The best drinks to improve your gut health

Lee Holmes shares her best tips and three soothing drink recipes to help your gut feel great.

When it comes to looking after your gut, one of the most important lessons is learning how to slow down, take time for yourself and savour every little moment.  This helps to relax the digestive system and make the digestive process easier. With this in mind, here are my favourite soothing recipes and tips to help you reach peak gut health.

As soon as you wake up and reach for your daily cup of coffee- if you want to improve the health of your gut, why not try making a delicious digestive tea instead?  Certain teas are one of the easiest ways to start the day right and set you up for a good gut day.

While tea ca help soothe an irritated gut or worried mind, coffee, on the hand, can ocassionally cause pain and irritation in the gut and, for those who enjoy coffee in latte or flat white form, the dairy can be hard to digest and lead to bloating and other symptoms of a struggling digestive system.

If you or your digestive system are feeling out of whack, here are some of my favourite gut-healing teas. 

Chamomile and Lavender Tea

Both chamomile and lavender are natural stress relievers. They’re both lovely herbs to soothe an upset stomach, so they’re great for people who suffer from poor digestion or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The delicate combination of these two calming herbs will settle your nervous system and simultaneously relax your digestive system.  It can also act as a brilliant tonic for the liver - so, remember this drink after a big night when you’ve had too much to drink! 

If drinking chamomile isn't your bag, try having a chamomile bath to calm your body. Similarly, lavender oils and sprays are perfect for those who have trouble sleeping. 

Cumin Digestive Tea (Jeera Vellam)

In traditional Ayurveda - an ancient Indian form of medicine - this cumin digestive aid (Jeera Vellam) is consumed like water and is sipped throughout the day.

In Hindi, 'jeera' translates to 'cumin', while 'vellam' in this context means 'water'. Traditionally, Jeera Vellam is first consumed at the start of the day to help kickstart your metabolism. It is also often drank after a meal or after celebrations to help aid digestion. 

Also if you’re in need of a liver detox, the Cumin Digestive Aid may just be the answer. It’s filled with antioxidants to help excrete toxins from the body and help regulation. It’s also my answer to reflux, gas, diarrhoea and bloating.

The longer you allow the cumin seeds to soak in the water (if you have time, overnight is preferable), the more effective this drink can be. 

Anti-inflammatory hot toddy

Turmeric is one of the wonder foods we’ve heard so much about lately. The compound curcumin found within turmeric is the reason why. Curcumin is reported to reduce inflammation and pain in the digestive system.

Maybe you’ve tried making turmeric recipes before and you’ve noticed that it says to sprinkle on some black pepper?  Adding black pepper, like I do in this recipe, helps the body absorb and digest the curcumin due to its pungent piperine content. 

Black pepper has a myriad of anti-inflammatory properties too. It’s an antioxidant and anti-bacterial. 

This tea also contains ginger, which, combined with turmeric, can pacify the lining of the stomach and soothe the digestive tract. This is why both herbs are often prescribed as digestive aids in traditional medicine. Cinnamon helps balance the flavours, but also works to ease swelling after injury and lower blood sugar levels.

You’ll find these and many more recipes in my book Heal Your Gut.

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