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Surprising Side Effects Tea Has On Your Immune System, Says Science

Is tea really that healthy for you? We turn to the research.

What can't tea do? We love to write about tea here at Eat This, Not That!, because whether you want to believe it or not, drinking tea really can do wonders for your body. From helping you to lose weight to warding off chronic disease, having a tea routine in your day—whether it be black tea or green tea—can help you in a myriad of ways. Especially when it comes to your immune system!

Below we've listed a few of the surprising side effects you may not know tea can do to your immune system. We've looked at different studies and research to determine these side effects, and we promise, after you read up on these benefits, you're going to want to brew yourself a pot of tea ASAP. Here's what you should know about tea and your immune system, and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Tea is full of antioxidants that support immune function.

woman drinking tea and lemon

Most tea contains polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can have been proven to help decrease inflammation in the body. According to Harvard Health, these polyphenols can help lower your risk of diseases like diabetes and even cardiovascular disease.

Antioxidants are also key for your immune function. According to Penn Medicine, teas are beneficial for your immune system, which is key for warding off these kinds of diseases. This all has to do with the polyphenol content of the tea (found in all kinds of tea, including the popular black teas and green teas), which works to boost your immune system and reduce your risk of chronic disease, says a study published by the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design.

Here are the 7 Best Teas to Support Your Immune System Right Now.

Tea can help control blood sugar.

pour cup tea from tea pot

Blood sugar is important to control when it comes to keeping a healthy immune system and lowering your cholesterol. By keeping your blood sugars in check through healthier eating and exercise, you are lowering your LDL "bad" cholesterol, which is linked to chronic disease.

While eating healthy and exercise are still good practices for control blood sugar, adding a tea routine into your day can also help with your blood sugar levels. Which, in return, helps with your immune system. That's because the plants that make some varieties of tea contain compounds that can help reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels, according to a study published by Molecules.

Plus, Nutrition Research also published a study pointing out how reduced water intake can deteriorate glucose levels for people with diabetes. By drinking more tea (which is an easy way to increase water intake) it will help with your overall efforts to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

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Tea can help you manage your weight.

green tea

While swapping out any sugary drink with tea or black coffee can be an easy way to cut the calories—and lose weight—there are certain teas that have been scientifically proven to help with weight loss and weight management, and that's green tea.

According to the journal Physiology & Behavior, green tea was proven to help participants lose weight in a 12-week trial period due to the energy expenditure and fat oxidation that comes from the antioxidants in green tea.

How does this affect your immune system? By losing weight and reducing your body's inflammation (which can happen with a poor diet of inflammatory foods), your immune system will respond in positive ways. An article published by Obesity in Action states that people who struggle with weight will see an "impaired immune response and immune function", which can lead to an" increased rate of infections".

This means by drinking tea and taking steps for a healthier life, you are likely to experience a boost in immunity because of it.

Caffeine can help boost immunity.

cup of tea using a tea bag

According to a study published by the journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics, caffeine is considered to be anti-inflammatory and can help with boosting your immune system. So maybe that cup of tea—or coffee—you're craving in the morning really isn't such a bad idea.

However, it's important to note that the "immunomodulatory effects" mentioned in the study are based on normal human consumption. Caffeine has been scientifically proven to help with your health, but if over-consumed, it can cause some negative side effects that could be hurting your body rather than helping. If you're curious, here's how much caffeine you can have in a day.

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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