note that this post was previously published on January 28th, 2015
Whether you’ve caught a bug, have a chronic illness or just overindulged, digestive problems are never fun. The next time your stomach’s feeling a little off, here are three good reasons to reach for tea instead of TUMS.
When scientists from Kingston University in London were researching plants that would help fight cancer and inflammation, white tea ended up being number one among the top three contenders. It turns out that naturally-occurring substances in the tea can help block the progression of inflammation.
Tea also contains polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and help to promote healthy gut bacteria and discourage inflammation. Black and green teas are especially high in polyphenol count. (Definition of Polyphenol and Do Polyphenols Improve Your Gut Bacteria?)
Drinking tea—even a small amount—with or after a meal can aid digestion and help to jump start your metabolism (Three Ways to Fight the Effects of Overeating). You can thank all those flavonoids and antioxidants for that! Green tea, specifically, is known for stimulating the intestines and reducing gas (9 Health Benefits of Green Tea).
Extra good news for all of you chai addicts out there: the beverage is full of spices and herbs that are beneficial and soothing to the guts, including ginger, fennel, anise and cardamom. Plus, cloves and star anise, common ingredients in your favorite Indian spiced brew, are both high in polyphenols, even outranking tea according to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols).
You may have noticed that we’re fans of kombucha around here—and for good reason! The fermentation process used in making kombucha results in a tea that is probiotic and super beneficial, helping to balance gut pH and intestinal flora (Health Benefits of Drinking Kombucha Tea) the same way yogurt does. It’s wonderful for supporting liver function (Good Teas for the Digestive System) and improving digestion, clearing up stomach and bowel issues, and for boosting your overall health. You can make kombucha from any tea and get wonderful results.