Best teas to drink for IBS. Low FODmap tea guide.
Types of teas that are low in FODmaps.
The first thing you’ve probably heard after your diagnosis was: skip tea and coffee (so, all the good stuff).
Actually, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds. There’s still plenty of drinks you can enjoy, and if you give your gut time to heal, make some lifestyle changes, there’s a big chance that you’ll back to your old tea & coffee drinking habits pretty soon. Here’s some advice on what to drink and what to skip for the time being.
Please, drink all the IBS friendly teas in reasonable quantities. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. 🙂 If you feel any side effects, please consult your doctor. He/she will help you find more suitable alternative. As for my personal experience, I’ve enjoyed each and every one of these teas without any repercussions.
Why can’t I drink caffeine with IBS?
First thing you need to know is that caffeine (component of every tea and coffee) is a bowel irritant and drinking it may lead to diarrhea. You may not be as sensitive to it, so it’s worth checking how your digestive system reacts to caffeine. Generally speaking though, IBS patient don’t react well to caffeine. I’m a big tea drinker and I was devastated when I’ve heard I need to give up tea. As for now (3 years after diagnosis and 3 years after I’ve changed my lifestyle), I can drink up to 3 cups of black tea a day. Please note: when I first heard my diagnosis, I’ve ditched black tea and coffee entirely. I gave my gut time to heal and then, slowly, I’ve started to add new drinks to my menu (first white tea, then black tea and coffee). If you’re really suffering, I advise you to stick to herbal teas for now! Please note, that green, white and black teas, all contain caffeine.
What tea can I drink with IBS?
1) Fennel tea
Helpful in relieving cramps, can act as mild laxative.
2) Dandelion root tea
Can help relieve symptoms of heartburn and has soothing effect on your digestive tract. Rich in vitamins and minerals. Try to not make it to strong though.
3) Chamomile tea
Has soothing and calming effect. Can help to reduce cramps.
4) Peppermint tea
Has soothing effect on your tummy. May help if you’re suffering from heartburn, gas and spasms.
5) Spearmint tea
Soothes your tummy as good as peppermint tea. It has more gentle (mild) taste.
6) Anise tea
Helpful in relieving constipation, gas and bloating.
7) Cistus tea
It doesn’t have any special IBS friendly properties, but it’s very gentle on the tummy and it’s known for its anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
8) Dill tea
Can provide relief from diarrhea, excess gas and constipation. It helps with regular bowel movements by stimulating digestive system. Has an anti-inflammatory effect.
9) Rooibos tea
Delicious red tea. It’s caffeine free, has a rich flavor and it’s as close as you can get to black tea. Good in relieving stomach spasms.
10) Ginger tea
Helps with nausea and stomach spasm.
As weird as it sounds, irritable bowel syndrome is all about experimenting on yourself (I know, it’s weird ;)). Sometimes there’s no other way to find out if food or drink agrees with you, other than testing it on yourself. ‘Maybe you can eat and drink that’ list is quite long when it comes to IBS, which gives me an inkling that this condition may be more related to our DNA than we had originally thought.
With that being said…
You can TRY with caution:
Cinnamon is exactly one of those IBS mysteries, I was writing about above. Cinnamon and cinnamon tea helps some people manage their IBS symptoms and aggravates symptoms in others. You simply need to test to which group you belong to.
Weak (or decaf) white tea.
It’s a great solution for tea lovers, as white tea is not as fermented as black or green tea. It still may cause upset tummy in some patient (as I previously said, it contains caffeine), so please try it first. Also, try not to make it too strong or go decaf.
Decaf black tea.
Weak or decaf green tea.
Please note that, as teas are generally quite acidic (except cinnamon tea), they may aggravate (decaf or not) symptoms in patients with heartburn. All caffeine free products contain traces of caffeine, as it’s not possible to get rid of caffeine entirely.
Teas NOT recommended for IBS sufferers:
– fruit teas (can cause heartburn and bloating),
– strong black tea (it’s fermented, acidic, full of caffeine – all of which are IBS no-no’s).
– black tea with lemon (as above, plus: addition of acidic fruit)
When it comes to coffee, you can still enjoy various decaffeinated coffee blends (with lactose free or coconut milk). For example: you can drink rye coffee with chicory (try it with stevia, instead of sugar), but more on that in future posts!
Learn more about IBS:
More IBS friendly recipes:
Read more about herbal teas: The ultimate guide to herbal teas.
Pictures Source: Pexels
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