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Green tea has long been used as one of the first lines of defense against disease. In fact, its history can be traced back thousands of years to ancient China, where it was revered for its many medicinal properties.

Like black tea, white tea, and oolong tea, green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is native to Asia.

It is made by steaming, pan-frying, and drying the leaves, which have a grassy, somewhat nutty taste and can be steeped in hot water to brew tea.

It can also be used to make matcha, a variety of green tea that is produced by pulverizing tea leaves into a fine powder.

Green tea and matcha differ slightly in terms of nutrition. This is because matcha is made from the whole tea leaf, resulting in a more concentrated final product.

Matcha can be used to make hot drinks or add a burst of color to baked goods, oat bowls, smoothies, and more.

Not only have green tea and matcha been linked to a long list of benefits, but both also boast a variety of antioxidants and other health-promoting properties, making them an awesome addition to your cold and flu-fighting arsenal.

Scroll down for three unique ways to use green tea — and reap its benefits.

Green tea is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and polyphenols, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG has been studied extensively for its ability to alleviate inflammation and enhance immunity.

In fact, one test-tube study from 2020 found that EGCG was able to alter the activity of specific proteins, which could help block the flu virus from replicating.

Several other compounds found in green tea, known as catechins, may also have antiviral properties and could offer protection against illness and infection.

More research in humans is still needed. That said, according to a 2017 review, some test-tube and animal studies show that certain catechins present in green tea could be effective against viral infections like influenza, adenovirus, and hepatitis.

Interestingly enough, one 2020 study in 255 healthcare workers even found that consuming a catechin-containing beverage daily for 12 weeks reduced the risk of upper respiratory tract infections by half compared with a control group.

If simply sipping on a cup of green tea isn’t your style, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it. Here are three easy alternatives to increase your intake.

Get your day going on the right foot with this simple green tea oatmeal.

Swapping the water in your oatmeal for green tea can help squeeze some extra antioxidants into your diet and give your morning meal a healthy twist.

You can also customize it by mixing in a few of your favorite ingredients, such as berries, walnuts, chia seeds, or almond butter.


  • 1 bag green tea
  • 1 cup (237 ml) boiling water
  • 1 cup (90 g) old-fashioned or rolled oats
  • 1 cup (237 ml) milk of choice
  • 1–2 tbsp. (21–42 g) honey
  • Your choice of toppings, such as fruit, nuts, seeds, or peanut butter


  1. Brew a cup of green tea by steeping a tea bag in boiling water for 3–5 minutes.
  2. In a pot over the stove on medium heat, combine oats with equal parts green tea and milk and cook for 5 minutes, or until thick.
  3. Stir in honey and add your favorite toppings.

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 2

Rich, soothing, and savory chicken soup is a must-have during flu season.

This recipe features green tea, bringing the cold-fighting powers of chicken soup to the next level.

If you’re not so sure about adding green tea to your soup, opt for just a few tea bags or throw in some extra herbs and spices to complement the flavor.


  • 8 cups (1.9 liters) chicken broth (or other broth of your choice)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into medium chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/3 cup (20 g) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. (1.2 g) dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. (1 g) dried thyme
  • 4–8 green tea bags


  1. Boil broth in a large pot.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer, add chicken to pot, cover, and cook 30–40 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
  4. Simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  5. Add green tea bags and steep for 5 minutes, then remove before serving.

Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8-10

Not only is matcha jam-packed with antioxidants, but it can also help add a pop of color to a variety of recipes, including this salad dressing.

This simple dressing can be drizzled over just about anything, from salads to roasted veggies to Buddha bowls and beyond.


  • 1 cup (245 g) plain yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) culinary-grade matcha powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (15 g) fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, mint, and dill
  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice

Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 8


  1. Add yogurt, avocado, oil, garlic, matcha, salt, pepper, herbs, and lemon juice to a blender.
  2. Blend together until smooth.

Green tea is a powerful ingredient that comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.

It contains several immune-boosting compounds that can fend off illness and infection, including EGCG.

Plus, there are plenty of interesting and delicious ways to add it to your diet that go beyond drinking it, including adding it to soups, salad dressings, oat bowls, and more.

For more great tips on using super ingredients, check out: