If there’s one thing we’ve learned about COVID-19, it’s that the virus can affect anyone.
But testing positive for COVID-19 doesn’t have to mean hospitalization or death. As I’ve reported before, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of severe infection—like losing weight, eating right, and exercising consistently.
Now, I have another item to add to that list…
A delicious, steamy beverage that some of you may already enjoy every morning!
Fight respiratory infections with tea
According to a recent study, green tea might prevent viral respiratory infections like COVID-19 and the flu.
Researchers reviewed six random control trials (RCTs)—five from Japan and one from the U.S.—and four cohort studies to reach this conclusion.
In the RCTs, participants consumed green tea extracts in supplement form or bottled green tea. Meanwhile, the cohorts included people accustomed to gargling and drinking black and green teas (produced locally in the Kochi prefecture in Japan) daily.
Ultimately, researchers found that catechins, also known an flavanols, protect against viral respiratory infections.
In short, catechins help stop the growth of viruses in the upper respiratory tract by forming a protective barrier in the throat. And the more catechins consumed, the stronger the preventive effect.
(There are four main catechins in green tea, but you’re likely most familiar with EGCG. Meanwhile, while black tea contains some catechins, it also contains other flavonoid compounds, like theaflavins.)
Put catechins to work for you
You may recall the health-boosting benefits of catechins, like for your heart and brain health. But now, I have a reason to add them to my immune health recommendations (especially during cold and flu season).
I advise brewing some green tea and enjoying 2 to 3 cups daily to boost your catechin consumption. But if you’re not a tea drinker, you can opt for a high-quality green tea extract supplement. You’ll want to look for these three things:
- A standardized product. One that contains 95 percent green tea extract is optimal.
- A ratio that indicates potency. Look for one that has a tea-to-water ratio of 50:1.
- A product that indicates catechin/EGCG content. The best products contain 60 percent catechins and 30 percent EGCG.
This may sound complicated, but a good, quality supplement will list these details on the bottle. (For more guidance, check out the April 2012 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter [“How to ensure you’re getting the best green tea has to offer”].)
Of course, other non-pharmaceutical interventions should remain top of mind as we continue fighting against COVID-19 and any other viral respiratory infection that may be circulating.
That includes preventative measures like mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing. Along with smart supplementation and lifestyle interventions. For more details on my top immune health recommendations, check out my Complete Guide to Year-Round Immunity.
“Green tea daily wards off influenza and other respiratory viruses, say researchers.” Nutra-ingredients, 01/18/2022. (nutraingredients.com/Article/2022/01/17/Green-tea-daily-wards-off-influenza-and-other-respiratory-viruses-say-researchers)