We’ve covered the numerous health benefits of tea in past articles, but green tea might be one of the healthiest forms of tea available.

That’s because it’s packed with polyphenols, which are natural compounds that offer many proven health benefits.1

Now, researchers are investigating whether green tea can help bolster the immune system against viruses such as COVID-19.

Green tea contains a catechin – a natural antioxidant – called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).2 This compound may reduce free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules against damage.

Researchers have had their eyes on this powerful compound for some time now. Several studies have examined its impact on various diseases. EGCG appears to be one of the main compounds that give green tea its medicinal properties.3

The Benefits of EGCG

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into all things EGCG. In particular, let’s examine its antioxidant, antiviral, and immune-boosting benefits.4

Research shows that EGCG has antiviral effects for combatting ssRNA viruses like influenza.

Does the acronym ssRNA sound familiar? That’s because SARS-COV-2 (aka COVID-19) is another ssRNA virus. So, it should come as no surprise that modern scientists are looking closely at this ancient tea leaf.

Recent test tube research shows that green tea extract may inhibit and reduce the volume of the COVID-19 virus.5 The researchers say EGCG was most effective in treating the test tube cells during the early stages of infection.

But please note, readers, this was not a human test. What’s more, the green tea extracts used in this research contained a much higher level of EGCG than your standard cup or two of tea.

Safely Boost Your Immune System

COVID-19 is a politically charged topic, and I’m not here to tell you what to do or not to do when it comes to COVID. What I can say is that it’s wise to bolster your immune system to fight off any bug. The flavonoids and polyphenols in green tea may help improve the strength of your immune system

Plus, the EGCG in green tea may support your body’s inflammatory response, which can be helpful with achy joints and the symptoms of many kinds of viruses.6

You can enjoy green tea by the cup full, but an EGCG supplement is the best way to ensure you’re getting a higher dose of this beneficial antioxidant catechin.

Advice From Harvard Medical School

Other healthy ways to strengthen your immune system include eating a diet high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Also, try to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, get adequate sleep, and manage stress.

If this advice sounds familiar, it’s no wonder. According to Harvard Medical School, following general good-health guidelines like we recommend regularly in this newsletter is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system working properly.7

Also, it’s worth noting that, as we age, our immune response declines, which may lead to more infections. That’s why seniors need to be extra vigilant in following a healthy lifestyle!

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/polyphenols 
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16876833/ 
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28864169/ 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8661916/ 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290267/ 
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320513003937 
  7. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system