When the temperature starts dropping, our beverages start heating up. But it also means our immune systems start slacking off, too. Luckily, the answer to a better, healthier winter season could be right inside your pantry: hot tea.
IMMUNE SYSTEMS TO A “TEA”
Your immune system is a complex bodily system that keeps you healthy. Primarily made of white blood cells and antibodies, the complement system, lymphatic system, spleen, bone marrow and thymus also make up your immune system.
The cool thing about your immune system is that it can remember every single microbe it has conquered. That’s all thanks to memory cells, which are certain types of white blood cells. Then, your body will quickly recognize that microbe in future contact, destroying it before you feel sickly.
ARE ILLNESSES MORE COMMON IN WINTER?
You’ve heard of “cold and flu season.” Its name is entirely justified! Flu activity follows seasonal patterns, according to the CDC. Cold air works against our body’s lines of defense against harmful microbes, making nasal passages less active and letting intruders pass by unharmed. And, some microbes even thrive in colder weather.
HOW HOT TEA HELPS PRE-SICKNESS
The type of tea you choose will change the kind of benefits you’ll reap. Be careful to choose a tea that is also decaffeinated, as caffeine dehydrates the body and prolongs illness. Here are two great immune-boosting flavors that are delicious, too:
TURMERIC & GINGER – While turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogen, ginger has been shown to help cleanse and soothe your lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. Anti-inflammatory foods are helpful because your body becomes inflamed when you are sick.
HOW TO MAKE TURMERIC & GINGER TEA:
Pour 5 cups of purified water into a large pot. Add thin slices of fresh ginger root and turmeric (use powdered turmeric if you’re unable to find it fresh). Stir in one shake of black pepper, as it helps boost turmeric’s healing properties. Add a lemon peel, removing its pith (the white bits). Bring the water to barely a simmer and immediately reduce the heat to not let the mixture boil. Cook for 7 minutes and then strain into a bowl or pitcher. Pour yourself a glass, leaving room for lemon juice and virgin coconut oil (optional) – the fats will help your body absorb nutrients, but it’s not essential.
ELDERBERRY – When it comes to vitamin C consumption, our go-to flavor is orange, or something citrus at the very least. However, elderberry is an unconventional flavor that is both delicious and also high in vitamin C. It’s proven to be a powerful antioxidant thanks to its phenolic acids, too. Needless to say, it makes a fantastic immune-boosting tea.
HOW TO MAKE ELDERBERRY TEA:
Gather 16 ounces of purified water (we prefer Primo® Water!), two tablespoons dried elderberries, powdered cinnamon, turmeric powder and raw honey. Combine water and elderberries in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cinnamon and turmeric and reduce heat, simmering for almost 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and strain through a sieve. Portion into mugs and stir in honey (optional).
HOW HOT TEA HELPS MID-SICKNESS
If you’ve already fallen ill, it might seem like there’s not much you can do besides taking medicine and wait. Luckily, drinking hot tea doesn’t just help prepare your body to fight illness, but it can help soothe the effects of it, too.
Hot liquids, in general, can help soothe sore throats, as well as warm the body if it feels chilled. Also, most teas pair well with raw honey, which helps suppress a cough in common colds. And luckily, hot tea is comprised mostly of water, helping keep your body hydrated during its battle with microbes.
BETTER WATER FOR BEATING COLDS
It’s no secret that staying hydrated can help keep your body healthier. And not just sickness wise—hydration can help keep your muscles, joints and brain healthier, too!
But the kind of water you’re drinking matters. Yes, even in your hot tea. Tap water can often contain harmful bacteria, cancer-causing chemicals, lead and more - and boiling won't get rid of them. Those definitely don’t sound like they’ll help out your cold. Instead, choose Primo® Water for your tea needs.
Primo undergoes a 5-step Reverse Osmosis (RO) purification process that eliminates harmful microorganisms, heavy metals, trace pharmaceuticals and more. That means better, safer water with every sip. Not to mention, its taste is unmatched. That makes for delicious hot tea and refreshing water when you need it. Find Primo near you and experience it for yourself!