They say “you are what you eat”, but what you drink can have huge consequences for your body—both positive and negative!
Drinking the right thing can be just as important as eating right. Just like you’d feed your body nutrients that will nourish your immune system, you can focus on drinking teas and tisanes that will boost your body’s natural defenses.
Here are the best immune-boosting teas for you to add to your daily diet:
We all know that lemons (along with the rest of the citrus fruit family) are an amazing source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C contributes to your body’s natural defenses by helping your body to adapt to new threats, scavenges free radicals that can cause oxidative stress, and encourage the elimination of microbes in the body.
Lemon tea makes for a tasty and super healthy drink! Drinking it first thing in the morning can do wonders for your digestion, as lemon is a digestive aid that can help to soothe an upset stomach and speed up stomach emptying.
Or, now that we’re heading into warmer weather, try making your lemon tea an iced drink. Steep the lemons in hot water to extract all the natural flavors and antioxidants, then stick in the fridge to chill it for a nice, icy drink on a hot day!
Turmeric tea is an incredibly effective immune-booster, thanks to the fact that boiling the turmeric root makes the curcumin (a potent immune-boosting antioxidant) much easier for your body to absorb.
Many turmeric teas are made using ginger (see below) and lemon (see above), which just makes it even more effective at raising your body’s defenses against invading pathogens and illnesses.
Turmeric is a known immune modulator, and it will help to regulate your immune cells to make them more effective at protecting your body.
Ginger tea is one of the oldest remedies for a sore throat, as it can help to reduce pain, decrease inflammation, and speed up the healing process. It’s also amazing for your heart and will help to soothe an upset stomach, even decreasing nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Ginger contains two potent antioxidants named zingerone and gingerol, both of which are capable of raising your immunity. However, they can also decrease the effect stress has on your body, specifically preventing that stress from impairing your immune function.
It’s one of the simplest teas to make—literally just peel the ginger, cut it into strips, and boil for 1-2 hours to extract the maximum flavor and potency—and you can drink it hot or cold, sweetened with honey (which boosts your immunity thanks to its antibacterial properties) or on its own.
Green tea contains a lot of potent antioxidants, particularly the catechin known as EGCG. This compound can help to relax your body, fight stress, protect your cells from cancer, raise your metabolism, target stored fat for fat-burning, and improve your heart health.
However, green tea is well-known as an excellent immune-booster, too! The antioxidants in the green tea leaves will strengthen your immune system, and its antiviral properties will help to fight off any invaders that could cause illness. EGCG is actually able to block the flu virus, preventing it from infecting your body’s cells. It can also stimulate your body’s immune cells and speed up response times to deal with invaders.
What could be more soothing than chamomile tea? Not only is it a relaxant, but it can help you to sleep better at night, thereby raising your body’s natural defenses and increasing immune cell activity.
Studies have indicated that subjects who drank chamomile tea had an easier time sleeping and recovering from illnesses, and the steam of the chamomile tea was an amazing decongestant that helped to clear clogged sinuses and speed up recovery from a common cold. Chamomile can also help to deal with sore throats and other infections, making it an excellent addition to your immune-boosting diet!
Echinacea is a natural remedy that has long been used as a treatment to boost immune health, thanks to its ability to increase your white blood cell count. Studies into the herb found that it offers “slight benefits” in reducing common colds.
You can make your own Echinacea tincture, though it’s safest to consume pre-packaged Echinacea tea, as that will ensure you don’t suffer from the upset stomach or skin rashes common with very strong doses of the herb.
Elderberries, like every other member of the berry family, are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that can support your immune system. Not only can these micronutrients stop free radical damage and oxidative stress from suppressing your natural immunity, but they will increase your body’s ability to protect itself.
Elderberry tea can be used as a remedy for infections that compromise your breathing, and its high B vitamin and Vitamin E content make it a useful tea to drink if you want to protect yourself from infections.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea is typically used to deal with stomach problems, particularly ulcers, heartburn, and food poisoning. It contains nutrients that can help to repair the stomach lining and bring balance back to your digestive system.
However, it is also a useful remedy for suppressing the H. pylori bacteria that can cause stomach problems. It’s a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-booster that can reduce stress, cleanse your respiratory system from infections, and protect your body’s cells to slow down decay.
I hope you try some of those teas soon and see for yourself the benefits they can have on your health,