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  • Polyphenols, potent plant antioxidants, are believed to give GREEN tea its immune-boosting effects. The polyphenol antioxidants in tea are best absorbed when drinking it on an empty stomach.
  • One laboratory study suggested that a particular type of polyphenols called catechins may kill influenza viruses.
  • Catechins, a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant, are the keys to tea's health benefits. The longer you steep your tea, the more flavonoids you'll get in your brew. To get the most benefit, some studies suggest drinking at least three cups of tea every day, which is easy to do.
  • To maximize benefits and minimize bitterness, use just-below-boiling water and steep green tea no more than a minute or two.
  • The amino acid that's responsible for immune boost, L-theanine, is abundant in both black and green tea—decaf versions have it, too.
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Potent plant antioxidants, called Polyphenols, are what's believed to give green tea its immune-boosting effects. One laboratory study suggests that a particular type of polyphenols called catechins may kill influenza viruses.