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20 May 2019

Can Green Tea Help With Bloating?

Bloating. We’re all familiar with it. Whether it’s from fizzy drinks or too much broccoli, those feelings of fullness, tightness, and a hard and swollen abdomen are inconvenient at best and painful at worst.

The dreaded bloat can strike at any time and for all sorts of reasons. But although it can be difficult to deal with, we’re not entirely ill-equipped to fight back.

Amongst many other remedies, some people believe that consuming green tea can be an effective method for combating the symptoms of bloating. So in this post we’re going to take a closer look to see if this popular tea really is effective for deflating bloated bellies.  

A natural diuretic

Diuretics make us urinate. And the more we urinate, the more excess water our bodies get rid of. Some people believe that green tea works as a diuretic, however, there isn’t a huge amount of evidence to support this claim.

The basis is that the caffeine in green tea is what contains the diuretic properties. However, a study found that caffeine consumption only affected participants’ urine volume when consumed in 360mg doses.

To put that figure into context, the average 230ml cup of green tea contains around 35mg of caffeine. So that would amount to consuming more than 10 cups per day (based on the results of the study) before seeing any effect.

There are, however, several herbs that are well known for their natural diuretic properties. These include dandelion, horsetail, parsley, and nettle. So from an anti-bloating perspective, any of the aforementioned may be worth trying. And if you can find them in a green tea blend, all the better!

A digestion aid

Green tea contains catechins and polyphenols, which may contribute to healthy digestion. This is good considering that, according to studies, constipation (a common digestive problem) can actually emphasise symptoms of bloating.

It’s also believed by some that the antioxidants found in green tea contribute to cell function and help the body clear itself of waste. This ultimately makes for healthier gut functioning and a smoother digestion process.

Green tea also contains vitamins B, C, and E, which may all contribute to digestive health.

Anti-gas tea

Let’s talk about it. Gas. It’s a problem we all face (some more than others), but it’s not without its remedies.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, gas is caused by food being broken down in the large intestine instead of being digested in the small intestine.

Some gas-inducing foods to watch out for include beans and lentils, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, lactose, corn, pasta, potatoes, and Sorbitol (the artificial sweetener).

Some people believe green tea to be useful in this regard, as one of its traditional applications is apparently to treat gas. However, there are several herbal teas that may be more effective at warding off gas; three of which are peppermint, lemon balm, and chamomile.

Solutions beyond the teapot

Bloating is not an uncommon experience. More often than not, it’s caused by diet and/or food intolerances. But there are occasions when bloating can be caused by a more serious underlying problem. With that in mind, please remember to consult a healthcare professional if bloating is an ongoing problem for you.

Otherwise, some other potential bloat remedies include:

Eating smaller portions.

Eating slower.

Cutting down on high-FODMAP foods.  

Taking peppermint oil.

Swallowing less air (try not to talk and eat at the same time; cut down on fizzy drinks and chewing gum).

All in all, green tea may prove useful as a bloating remedy for some people. However it’s unlikely to be the most effective method, and certainly, there are other options out there (at least in terms of tea) that could prove beneficial too.

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