacteria, cancerous cells, parasites, fungi, and other disease-causing agents, are also present in a relatively weak form in tea. Drinking tea teaches the defensive immune cells to recognize and remember alkylamines, thus preparing the body’s immune system against them. The Camellia Sinensis plant is a natural carrier of L-theanine, and hence tea is one of the only ways to get this amino acid besides taking supplements. The liver breaks down the L-theanine to ethylamine, a molecule responsible for triggering the response of an immune system element called the gamma-delta T cell.

According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, certain chemicals found in tea have the ability to reactivate dying skin cells, thus rejuvenating the skin and protecting it from disease.

In today’s fast-paced world, health issues are fueled by stress and unhealthy lifestyles. Try preparing some of these healthy herbal teas that are known to pep up your immune system and keep illnesses at bay.

  • Chamomile Tea has been known for centuries for its ability to counter insomnia and promote relaxation. But this herbal concoction can also strengthen immunity to help fight a range of other ailments. Chamomile increases the production of white blood cells in the body - the most important elements of the immune system. Its de-stressing properties and ability to promote sleep also lead to a better and healthier lifestyle.
  • Rich in antioxidants, consumption of Green Tea over a period of time will boost immunity, and presents a healthy alternative to most drinks and beverages available in the market for consumption. However, as with most beverages, consumption must be moderated due to the content of caffeine.
  • Matcha tea, native to Japan, is said to contain five times the amount of amino acid L-theanine when compared with regular green tea. This is due to the preparation process which involves plucking the leaves and laying them flat to dry, post which they are carefully ground in mills to produce a very fine powder. The high content of L-theanine increases alertness and cognitive abilities and strengthens immunity.
  • Rose Tea is a rich source of polyphenols, phytochemicals that work as antioxidants to protect cells and strengthen the immune system.

A cup of tea can be the simplest step towards a healthier lifestyle. If a healthy diet complements your perfect cup of tea, you can be sure to reap the benefits of this popular plant over the long term.

Tiffany D'lima

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