The Best Drinks to Fight the Flu

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According to a 2003 study, black tea is a real immunity booster. The scientists found that it increased the intensity of one immune response by up to five times. So if you don't regularly drink tea, you germophobes should get on it. Thanks to black tea's abundance of theanine, flavonoids (antioxidant-like compounds), and catechins (compounds that fight free radicals in the body), it's been proven to help fight off the flu.

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Chicken Broth

Your grandma was onto something. Chicken broth may be your best weapon against the cold and the flu (though, the illnesses themselves have some very clear differences). Vitamins and protein? Check. Hydration? Check. Anti-inflammatory properties? Check. Congestion-fighting properties? Check. Many studies have confirmed the various healing properties of a cozy bowl of chicken soup - it clears your nasal passageways, reduces uncomfortable symptoms, and has exactly the nutrients your body needs to fight off this pesky flu virus.

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Ginger Tea

Many people will reach for a can of ginger ale when flu symptoms start, and this spice is the reason why. While the carbonation from ginger ale might not help your stomach upset, ginger tea can help to soothe and relieve your distress. Ginger tea has been part of Chinese herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years to relieve digestion problems and nausea. Ginger's analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties can also help to relieve aches and pains that come with the flu.

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Ice Pops and Ice Cubes

They're not technically drinks, but these are your best defense against dehydration and fever. Eating ice pops, or ice cubes if you don't happen to have stocked up on summer's best treat, is a great way to hydrate slowly and consistently without ingesting too much water at once. WebMD advises consumers to look for ice pops made with 100 percent fruit juices to get a 2-in-1 fight against the flu - hydration plus vitamins.

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Juices or Smoothies

Even more nutritious than the fruit in an ice pop is actual fruit - blended into a smoothie or squeezed into a juice. Fruit has lots of water and vital nutrients to keep you nourished even when you can't keep down solid food. Here are 11 juice recipes loaded with the vitamins and minerals you need.

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Lemon and Honey Tea

To make this healing tonic, simply heat up some water, squeeze in some lemon, and add honey. This beverage will help keep you hydrated while giving you a jolt of vitamin C for immunity.

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Water

You can load up on all the fruity beverages and tea you want - but you'll still need water to stay truly hydrated. Mix in a few electrolyte-rich beverages between glasses to really ramp up your water absorption and brush up on these telltale signs of dehydration to know when you're not drinking enough.

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Wine

Drinking too much alcohol is ill-advised when you're feeling sick - not only might you feel even more nauseous, but you could become dangerously dehydrated. However, according to one study, just one glass could help give your body important nutrients to prevent complications from influenza infection. The same compound is found in both blackberries and black tea, both of which might be a wiser choice. Now that you know which drinks are best for you during flu season, consider using your day spent at home cooking a few immune-boosting recipes that could help get you through.

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