Can green tea prevent a cold?

If you are prone to winter coughs and colds, this will come as good news.

Can green tea prevent a cold?

If, like many people, you are prone to winter coughs and colds, this will come as good news: New research from the University of Auckland has found that consuming flavonoids – found in green tea, red wine, cocoa apples, blueberries and onions – can significantly reduce your risk of catching a cold.

The research, which was presented at the Dietitians Association of Australia National Conference in Perth last month, says that adults who eat foods rich in flavonoids or take flavonoid supplements are 33 per cent more protected from the common cold (upper respiratory tract infections), compared with those who don’t.

Researcher Andrea Braakhuis says that nutrition scientists are trying to understand whether flavonoids may also have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, in hopes that flavonoids may boost immune function and reduce the frequency of coughs and colds.

According to Dr Braakhuis, most adults will have two to three colds per year, and children can have up to five. Common symptoms include a sore throat, cough, runny nose and headaches. Colds are a leading cause of visits to a doctor in Australia, but “antibiotics don’t help, so it’s worth giving flavonoids a go as part of a healthy diet”, she said.

The research was unable to recommend whether flavonoid-rich food or supplements would be more effective, and could not recommend appropriate doses, but Dr Braakhuis said that someone who is generally healthy and consumes flavonoids will have a good chance of staving off the bugs over winter.

Flavonoids can be found in many fruits and vegetables, such as beans, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli and tree fruits. Dr Braakhuis recommends eating five serves of veggies and two serves of fruit each day in a variety of colours. “Make sure your dinner plate is at least half full of vegetables, sip green tea over winter, and enjoy the occasional red wine”, said Dr Braakhuis. 

Read more at Food.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    19th Jun 2015
    Well that sounds good, we have Madura green tea with Australian Lemon Myrtle in a mug with about half a tablespoon of honey, 2 - 3 times a day specially after evening meal. And every morning we have a glass of water with a good squirt of lemon juice - no more coughs. Food?? we eat anything that strikes our fancy except very little junk/fried foods.
    Happy cyclist
    19th Jun 2015
    Could be true. I drink a lot of green tea, one to two small pots a day, and I almost never get a cold. I may have had 3 in the last decade.
    19th Jun 2015
    I do not know about the Green Tea burt have heard about it before for being good for you in more ways than one but as I do not drink tea or coffee haven't tried it. Personally I take 2 Garlic Tablets every day and have not had a cold or flue for the past 20 years. So I will stick to that,.....
    19th Jun 2015
    pate I was told by a Naturopath That to chop one clove of fresh garlic and wash it down with a drink of fresh water is the best way to get the best benefits of garlic straight into the gut. We both do this and when many friends suffer from one thing or another we have no bother and since starting this back in the 70s we have remained very fit and bug free
    19th Jun 2015
    Bugger the green tea - yuk. Red wine does it for me! And lots of fresh garlic and veggies every day. It's been many years since I had a cold.
    19th Jun 2015
    Moke, I do the same, and a fish oil capsule every morning too, can't remember when I last had flu, never had a flu injection either.
    19th Jun 2015
    A very ancient doctor told my mother (as a young girl) to not have very cold drinks; she had been plagued with tonsillitis/sore throats throughout childhood, puberty and into the teens. Heeding this advice, she never had another sore throat. Coincidence? Maybe; but I've followed the ritual and I too have been lucky.
    Other than that; each day I have a small shot of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (raw and unfiltered) in lukewarm water. I grow garlic and have plenty until the next season. The odd glass of red is a little bonus. Colds don't come my way either. I do Fluvax annually, for all the new strains of influenza.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles