This week I had my follow up call with my YorkTest nutritionist and I explained that for the first couple of months after cutting out dairy (which was identified as my intolerance during the food test) my symptoms completely reduced; I had no bloating or stomach cramps.
But post Italy, where I was unable to be strict with my diet due to my ignorance in learning Italian (!), I had suffered with severe bloating which seemed to be more persistent.
My nutritionist suggested I started to drink chamomile tea after every meal. In fact, she went so far as to say treat it as though it is medicine, never forget to drink it. At this point, anything is worth a try so I complied and went straight out to purchase my medicine.
I have absolutely no idea whether it was psychological or not, but as I was drinking the chamomile tea, I could actually feel it soothing my stomach. This weekend, I stumbled into T2 in Leeds (love, by the way) to buy some chamomile tea in the loose leaf form. The sheer number of different teas in there, from apple crumble and strawberries and cream to the more traditional earl grey got me thinking about the teas that we drink because they taste good, and those that we drink for their medicinal purposes.
Here are my top 5 teas that are recommended for consumption in order to soothe your stomach and reduce bloating:
Why is chamomile tea good for bloating?
I have to admit, I thought chamomile tea was used to help people sleep but the reason my nutritionist recommended it to me is due to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Because of it’s relaxing properties, it’s also cited that chamomile tea can help to heal leaky gut. As I mentioned before, it’s recommended you drink this after every meal to reduce bloating.
Digestion is just one of many benefits of chamomile tea though.
Other benefits of chamomile tea
- Reduces pain associated with migraines
- Reduces insomnia
- Reduces stress (and anxiety / depression)
- Boosts your immune system (due to its antioxidant properties)
- Fights cancer (again, due to the antioxidants)
- Preserves youthful skin
- When you put it like that, why wouldn’t you drink chamomile tea?!
Another recommendation from my nutritionist; cut up some fresh ginger and add to a mug of hot water (add some fresh lemon juice if you so wish). Ginger is another food group with substantial health benefits. For the purpose of this post, the main benefit is that it has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce swelling in the gut.
According to Medical News Today, by decreasing inflammation in the gut, the risk of colon cancer is also likely to decrease.
Ginger has additional health benefits making it another great health tea:
- Pain reduction
- Reduce nausea (e.g. during pregnancy)
- Relieve congestion
- Relieve period pain
- Improve immunity
I have to admit, this is one tea that I struggle to stomach due to its liquorice taste, so really would be classed as medicine in my book! Many others love it though and with good reason; it’s fantastic at reducing bloating.
The reason being is that it is antispasmodic so it helps to relax the intestines and eases cramps associated with intolerances and irritable bowel syndrome. Fennel is actually an essential oil which contains oestrogen helping to reduce muscle spasms and as a result, helps you to digest food more easily.
- As much as the term ‘superfood’ no longer really stands due to the lack of restrictions around what can and cannot be called a ‘superfood’, if anything can claim this title, it has to be fennel…
Other health benefits of fennel tea
- Relieves inflamed gums (by gargling)
- Strengthens the heart
- May reduce morning sickness
- Helps treat eye infections (soak cotton wool in fennel tea then place on the eyes)
- Reduce fever
- Soothe sore throats
- Reduces water retention and thus, burns fat
- Improves kidney function
- Protects the liver from alcohol damage
- Maybe I will have to overcome my dislike of liquorice…
Start typing ‘peppermint’ into Google and it automatically assumes you’re going to say ‘peppermint tea bloating’. So I’m definitely not telling you anything new here!
I’ve been drinking peppermint tea for a while, particularly after my lunch at work, to try to soothe my stomach and reduce bloating. Has it worked? It is definitely soothing; I wouldn’t say it goes too far in reducing my ‘six months’ pregnant’ bloated look but in all honesty, the warming and soothing feeling it gives me earns it a spot in my top five.
Other benefits of peppermint tea
- Reduce bad breath
- Aid in weight loss
- Boosts the immune system
- Relieves congestion
- Great for relieving pain associated with coughs
As you might expect, hibiscus tea is derived from the hibiscus plant. It is a deep red in colour and people say it tastes similar to cranberry juice. Personally I find it quite sour but in all honesty, anything that can help to relieve bloating is gold standard in my book!
Hibiscus tea is said to increase both urination and bowel movements. Due to this, it is often used to treat constipation. Therefore, if your bloating is a result of constipation, this may be a good option for you.
Additional benefits of hibiscus tea
- Relieves menstrual cramps
- Helps other symptoms relating to menstruation such as mood swings and depression
- Contains anti-cancer property, hibiscus protocatechuic acid
- Great for sports people: if drank as an iced tea, hibiscus tea can cool down the body quickly and flushes out excess fluids/toxins.
- Lowers the absorption of starch and glucose which may help with weight loss
- Can lower blood pressure
- What kind of tea do you drink for it’s anti-inflammatory properties? Please share them below!