Tea Benefits for Digestion
Andreea Macoveiciuc | On 30, Dec 2013
With all the tasty cookies and highly caloric traditional foods prepared for Christmas and the New Year’s festive dinner, it’s hard not to go overboard and grab an extra serving of treats, or to keep food indulgences at a minimum.
If your diet is generally a healthy one and you’re an active person, chances are for your silhouette not to be affected by the holiday binge, but the temporary lack of constraint may still cause you an upset tummy, in spite of your best efforts to avoid overeating.
Your stomach is quite sensitive when it comes to food combinations, and I’m pretty sure the last thing you thought of while looking at all the delicious products on the table was how to combine nutrients for preventing digestive issues.
The good news is that drinking tea can calm your upset stomach and restore the body’s balance, so if you had too many cookies or salty crackers, here’s what you should drink to get rid of the uncomfortable sensations caused by overeating.
1. Green tea
As shown in our previous article, green tea has positive effects on the digestive tract, being able to limit the absorption of lipids through the intestines. According to researchers, the high amounts of catechins in this beverage are responsible for its efficiency in slowing down the action of certain digestive enzymes and controlling the amount of fats absorbed after eating.
The polyphenols found in green tea were also proven to exert anti-inflammatory effects, this being helpful not only in preventing stomach inflammation but also in reducing the risk of colitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), the most powerful polyphenol found in green tea, has been proven to have positive effects on digestion, researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine showing that this compound may hamper the pathways that lead to inflammations of the digestive tract.
Also, this beverage has been shown to improve the sensitivity to insulin and glucose tolerance, so in case you had too many cookies and your blood sugar levels are a little too high after the festive meals, a cup of green tea can help your body produce and use its insulin in a more efficient way.
Still, keep in mind that green tea also provides caffeine, so if you decide adding this beverage to your menu for restoring the functioning of your digestive tract and calming the upset stomach, make sure to reduce the intake of coffee to avoid other health issue.
2. Oolong tea
Obtained from the same plant as green tea, oolong tea also exerts positive effects on the digestive system. According to researchers, the slightly stronger tea is able to alkalinize the digestive tract, preventing the acid reflux after binging and fighting against ulcers.
Oolong tea is effective in accelerating the metabolic rate, which means it helps the body use the consumed calories more efficiently. This results in higher energy levels, as well as in a healthier digestion, as the eaten foods are digested and metabolized faster. Adding a cup of oolong tea to your meals can relieve the stomach discomfort caused by the slow digestion and help your digestive tract feel better even after overeating.
3. Pu-erh tea
Pu-erh at its turn is good for our digestive health, mainly for relieving discomfort, indigestion and heartburn, preventing constipation and irritation and calming the upset stomach. Drinking a cup of pu-erh tea few minutes after a meal prevents a better digestion and absorption of nutrients, even if you had greasy foods.
This beverage stimulates the production of gastric juices, making it easier for the stomach to destroy the ingested foods and preventing the accumulation of food debris inside the intestines. Pu-erh tea is also known to help in the breakdown of fats and to encourage the removal of toxins from the intestines, so it’s an excellent choice for reducing the burden on the bowels and stomach and keeping the digestive tract running smoothly after the heavy holiday meals.
4. Herbal teas
If you want to experience the positive effects of tea on digestion but without adding extra caffeine to your diet, herbal teas can be a great choice. Peppermint tea for example is known to promote digestion, to relieve stomach cramps and ease diarrhea. It prevents flatulence and reduces the discomfort caused by eating too much food.
Chamomile tea relaxes the muscles supporting the digestive tract, reduces the inflammation of the stomach and intestines and sooths irritation caused by a poor digestion and by unhealthy food and beverage combinations. It has anti-spasmodic properties and calming effects.
Lemon grass tea can also be efficient in calming an upset tummy, while ginger tea settles the stomach thanks to its mild and cool flavor. Lemon balm tea sooths the digestive tract, preventing nausea and cramping. Senna tea acts as a natural laxative, preventing constipation and relieving the discomfort caused by food that builds up in the colon.
These teas can aid in digestion and calm your stomach after the holidays, so instead of relying on over-the-counter medications for relieving the discomfort and problems caused by eating too much food, relax and enjoy a hot cup of tea.