Tea is one of the most commonly consumed drinks in the world. Specifically, green tea is well-loved. It’s even tastier with lemon and honey. You might like it for the flavor, but it’s actually healthier that way. Each sip gives you multiple benefits. In fact, some of those benefits get better because of this combination. Next time you brew green tea, add lemon and honey. Here are three reasons to do it.
1. Helps Protect Against Oxidation Stress
From cancer to heart disease, oxidation fuels countless chronic disorders. However, antioxidants in green tea can protect cells from oxidative damage. These polyphenols, called catechins, will ward off disease by fighting free radicals.1 The vitamin C in lemon increases absorption of these catechins. It improves by five times, to be exact! All citrus juices have this effect,2 but lemon tastes best with green tea.
2. Helps Reduce Inflammation
The polyphenols in green tea also have anti-inflammatory properties. This is super important, as inflammation has a major role in disease. It’s right in line with oxidative stress. Polyphenols can improve inflammatory conditions like neurodegenerative disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.3 Green tea also has a reputation of preventing heart disease, an inflammatory disorder.4 Adding honey will take it up a notch. This natural sweetener possesses anti-inflammatory activity, just like green tea. For instance, one study looked at how honey affects inflammatory markers in chronic smokers. Honey was able to lower these levels, proving how powerful it really is.5
3. Helps Enhance Immunity
All three ingredients help the immune system thrive. If you drink it on the regular, this tasty beverage will stop sickness before it even starts. In green tea, polyphenols are at play. Their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties aid “fighter” white blood cells. Catechins also regulate DNA methylation, a process that controls gene expression,6 while stimulating immune-strengthening enzymes.7 Meanwhile, lemon provides vitamin C, another antioxidant. It combats free radicals and works to delay heart disease, some cancers, and other disease. Healthy aging also depends on vitamin C.
If you already have a cold, don’t fret. A high intake of vitamin C might reduce the length of symptoms.8 The immune system also depends on a healthy, balanced gut. Probiotics can restore “good” bacteria, while prebiotics encourage their growth. That’s why honey, a natural prebiotic, will help your immunity.9
Tips For Drinking Green Tea With Lemon And Honey
Choose high-quality green tea. Cheaper brands may have chemicals and unnecessary fluoride.10
- Water should be hot, but not boiling. High temperatures will bring out the bitterness.
- Don’t steep green tea for long. Otherwise, it’ll taste more bitter than sweet.
- For more flavor, add an entire slice of lemon. Go organic to avoid pesticides on the skin.
- Use local honey when possible. The less time it had to travel, the better.
Want to make iced tea? Use ice cubes made of green tea. This clever trick will prevent watered down tea.
As you can see, lemon and honey will enrich green tea. It sure beats adding milk or sugar!
|↑1, ↑3||Oz, Helieh S. “Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Green Tea Polyphenols.” Nutrients 9, no. 6 (2017): 561.|
|↑2, ↑7||Citrus juice, vitamin C give staying power to green tea antioxidants. Purdue University.|
|↑4||Healthy Beverage Guidelines. Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health.|
|↑5||Ghazali, Wan Syaheedah Wan, Aminah Che Romli, and Mahaneem Mohamed. “Effects of honey supplementation on inflammatory markers among chronic smokers: a randomized controlled trial.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 17, no. 1 (2017): 175.|
|↑6||Cuevas, Alejandro, Nicolás Saavedra, Luis A. Salazar, and Dulcineia SP Abdalla. “Modulation of immune function by polyphenols: possible contribution of epigenetic factors.” Nutrients 5, no. 7 (2013): 2314-2332.|
|↑8||How Vitamin C Supports a Healthy Immune System. EatRight, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.|
|↑9||Erejuwa, Omotayo O., Siti A. Sulaiman, and Mohd S. Ab Wahab. “Honey-a novel antidiabetic agent.” International journal of biological sciences 8, no. 6 (2012): 913.|
|↑10||Chan, Laura, Aradhana Mehra, Sohel Saikat, and Paul Lynch. “Human exposure assessment of fluoride from tea (Camellia sinensis L.): A UK based issue?.” Food Research International 51, no. 2 (2013): 564-570.|