Some people like to wake up and smell their coffee brewing… while others prefer to cozy up with a cup of tea to start their day. After last weeks article all about coffee you know the effects of caffeine on your gut and can probably guess which is better to prevent digestive distress. Starting your day off without pain and discomfort can mean a whole different kind of day! I used to love my Grande Vanilla Latte a few years ago, it make me feel so happy, but after cutting it out and feeling WAY better, I don’t miss it … too much 😉 I still find time for the occasional decaf, lactose-free treat 😉
In last week’s article we talked about how everyone’s digestive system responds differently to coffee and how caffeine acts as a gut stimulant moving food through the bowels. Like coffee, certain types of tea can trigger digestive discomfort as well. There are two reasons tea could be irritating your digestive system:
1. Caffeine: Similar to coffee, a caffeinated tea can act as a gut stimulant. Many people suffering from IBS and digestive distress already struggle with diarrhea, loose stools, and/or multiple bowel movements each day. In these cases it is best to avoid gut stimulants, such as caffeine to help regulate bowel movements.
2. High in FODMAPs: Coffee beans themselves are low in FODMAPs. If you aren’t sensitive to the stimulating effects of caffeine, it may not cause digestive discomfort. Unlike coffee, some tea blends are high in FODMAPs. Below is a chart that shows which types of teas are high and low in FODMAPs.
|Tea||Weak Steep||Strong Steep|
|Herbal Tea||✔(180 mL)||✖|
What I find REALLY interesting is that the two of the most popular ingredients for a digestive tea are high in FODMAP! Many people find chamomile and fennel soothing on the gut. Many of my clients find that herbal teas are not irritating, especially these digestive blends. So even though you find these teas on the high FODMAP lists, I would encourage you to try them to relieve digestive distress. Know your body – everyone is different, so be aware of the potential affects and monitor how you feel after a cup!
Let’s get back to tea…
When picking tea consider the following:
- Pick a decaffeinated tea. Although black tea is low FODMAP if its caffeinated it can still cause digestive distress.
- Choose ingredients that are known to be calming on the gut. Peppermint, chamomile, fennel, and ginger can aid with digestion. If you find these bother you, consider a low FODMAP tea.
- The amount of time you steep the tea in water can affect how much that tea could cause digestive symptoms. Consider trying weaker tea to see if it helps.
Get creative and make your own fresh brew of digestive tea. You can experiment with dried herbs or fresh ingredients. Or visit a local fresh tea shop to try one of their combinations. Below is a recipe you can try.
Low FODMAP Recipe: Troubled Tummy Tea Recipe
Makes: 1 serving
Time: 5 minutes prep
1 slice of fresh ginger
2 fresh mint leaves
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 lemon slice
Combine the mint leaves, fennel seeds, ginger and lemon slice in a loose leaf tea bag. Add to a boiling cup of water and let steep for 2-3 minutes.
If I’m on the road and need a tea for some relief, I usually ask for a large/vente tea with one peppermint bag and one chamomile bag. This can do the trick if you have no other options. Did you enjoy this article? Do you have a favourite tea blend that works wonders on your belly? We would love to hear about it. Please share in the comments section below.
Wishing you good gut health & wellness,
Stephanie and The Team