Drink Up, Feel Better: 6 Elixirs For Cold and Flu Season

Drink Up| Feel Better: 6 Elixirs For Cold and Flu Season

Feeling under the weather? One of the most important things to do when you’re sick is to replenish your body’s fluids. Hydrating with water is essential| but these elixirs take things one step further. Each includes healthy ingredients that alleviate your symptoms and help you feel better sooner.

| Apple Cider Vinegar Brew

If you’re working with a sinus infection| just one inhale of this warming pungent drink will help you breathe easy through your nose and feel less cloudy in your head. A helping of apple cider vinegar brew soothes your symptoms with cayenne’s anti-inflammatory powers| while the vinegar boosts your immunity.

| Cranberry Cleanse

Actress Nikki Reed swears by this cranberry cleanse for a little daily detox| and this antioxidant-rich drink is also effective when you’re feeling under the weather. The cranberry and lemon juice in this recipe support your kidney and liver and help flush out toxins from your system.

| Fresh Ginger Tea

To clear up congestion or a sore throat| we love this old family recipe for fresh ginger and lemongrass tea. As an added bonus| this recipe also works to soothe an upset tummy!

| Hot Toddy

The classic hot toddy is one of the healthiest low-calorie cocktails for the holiday season. With the help of citrus| honey| and cinnamon| some folks swear by this one as a surefire remedy to knock out a cold.

| Turmeric Milk

This turmeric milk blend is an ancient Indian remedy that has antimicrobial properties that can stop viruses (like common respiratory infections) before they wreak havoc on your immune system. Sipping on this drink can also do wonders if your tummy is upset or you’re dealing with nausea.

| Immunity Tonic

Full of vitamin C| antioxidants| and antiviral power| this immunity-boosting juice shot has the power to heal a sore throat| soothe an upset stomach| or prevent bugs from getting worse. This is exactly what Lorna Jane Clarkson| the founder of Lorna Jane Activewear| sips on when she’s feeling under the weather.

The Doctor’s Orders For Working Out Sick

Curious if you should be working out when you’re fighting a cold? We spoke to endurance athlete and family physician and Dr. Cathleen London, M.D., about the advice she offers clients when they ask the same question. The rule that Dr. London sticks by is: “neck and up!”

If your symptoms are in your head, nose, or throat ¡ª and you’re feeling up to it ¡ª it’s fine to work out. If it’s below your neck (or in your chest), Dr. London says to dial it back. This is the time when you’ve really got to rest. Working out with a chest cold is “asking for trouble,” since it can exaggerate your pesky symptoms and prolong your bug. Dr. London is a big believer in listening to your body and giving yourself the time and space to heal, even when it’s “frustrating as all hell!” You’ll thank your future self, since taking it easy is the only way you’ll feel better, sooner.

Dr. London also shared a few of the habits that she sees in people who manage to stay unscathed by germs all year long. The mainstays are plenty of rest, a healthy diet full of antioxidants, and staying hydrated, but she says that exercise is also a big factor.

Besides keeping you fit during the Summer months, exercise supports your immune system because it reduces stress. While stress wreaks havoc on your mind, it can also wreak havoc on your immune system. When the levels of the stress hormone cortisol are heightened, it leaves you immunocompromised. Working out regularly keeps your cortisol levels in check ¡ª and keeps you healthier and happier!

RELATED LINKS:

Brew Up This Ginger Tea Recipe When You’re Sick8 Ways to Boost Your Immunity and Prevent BugsEat These Foods to Nip Your Cold in the BudImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Lipoff

The Doctor’s Orders For Working Out Sick

Curious if you should be working out when you’re fighting a cold? We spoke to endurance athlete and family physician and Dr. Cathleen London| M.D.| about the advice she offers clients when they ask the same question. The rule that Dr. London sticks by is: “neck and up!”

If your symptoms are in your head| nose| or throat ¡ª and you’re feeling up to it ¡ª it’s fine to work out. If it’s below your neck (or in your chest)| Dr. London says to dial it back. This is the time when you’ve really got to rest. Working out with a chest cold is “asking for trouble|” since it can exaggerate your pesky symptoms and prolong your bug. Dr. London is a big believer in listening to your body and giving yourself the time and space to heal| even when it’s “frustrating as all hell!” You’ll thank your future self| since taking it easy is the only way you’ll feel better| sooner.

Dr. London also shared a few of the habits that she sees in people who manage to stay unscathed by germs all year long. The mainstays are plenty of rest| a healthy diet full of antioxidants| and staying hydrated| but she says that exercise is also a big factor.

Besides keeping you fit during the Summer months| exercise supports your immune system because it reduces stress. While stress wreaks havoc on your mind| it can also wreak havoc on your immune system. When the levels of the stress hormone cortisol are heightened| it leaves you immunocompromised. Working out regularly keeps your cortisol levels in check ¡ª and keeps you healthier and happier!

RELATED LINKS:

Brew Up This Ginger Tea Recipe When You’re Sick8 Ways to Boost Your Immunity and Prevent BugsEat These Foods to Nip Your Cold in the BudImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Lipoff

7 Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

7 Foods to Eat When You’re Sick

A healthy diet can boost your immune system| but if you still happen to catch a cold| or worse| the flu| it’s essential in helping you recover faster. Here are the foods you should be eating when you’re sick.

| Beverages u2014u00a0Lots of Them

You may not feel like eating solid foods| but make sure to take in plenty of fluids. All-natural ginger ale and peppermint or ginger tea are good choices if you have an upset stomach| and electrolyte-infused beverages are a good option if you are making frequent trips to the bathroom. Real fruit juices like OJ| grapefruit| and apple cider will offer calories and nutrients to help feelings of dizziness from not eating| but if you have a stuffy nose| choose hot liquids such as tea with lemon or our apple cider vinegar brew.

Some other options: green tea supports the immune system| and if you add a little honey| it will also coat your scratchy throat. Cold-pressed green juice is an easy way to get a huge amount of needed cold-busting nutrients.

| Easily Digestible Protein

Getting enough protein is important whether you are sick or healthy| because it strengthens your body. Since your stomach may not this preparation.

| Flavonoids in Citrus Fruits

Even though vitamin C may not shorten the duration of your illness| don’t ditch citrus fruits altogether. The soft white skin found on oranges| grapefruit| lemons| and limes contains flavonoids| which increase immune system activity. Liven things up by making this simple recipe for broiled grapefruit.

| Infection-Fighting Glutathione

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to fight infection. It’s found in red| pulpy watermelon and also cruciferous veggies like broccoli| collard greens| kale| and cabbage.

| Soup and Broth

Clear broths like miso| chicken or veggie broth| and beef bouillon will keep you hydrated and are easy to digest if you don’t have much of an appetite. If you are feeling hungry| soups that contain chunks of veggies| whole grains like barley| and some kind of lean protein will also offer added vitamins and nutrients. The hot liquids do double duty by warming the body from chills and also opening up sinus passages to relieve congestion.

| Foods Rich in B6 and B12

Vitamins B6 and B12 are healing nutrients| so get your fill of fish| milk| nutritional yeast| fortified soy milk and cereals| potatoes| spinach| and turkey while you’re under the weather.

| Yogurt

In a German study| the probiotics in yogurt were found to shorten colds and flu by almost two days. Choose ones that contain the bacterial strains Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus reuteri| since these two are the ones linked to improving immune response. Greek yogurt is a great option since it also contains at least 10 grams of protein per serving.

Can’t Kick Your Sinus Infection? This Can Help

Don’t let your guard down ¡ª cold season is still in full effect. The combination of Winter’s dry air, a turned-up thermostat, and closed windows can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. The best way to combat dry air and reduce your susceptibility to infection is to invest in a humidifier. If you’ve suffered through too many colds, it might be time to see what all the hype is about.

Related: Soothe That Sinus Pain: Apple Cider Vinegar Brew

1. Relieve sinusitis: When the air is too dry, sinuses don’t drain and function properly. According to many ENT experts, adding humidity to the air is generally good for sinus health ¡ª especially if you’re regularly suffering from congestion and sinusitis.

2. Heal faster: Whether it be a cold, asthma, or allergies, a humidifier keeps your nasal passages lubricated, which helps speed up the healing process when you’re under the weather. For people with bad allergies, there are humidifiers that are specially designed to purify the air as well.

3. No more nosebleeds: Another reason keeping your nasal passages moist and lubricated is essential is to prevent nosebleeds. If you’re regularly experiencing nosebleeds due to your dry climate, it’s worth a try. Many people have found that it makes a huge difference.

4. Alleviate snoring: The moisture from a humidifier keeps the throat from drying out and relieves the intensity of that annoying snoring sound. If you or your partner is a snorer, the added bonus is that (at least) one of you will be sleeping more soundly.

5. Support beautiful skin: Soothe dry skin by sleeping with a humidifier on through the night. In the morning, you’ll notice not only that your face looks more supple but also that your hands and lips don’t feel dry and dehydrated.

Before you go out and purchase one, learn about the differences between warm- and cool-mist humidifiers.

¡ª Additional reporting by Heather Dale

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Can’t Kick Your Sinus Infection? This Can Help

Don’t let your guard down cold season is still in full effect. The combination of Winter’s dry air| a turned-up thermostat| and closed windows can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. The best way to combat dry air and reduce your susceptibility to infection is to invest in a humidifier. If you’ve suffered through too many colds| it might be time to see what all the hype is about.

Related: Soothe That Sinus Pain: Apple Cider Vinegar Brew

1. Relieve sinusitis: When the air is too dry| sinuses don’t drain and function properly. According to many ENT experts| adding humidity to the air is generally good for sinus health especially if you’re regularly suffering from congestion and sinusitis.

2. Heal faster: Whether it be a cold| asthma| or allergies| a humidifier keeps your nasal passages lubricated| which helps speed up the healing process when you’re under the weather. For people with bad allergies| there are humidifiers that are specially designed to purify the air as well.

3. No more nosebleeds: Another reason keeping your nasal passages moist and lubricated is essential is to prevent nosebleeds. If you’re regularly experiencing nosebleeds due to your dry climate| it’s worth a try. Many people have found that it makes a huge difference.

4. Alleviate snoring: The moisture from a humidifier keeps the throat from drying out and relieves the intensity of that annoying snoring sound. If you or your partner is a snorer| the added bonus is that (at least) one of you will be sleeping more soundly.

5. Support beautiful skin: Soothe dry skin by sleeping with a humidifier on through the night. In the morning| you’ll notice not only that your face looks more supple but also that your hands and lips don’t feel dry and dehydrated.

Before you go out and purchase one| learn about the differences between warm- and cool-mist humidifiers.

¡ª Additional reporting by Heather Dale

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

The Best Advice For Dealing With Cold Season

Flu season is rapidly approaching, but never fear because there are plenty of ways to avoid catching a nasty Winter cold. Our friends at The Cut have compiled an extremely helpful guide for evading the sniffles.

The pre-sick feeling of dread is known to many: your throat is scratchy, your head is throbbing, and you have a general feebleness about you. You’re fairly certain you’re going to feel like garbage tomorrow and there’s nothing you can do ¡ª that cold or flu that’s been going around the office is now destined to knock you out. Life is cruel.

While you may resign yourself to the fact that you’re getting sick, don’t throw in the towel just yet. There are things you can do that might shorten the duration of your cold or, at the very least, reduce your pain and suffering, says Neil Schachter, M.D., professor of medicine, pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. (Though if you prefer being a miserable, sick monster, by all means, do nothing and wallow in your infirmity.)

Tame the beast

Your first move is to pop a zinc lozenge. “Zinc is a metal that has been shown in some studies to prevent viruses from replicating,” says Dr. Schachter. “The less virus you have, the better off you are.” Specifically, it might make your cold shorter. It’s best to take lozenges as soon as you start feeling junky because that’s when they’re most effective. “Once you’re there with a box of tissues and you can’t breathe, it’s too late.” But follow the dosing instructions to the letter, he says: not only could popping too many upset your stomach, but some people say they lose their sense of taste, either temporarily or ¡­ longer than that.

Why lozenges and not sprays, you ask? Those have a slightly sketchy history. In 2009, the FDA issued a warning about Zicam’s zinc nasal sprays and swabs after receiving reports that people experienced decreased sense of smell after using them. (Taste and smell are related senses, he points out.) Zicam refutes these claims but removed the products from shelves “out of an abundance of caution.” You’ll still see sprays and swabs at the drugstore, though: Last year, Zicam introduced new formulas that don’t contain zinc. The company says they’re also clinically proven to shorten the length of a cold.

Vitamin C is another possible cold-fighter, and in addition to reducing your overall downtime, it could actually make your symptoms suck less. Dr. Schachter says it hasn’t been overwhelmingly proven to work, but it’s reasonably safe so it’s worth a shot. Anything not to feel like a sniffling zombie, right? He recommends taking 250 to 500 milligrams of vitamin C once a day for the first few days of your cold. Of course, you can drink orange juice, but there’s only about 125 milligrams in an eight-ounce glass, so you’d need to throw back a few to get the same effect as a supplement.

Hunker down

Once your cold hits for real, you’re on the defensive and you might choose the most aggressive-sounding pills at the drugstore. But beware the OTC combination drugs if you’re going to use another medicine of any kind, even a pain reliever¨Cslash¨Cfever reducer, he says. These multi-ingredient formulas often contain aspirin or acetaminophen so you could be doubling up without even realizing it. Instead, Dr. Schachter suggests taking an antihistamine like Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec to dry up your nasal passages and make it easier to breathe, as well as an anti-inflammatory such as Tylenol or Advil to help with the wretched body aches that come with getting sick, which are the result of chemicals called cytokines being released. He typically doesn’t recommend decongestants because they can give you a rebound effect: the more you use them, the less effective they’ll be. “You take them and you can breathe for about three seconds and then all of a sudden you’re totally blocked up.” No thanks. (Decongestants are also not good for people with high blood pressure because they can raise it even more.)

Antihistamines will help with mild congestion, but if you’re really stuffed, try a saline nasal spray, he says. Not only will it help thin the fluids created by the mucous membranes in your upper airway (a.k.a. nose gunk), making it easier to blow that stuff out, but since it’s a high-concentration salt solution, it will suck water out of your nasal passages, reducing swelling and helping to bring sweet, sweet oxygen through your nostrils once more. Try that twice a day and more often if it’s really bad (“I hab a cold.”). Saline nasal spray won’t produce a rebound effect because it’s acting mechanically on your nasal tissue, unlike decongestants, which interact with receptors in your blood vessels that can become desensitized.

De-gunk

In general, it’s good to keep gunk and mucous at a minimum, because when the fluid in your sinuses and ear canals gets thick, it can cause blockage and lead to infections as other cells and debris accumulate, he says. All of which could spell a sinus infection or bronchitis ¡ª not how you planned to spend your weekend. Plus, treating congestion is good for your fellow man. “The more congested you are, the more likely you are to contaminate other surfaces that people who don’t have a cold may put their hands on. There’s that humanitarian aspect to it.”

Beyond pills and saline, hitting the fluids will help you stay hydrated and keep your mucous thinner. Dr. Schachter says warm liquids are the most helpful because drinking them can help loosen things up. Tea is a good candidate since it also contains a compound called theobromine that’s thought to act like a bronchodilator, a fancy word for something that helps you breathe better. You can certainly drink coffee but if it prevents you from resting, then something with less of a jolt is probably better, he says. Chicken soup happens to contain warm liquid, and at least one study suggests that breathing in the aerosolized fat when we sip it can help reduce levels of those crappy pain-inducing cytokines, he says.

And if you’re doing all of this stuff but you still feel worse when you’re trying to sleep at night, that’s normal, Dr. Schachter says. When you lie down, mucous has an opportunity to collect in the back of your throat which does not a restful slumber make. He recommends drinking warm liquids and doing another round of nasal spray before bed. Propping yourself up on a few pillows can do wonders, too.

An ounce of prevention

The inconvenient truth is that the best way to truly prevent a cold is not to get infected with the virus in the first place. “The thing that’s sometimes forgotten is colds are infectious diseases that are transmitted from one person to another,” he says. “So if you’re in the presence of someone who has a cold, clearly you have to exert some caution.”

It’s a good idea to carry alcohol-based sanitizer and disinfect after being around someone who’s sick, he says, but it doesn’t hurt to de-germ in everyday hypochondria-inducing situations, like after touching doorknobs, using communal pens, or taking a plane ride with 100 of your new best friends. During cold and flu season, he suggests you “be cautious and err on the side of decontaminating yourself.” Let your germophobe flag fly, and pass the hand sanitizer.

¡ª Susan Rinkunas

Check out more great stories from The Cut:

You Can Also Add Sugar to the List of Things That Are “Toxic”The Rules For Calling in Sick When You’re Actually Hungover16 Feel-Good Winter AccessoriesImage Source: Shutterstock

The Best Advice For Dealing With Cold Season

Flu season is rapidly approaching| but never fear because there are plenty of ways to avoid catching a nasty Winter cold. Our friends at The Cut have compiled an extremely helpful guide for evading the sniffles.

The pre-sick feeling of dread is known to many: your throat is scratchy| your head is throbbing| and you have a general feebleness about you. You’re fairly certain you’re going to feel like garbage tomorrow and there’s nothing you can do ¡ª that cold or flu that’s been going around the office is now destined to knock you out. Life is cruel.

While you may resign yourself to the fact that you’re getting sick| don’t throw in the towel just yet. There are things you can do that might shorten the duration of your cold or| at the very least| reduce your pain and suffering| says Neil Schachter| M.D.| professor of medicine| pulmonary| critical care| and sleep medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. (Though if you prefer being a miserable| sick monster| by all means| do nothing and wallow in your infirmity.)

Tame the beast

Your first move is to pop a zinc lozenge. “Zinc is a metal that has been shown in some studies to prevent viruses from replicating|” says Dr. Schachter. “The less virus you have| the better off you are.” Specifically| it might make your cold shorter. It’s best to take lozenges as soon as you start feeling junky because that’s when they’re most effective. “Once you’re there with a box of tissues and you can’t breathe| it’s too late.” But follow the dosing instructions to the letter| he says: not only could popping too many upset your stomach| but some people say they lose their sense of taste| either temporarily or ¡­ longer than that.

Why lozenges and not sprays| you ask? Those have a slightly sketchy history. In 2009| the FDA issued a warning about Zicam’s zinc nasal sprays and swabs after receiving reports that people experienced decreased sense of smell after using them. (Taste and smell are related senses| he points out.) Zicam refutes these claims but removed the products from shelves “out of an abundance of caution.” You’ll still see sprays and swabs at the drugstore| though: Last year| Zicam introduced new formulas that don’t contain zinc. The company says they’re also clinically proven to shorten the length of a cold.

Vitamin C is another possible cold-fighter| and in addition to reducing your overall downtime| it could actually make your symptoms suck less. Dr. Schachter says it hasn’t been overwhelmingly proven to work| but it’s reasonably safe so it’s worth a shot. Anything not to feel like a sniffling zombie| right? He recommends taking 250 to 500 milligrams of vitamin C once a day for the first few days of your cold. Of course| you can drink orange juice| but there’s only about 125 milligrams in an eight-ounce glass| so you’d need to throw back a few to get the same effect as a supplement.

Hunker down

Once your cold hits for real| you’re on the defensive and you might choose the most aggressive-sounding pills at the drugstore. But beware the OTC combination drugs if you’re going to use another medicine of any kind| even a pain relieverCslashCfever reducer| he says. These multi-ingredient formulas often contain aspirin or acetaminophen so you could be doubling up without even realizing it. Instead| Dr. Schachter suggests taking an antihistamine like Allegra| Claritin| or Zyrtec to dry up your nasal passages and make it easier to breathe| as well as an anti-inflammatory such as Tylenol or Advil to help with the wretched body aches that come with getting sick| which are the result of chemicals called cytokines being released. He typically doesn’t recommend decongestants because they can give you a rebound effect: the more you use them| the less effective they’ll be. “You take them and you can breathe for about three seconds and then all of a sudden you’re totally blocked up.” No thanks. (Decongestants are also not good for people with high blood pressure because they can raise it even more.)

Antihistamines will help with mild congestion| but if you’re really stuffed| try a saline nasal spray| he says. Not only will it help thin the fluids created by the mucous membranes in your upper airway (a.k.a. nose gunk)| making it easier to blow that stuff out| but since it’s a high-concentration salt solution| it will suck water out of your nasal passages| reducing swelling and helping to bring sweet| sweet oxygen through your nostrils once more. Try that twice a day and more often if it’s really bad (“I hab a cold.”). Saline nasal spray won’t produce a rebound effect because it’s acting mechanically on your nasal tissue| unlike decongestants| which interact with receptors in your blood vessels that can become desensitized.

De-gunk

In general| it’s good to keep gunk and mucous at a minimum| because when the fluid in your sinuses and ear canals gets thick| it can cause blockage and lead to infections as other cells and debris accumulate| he says. All of which could spell a sinus infection or bronchitis ¡ª not how you planned to spend your weekend. Plus| treating congestion is good for your fellow man. “The more congested you are| the more likely you are to contaminate other surfaces that people who don’t have a cold may put their hands on. There’s that humanitarian aspect to it.”

Beyond pills and saline| hitting the fluids will help you stay hydrated and keep your mucous thinner. Dr. Schachter says warm liquids are the most helpful because drinking them can help loosen things up. Tea is a good candidate since it also contains a compound called theobromine that’s thought to act like a bronchodilator| a fancy word for something that helps you breathe better. You can certainly drink coffee but if it prevents you from resting| then something with less of a jolt is probably better| he says. Chicken soup happens to contain warm liquid| and at least one study suggests that breathing in the aerosolized fat when we sip it can help reduce levels of those crappy pain-inducing cytokines| he says.

And if you’re doing all of this stuff but you still feel worse when you’re trying to sleep at night| that’s normal| Dr. Schachter says. When you lie down| mucous has an opportunity to collect in the back of your throat which does not a restful slumber make. He recommends drinking warm liquids and doing another round of nasal spray before bed. Propping yourself up on a few pillows can do wonders| too.

An ounce of prevention

The inconvenient truth is that the best way to truly prevent a cold is not to get infected with the virus in the first place. “The thing that’s sometimes forgotten is colds are infectious diseases that are transmitted from one person to another|” he says. “So if you’re in the presence of someone who has a cold| clearly you have to exert some caution.”

It’s a good idea to carry alcohol-based sanitizer and disinfect after being around someone who’s sick| he says| but it doesn’t hurt to de-germ in everyday hypochondria-inducing situations| like after touching doorknobs| using communal pens| or taking a plane ride with 100 of your new best friends. During cold and flu season| he suggests you “be cautious and err on the side of decontaminating yourself.” Let your germophobe flag fly| and pass the hand sanitizer.

¡ª Susan Rinkunas

Check out more great stories from The Cut:

You Can Also Add Sugar to the List of Things That Are “Toxic”The Rules For Calling in Sick When You’re Actually Hungover16 Feel-Good Winter AccessoriesImage Source: Shutterstock

This May Just Be the Real Miracle Diet Drink

Coffee may have its place as a healthy beverage, but green tea is often touted as the miracle drink for your mug. Here’s why you should drink the green stuff regularly this Winter.

    Weight-loss wonder: Drinking green tea regularly has been shown to help suppress appetite and increase your metabolism ¡ª?both of which can help you save or burn a few calories while you celebrate the best of the season.Sickness prevention: Nonstop shopping, traveling, and socializing can mean the combination of cold-inducing pathogens and a weakened immune system, so give yours a boost with green tea. Several studies have shown that green tea has antiviral properties; one study found that taking green tea catechin capsules helped prevent health-care workers from catching the flu, and another found that Japanese schoolchildren who drank green tea for six days a week or more were less likely to catch the flu.Stress relief: Curling up with a warm beverage can be relaxing, especially when the rest of your day is hectic, but drinking too much caffeine has its downsides. Too much caffeine can lead to anxiety, stress, and trouble sleeping, so if you find yourself running out for a coffee break or having friends over for a cup several times a day, switch to green tea. Not only does green tea contain only half the amount of caffeine as a normal cup of coffee, but many people also say green tea’s fresh, grassy flavor helps them relax.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne

This May Just Be the Real Miracle Diet Drink

Coffee may have its place as a healthy beverage| but green tea is often touted as the miracle drink for your mug. Here’s why you should drink the green stuff regularly this Winter.

    Weight-loss wonder: Drinking green tea regularly has been shown to help suppress appetite and increase your metabolism ?both of which can help you save or burn a few calories while you celebrate the best of the season.Sickness prevention: Nonstop shopping| traveling| and socializing can mean the combination of cold-inducing pathogens and a weakened immune system| so give yours a boost with green tea. Several studies have shown that green tea has antiviral properties; one study found that taking green tea catechin capsules helped prevent health-care workers from catching the flu| and another found that Japanese schoolchildren who drank green tea for six days a week or more were less likely to catch the flu.Stress relief: Curling up with a warm beverage can be relaxing| especially when the rest of your day is hectic| but drinking too much caffeine has its downsides. Too much caffeine can lead to anxiety| stress| and trouble sleeping| so if you find yourself running out for a coffee break or having friends over for a cup several times a day| switch to green tea. Not only does green tea contain only half the amount of caffeine as a normal cup of coffee| but many people also say green tea’s fresh| grassy flavor helps them relax.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne