Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hot green tea is good for a cold—in an unexpected way

We already knew that the antioxidants and vitamin C in green tea can help you fight a cold.

But researchers have now found another way that hot green tea may also help your body fight illness—just by being hot. Researchers at Cardiff University were surprised by the finding, and still aren't sure why hot beverages work better than their cold counterparts. It could be the sinus-opening effects of the steam, or it could be psychological, they speculate.

But here's one possible explanation they missed: the heat itself.

After all, when you are sick, your body diverts a lot of energy to your immune system. That's why your sick body feels so weak.

Your body also uses energy to make heat, so consuming a hot beverage may take some of that heat-generating burden off your body, allowing it to better fight germs.

And to give your green tea an additional cold-fighting boost, add your favorite citrus juice.

Feel a cold coming on? Start brewing green tea, then.

—Mellow Monk

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