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Do You Want To Boost Your Immune System?

By Wendy RN., BA
October 9th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Hello everyone, my blog today was going to be about the benefits of starting your day with a cup of coffee, as many millions of us do. So I sat down at my computer to find the latest studies glorifying coffee and its accolades.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Rise Above Health Blog) - I thought, as a coffee drinker, I would start with a cup-by-cup comparison of coffee vs tea. A good old boxing match to show how much healthier it was to drink coffee over tea. I took a long and glorious sip of my extra bold and went to Google.

The first website that I went to was obviously written by tea drinkers, as it wove the story  of the thousands of years of tea drinking and ancient herbal medicinal benefits and tea's current lofty status as a key to good health, happiness and wisdom..Bah.

The next website I went to gave me statistics, numbers and graphs, in-fact all of the significant advantages tea has over coffee..Bah.

Website number three hit home. It was my favorite "go to" site for information that was current, accurate, unbiased and honest, I started to read.  Tea is a good thing to drink it said. I was surprised to be confronted with data that convinced me.  Tea was undeniably healthier than coffee and it has enough statistical documentation of its benefits to sway me, a die-hard coffee drinker. "I need to switch my morning routine." I thought!  Then I thought with a blinding eureka moment, "Wendy, you don't need to switch, you only need to add tea to your daily routine."  Hmmmm, OK, I need to add more liquid to my already "I don't drink enough water" routine. Oh boy, can I do this?

So, I have compiled some of the stunning information that indicates tea is not only good for our bodies, it is great for our bodies. With the flu season upon us, read on, then with steely resolve, pull out the tea pot and start brewing.

1.  Tea, black, green or white, with or without caffeine, is very good for us. A recent Harvard study indicated that blood cells from tea drinkers responded five times faster to germs than did the blood cells of coffee drinkers. Their immune system's worked better!

Dr. Jack F. Bukowski, a researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School stated; "We worked out the molecular aspects of this tea component in the test tube and then tested it on a small number of people to see if it actually worked in human beings,"

The results, he said, gave clear proof that five cups of tea a day sharpened the body's disease defenses.

2.  Tea studies have indicated that it helps heart disease and cancer risk through the action of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Other studies have linked tea with combating osteoporosis, and to relieving some allergy symptoms.

3.  All tea, black, green and white, also contains L-theanine, which boosts the immune system. L-theanine is metabolized in the liver to ethylamine. Ethylamiine primes the response of your immune system producing the gamma-delta T cells. The T cells prompt the secretion of interferon, a key part of the body's chemical defense against infection.

4.  All tea has caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seems to heighten mental alertness. Tea also has less caffeine than coffee, which means people like me, who cannot drink coffee late in the day, may be able to drink tea and still be able to go to sleep. (I will report back on this in a later blog)

"There doesn't seem to be a downside to tea," says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, LD. "I think it's a great alternative to coffee drinking. First, tea has less caffeine. It's pretty well established that the compounds in tea - their flavonoids - are good for the heart and may reduce cancer."

So, do you really need to drink 5 cups a day for a month to get the benefits of tea? Nutritionists don't think so. In fact it has been written in several journals, that any tea is good. It is preferable to brew tea instead of buying bottled sweet tea, but that is mainly to avoid the sweeteners and extra calories in sweet tea.

There are so many studies that indicate tea has antimicrobial properties, helps with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, it lowers cholesterol and increases mental alertness, and weight loss. This is wonderful news for millions of tea drinkers, and for those of us that are die-hard coffee drinkers, instead of a second cup, a second thought to tea, might be a good idea this flu season.

My tip of the day: Look after yourself the best you know how, love yourself and know that God loves you.

Until next time, I believe that Faith can move mountains.


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