Next to water, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world. And, it’s no wonder! Tea has many health benefits, is a soothing beverage to drink anytime and is quite easy to prepare. If you are a tea drinker on a low FODMAP diet, you may have some questions. I’m here to provide a summary of low FODMAP teas you can enjoy anytime!
As a dietitian who is experienced in guiding people on a low FODMAP diet, I will help you understand which teas you can enjoy or should avoid, talk a bit about caffeinated teas and discuss common tea add-ins that you’ll need to consider as well.
I’m ready to spill the tea!
Teas to Enjoy on a Low FODMAP Diet
Let’s run through the list of teas that are approved to drink while on a low FODMAP diet. Although tea is technically only made from the Camellia sinensis plant, we will include all herbal infusions here to keep things simple:
- Black tea– Low in FODMAPs, this tea is ok so long as you don’t steep it for too long. Short steeping time keeps the amount of FODMAPs leaked into the water to a minimum. Black tea contains L-theanine, and is great if you need something to wake you up, leaving you calm, alert and ready to conquer!
- Green tea– One of the more popular teas, this option is low FODMAPS approved as well. It’s well-known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties thanks to high levels of antioxidants.
- White tea– With a taste that is less aggressive than black or green tea, white tea gives you a subtle boost of energy and is totally ok on a low FODMAP diet. It’s a great option to sip throughout the day as it’s high in antioxidants, benefits hair and teeth health and may aid in weight loss.
- Peppermint tea– This minty and sweet tea is fun to drink and low-FODMAP-friendly. It contains menthol which is great for soothing an upset stomach, especially for those suffering from IBS.
- Ginger tea– With slightly spicy and sweet notes, ginger is another low FODMAP approved tea choice. It improves circulation, helps the body detox and promotes digestion. It’s a great option to have between dinner and bedtime.
Teas to Avoid on Low FODMAP Diet
Now, let’s run through the list of teas to avoid while on a low FODMAP diet. If any of these are your go-to try experimenting with one of the above approved options for a good swap!
- Chamomile– Being really high in FODMAPs, this is definitely one you want to avoid. If you’re looking for something calming to have before bed, try swapping it out with peppermint tea.
- Oolong– With medium to high FODMAP content, skip this tea as well. White tea could provide a nice, mild alternative to Oolong.
- Fennel– Often drunk to help speed up digestion, this is unfortunately another one to avoid on a low FODMAP diet. Instead, have some ginger tea which is low in FODMAPs and also aids in digestion.
- Chai– Chai is made with black tea, spices and milk. Traditional chai would be high in FODMAPs. However, if you use a low FODMAP milk or milk alternative, and keep the spices low FODMAP, you can enjoy this beverage in moderation and not in the initial phases of the low FODMAP diet.
A Note on Caffeine
In general, coffee is low FODMAP. However, caffeine can be a gut and bladder irritant to many people, especially those with IBS. If you sense that you are sensitive to caffeine, it is best to stay away from it.
If caffeine is not an issue for you, it’s ok on a Low FODMAP diet if you have it black or with a FODMAP friendly milk substitute.
Tea Add-Ins on a Low FODMAP Diet
Another aspect to be conscious of when drinking tea is what you are adding to it. If you drink your tea plain, that is great. If you usually add stuff to it, read on for some of my low FODMAP diet tea tips.
- When possible, I recommend drinking plain tea without any additions to it. Even if you usually don’t drink it like this, try it out for a few drinks and you may be surprised that you’ll come to enjoy it!
- When adding cream or milk choose lactose free or low FODMAP dairy alternatives, such as almond milk.
- Avoid adding honey to tea because it is high in fructose, and therefore not FODMAP friendly.
Just because you’re on a Low FODMAP diet, does not mean all your comfort foods and beverages need to be abandoned. On the contrary, finding alternatives that work within your diet is what I specialize in doing as a dietitian.
As always, if you’d like more guidance on your gut-healing journey, feel free to reach out to me, Marie Murphy, MS, RD!