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Polyphenol Rich Drink Reduced Cold Symptoms

Drinks rich in polyphenols may boost our immune system according to a study published recently in the May 2010 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

Polyphenols are found naturally in plants and fruits such as green tea, cocoa, nuts and grapes. They have strong antioxidant properties which allow them to neutralize destructive free radicals and decrease oxidation damage in the body.

Researchers based out of Berlin recruited 98 participants with common cold symptoms for the study. The researchers assigned the participants to receive a polyphenol rich drink or a placebo beverage twice a day for ten days.

The polyphenol rich drink was a combination of green tea, grape seed extract, grape skin extract and shiitake mushroom.

By the end of the 10 days the researchers observed a significant reduction in cold symptoms among the participants taking the polyphenol rich beverage. This included reductions in stuffy nose, sore throat, headaches and joint aches.

These findings support earlier studies which have linked these powerful antioxidants with a number of health benefits including reductions in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.

One of the easiest ways to increase your polyphenol intake is by consuming more tea. Green tea has the highest level of polyphenols (30-40%), followed by white tea (oolong tea) and then black tea.

Berries are another great source of polyphenols. Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries are particularly high in polyphenol content.

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