Does drinking tea really help when you’re sick?

WATCH: Nutritionist Pearle Nerenberg breaks down some of the most popular teas

MONTREAL – Last year may have been all about that bass, but let’s face it, it was also all about that tea.

Teas and tisanes are all the rage right now, and many people are turning to the kettle when it comes to finding an easy, home remedy when they feel sick.

David’s Tea “Cold 911,” anyone?

Sports nutritionist and regular Global Morning News contributor Pearle Nerenberg stopped by Monday to talk about whether drinking tea can actually help your health.

One of the main benefits of drinking tea is the fact that it is often full of antioxidants – or polyphenols – which are mostly found in fruits and vegetables.

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What are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are micronutrients that help prevent degenerative diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

“They create protective effects in our bodies and ward off potentially dangerous things like cancer,” said Nerenberg.

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But there isn’t much research to back up the claim that drinking certain teas will improve specific aspects your health, such as weight loss or bad skin.

“You have to be careful about herbs,” explained Nerenberg, who cautions against self-diagnosing.

“There are a lot of plants that have potent chemicals in them that act like drugs in the body.”

WATCH: More segments with sports nutritionist Pearle Nerenberg
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Green tea

Green tea is one of the most studied teas and according to some studies, it does have some beneficial properties.

It’s full of antioxidants and other nutrients that are supposed to have an amazing affect on your health.

“It appears to have some anti-cancer benefits,” said Nerenberg.

“Breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer. But it’s a really new research.”

Ginger tea

Ginger tea was originally consumed as a soothing drink in Asia.

But nowadays, many drink ginger tea to avoid motion sickness, to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and to help with weight loss.

The research is inconclusive for the most part, but ginger has been shown to help with nausea.

“People have been taking it more as a medication, but as a tea it’s more for anti-nausea,” Nerenberg said.


Hibiscus is one of the latest tea trends, often mixed with other flavours to create some unique tisane tinctures.

“It helps to reduce blood pressure for people that are hypertensive,” said Nerenberg.

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The overall recommendation?

Tea is definitely good for you, as it’s full of antioxidants, but Nerenberg told Global News that until studies become more conclusive, she advises her clients to drink it more as a healthy substitute for coffee or soft drinks rather than as a cure for illness.

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