Is digestive health tea the answer to our digestive disorders? Read on to find out……….
We’ve been drinking tea for thousands of years – the Chinese began boiling the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis, the green tea plant, over 4 thousand years ago.
Not only is tea refreshing it offers many benefits to help improve our digestion, overall health and well being.
Digestive Health Benefits Of Tea – Weight Loss
Currently there is a lack of scientific research indicating a direct link between drinking tea and digestive health. However, there have been a number of clinical studies in relation to other health issues that have provided a greater understanding about how drinking tea could aid digestion.
For example, certain teas such as green tea contain catechin – a natural forming plant phenolic with antioxidant qualities. In one clinical study, rodents were fed catechin derived from tea leaves, while another group of rodents were not. The control group that was fed catechin expended more energy, which resulted in the rodents losing more calories.
The test findings concluded that catechin could have a possible affect on stimulating the bodies metabolism. Catechin has also been linked to lowering occurrences of inflammation related to Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
Anti-Inflammatory Qualities of Chai Tea
Chai tea is a popular blend in India and Nepal and is believed to contain many inflammatory qualities. Chai tea is made from a variety of exotic herbs and spices, which gives it a very distinctive and aromatic taste.
The following spices used in chai tea are known to aid digestion;
- Cardamom – adds a distinctive sweet flavor to the tea and the cardamom’s anti-inflammatory and soothing qualities have been used down the centuries to aid digestion.
- Ginger – the famous root herb is well known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, especially when alleviating stomach ache and joint pain,
- Cinnamon – this spice is from the outer bark of the cinnamon tree that is native to South East Asia. The bark is then ground into dark golden brown powder. Cinnamon has a sweet aroma and is a healthier alternative to sugar. The spice has anti-bacterial qualities and is used to help reduce yeast infections in the gut as well as soothing stomach ache.
- Cloves – helps improve the bodies metabolism and reduce tummy ache.
Green Tea Health Benefits
Polyphenols and in particular flavonoids are compounds found in green tea leaves. Extensive clinical research is revealing these compounds have many health benefits and green tea has a high proportion of them.
In particular, polyphenols and flavonoids have antioxidant qualities. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, these are rogue cells that have been linked to increasing risks of colon cancer.
Drinking green has also been known to help lower high blood pressure.
The Problem With Caffeine
Drinking tea for digestive health is a very good idea, however it does contain caffeine and this can have a negative effect on your digestive system. Caffeine can irritate the intestinal tract and it can also bind to minerals, making it harder for the body to absorb them.
Although tea has less caffeine than coffee, it does contain more tannins and these can interfere with the absorption of minerals.
The lighter the color of the tea, the less caffeine and tannins it contains. Black tea has the highest level of caffeine and tannins, whereas green tea has much lower levels. White tea – which uses the actual flower bud of the tree plant – has the lowest ratio of caffeine and tannins and has a taste that is very delicate.
Non Caffeine Options
If you want to avoid caffeine altogether and still enjoy the teas digestive health benefits, you can buy tea extract. Another alternative, is to drink tea that has no caffeine at all.
Here are two digestive health teas without the caffeine;
Rooibos tea – (pronounced Roy – Bus) a non caffeinated tea originating from South Africa, where its native people have drank it for centuries. The tea leaves are derived from the rooibos (Afrikaans for Red Bush) plant that is native to the Western Cape Province of South Africa.
Rooibos tea is low in tannins and has antioxidant and anti-fungal qualities. It is also rich in phenolic compounds that are known to kill disease causing bacteria in the intestinal tract. This digestive health tea has a light, nutty sweet taste with an intense reddish brown color.
Peppermint tea – this makes for a very healthy refreshing drink and is popular in the regions of the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa. Peppermint leaves are high in vitamin C and the mineral manganese – both have antioxidant qualities. The peppermint leaf has been known to aid a number of digestion problems including excessive gas and irritable bowel syndrome.
As you can see, there is a lot to be said for drinking digestive health tea – and combining this with a natural digestive health supplement containing prebiotics, digestive enzymes, phenolic compounds and soluble fibre can provide your digestion with all it needs for optimal health.