If you find that you need to loosen your belt by a notch or two or that suddenly your waistband is sitting a little too snugly, you are most likely bloated. It can be quite uncomfortable and is usually caused by overeating, excess gas caused by difficult to digest foods, swallowing air, or digestive troubles.
You may also find that you have some water retention which can make you look and feel bloated. This isn’t quite the same as actually being bloated but the term bloated is often used interchangeably for water retention and being bloated due to issues in the digestive tract. Eating too much salt, not drinking enough water, and hormonal fluctuations are the most common culprits.
While you can use medication to reduce bloating and doctors can prescribe diuretics to get rid of the water retention, these can have side effects. You can use a better and more natural method that takes care of both types of these issues. For centuries, experts in natural or alternative medicine have been recommending green tea for bloating and with good reason.
How Does Green Tea Help With Bloating?
Green tea can act as a prebiotic by feeding and increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut which helps to improve your digestion.
Green tea may be beneficial for lowering inflammation in the body (1). Bloating can also be caused by inflammation
Green tea increases the production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps the liver to detox the body (1). A build-up of toxins can cause inflammation and bloating.
Ways to Use Green Tea for Bloating and Gas
1. Plain Green Tea
Simply brew a cup of green tea. You can find green tea in most stores in tea bags, but in tea shops or other stores with a wide variety of teas, you will find the loose leaves. The box will have instructions on how to brew it, but if not, here you go:
Boil the kettle but don’t pour boiling water on the green tea. It will burn the leaves and make the tea bitter.
Rather wait a few minutes or put some cold water or an ice block in the cup before pouring the water.
Brew the tea for around 2 minutes. You can go longer if you wish but you run the risk of having bitter tea.
You can add some raw honey to your tea if you would like to sweeten it.
Try to avoid using milk as the milk blocks some of the antioxidant properties. Green tea is traditionally drunk with no milk or cream.
2. Green Tea and Lemon
Lemon has a diuretic effect, so if you are struggling with water retention this remedy is great. Lemon has also been shown to boost the health properties of tea, in particular, green tea, as the vitamin C helps the body to absorb more of the antioxidants in the tea (3).
Lemon can also have a slight laxative effect in some people especially if eaten so if you struggle with constipation, lemon may be helpful to you (4). Simply add a slice or squeeze some fresh lemon juice into your tea and enjoy.
3. Green Tea and Lime
Just as lemon contains vitamin C and helps to get rid of water, so does lime.
4. Green Tea and Orange
Same goes for oranges which are hydrating and often given to athletes during halftime for an energy boost as well.
5. Green Tea and Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a bit of an acquired taste but if you enjoy it, use it to flavor your green tea and reap the added extra benefits from the vitamin C.
6. Green Tea and Berries
Berries pack a powerful punch when it comes to antioxidants and they also contain vitamin C. Add a few to your green tea for a tasty drink and eat them when you’re done. They will lower inflammation in your body and give you fiber to keep you regular (4).
7. Green Tea and Pineapple
This also makes a great iced tea in the summer. An enzyme in pineapple called bromelain improves digestion. Put a few cubes into your green tea for flavor and eat them when you’re done. You can even freeze them first and use them as ice blocks in your iced green tea.
8. Green Tea and Peppermint
Peppermint has a soothing effect on the digestive system and reduces bloating (5). Simply add a few peppermint leaves to your cup along with your green tea and brew them together. You can leave the peppermint in the tea but the flavor can become very intense. You can just use fewer leaves or take them out once you are happy with the flavor of your tea.
9. Green Tea and Chai Spices
Chai tea is usually a blend of ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg. All these spices have a carminative effect meaning they help to get rid of excess gas and they also have antibacterial effects which can kill of bad bacteria in your gut and improve digestion (6, 7, 8, 9).
You can either find a chai tea blend made with green tea in a store or you can make your own. For one cup just use a pinch of each of these spices in their ground form and brew them along with your green tea. You can also adjust the amount of spices according to your taste.
10. Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is a powdered form of green tea from Japan that is even more powerful than the regular green tea. You can use it to make tea, but you can also get creative and use in the following ways:
Make a latte: If milk isn’t something that triggers bloating for you, a matcha green latte can be delicious. You can also use your favorite plant milk to make your latte.
Add it to smoothies: Make smoothies and juices with cucumber, celery, parsley, banana, kiwi, papaya, lemon, ginger, cardamom, and yogurt. All of these foods either help with water retention and/or digestive problems (10). Add a spoon of matcha green tea.
Matcha lemonade: Make some lemonade by squeezing the juice of half a fresh lemon into a glass of water. Add some honey or stevia and a spoon of matcha powder. You can also add a few mint leaves.
Sprinkle over food: Sprinkle matcha powder over cereals, eggs, tofu scramble, or veggies.
Tips and Precautions
Green tea is safe for most people. If you are very sensitive to caffeine or are pregnant, you may want to keep your intake low. Green tea contains around 35 mg of caffeine per cup which is low but keep in mind that other things such as coffee, cocoa, black tea, and soft drinks also contain caffeine (11).
While you can find green tea supplements, they are highly concentrated. Given the above recommendation, stick to drinking the tea rather.
Keep a food diary to see which foods cause the most bloating. You can then eat less of those foods or eat them less frequently.
Cut out processed foods as much as possible as these don’t do much for your health and can cause digestive distress. Fizzy drinks also increase gas in your system.
If you are trying to cut out sugar but have started using xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol and the like, this might be what’s causing your bloating as they often cause stomach upset or gas during digestion.
If you have changed your diet, for example, eating more fiber or including beans or a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli in your diet, you should experience fewer symptoms as your body gets used to them. But also note that you should increase your intake slowly. If you suddenly eat a lot of these foods your stomach will struggle to digest them.
Eat smaller meals as they are easier to digest. Instead of 3 large meals have 4-6 smaller meals per day.
Stay well hydrated.
If your bloating continues for a long period of time or is accompanied by pain or bloody, frothy, grey, or slimy stools, see your doctor. You may have an underlying condition or food allergies.
Green tea for bloating not for you? Check out these awesome remedies. Please let us know what you have found most useful for getting rid of bloating or share your favorite green tea recipes with us. For more teas you can try check out this article. <insert tea link>
Jane Scott grew up on a farm in California and is a crossover between a country girl and an evangelist for healthier living. She’s a nutritionist who preaches that healthy living need not be complicated.
She believes that by exercising regularly, eating mostly non-processed foods (with plenty of vegetables), and using home remedies for the small things and doctor’s advice for the big things, almost anybody can feel great and live a happier and healthier life. She’s excited to share her knowledge of natural remedies and healthier living on HRFL.
In her spare time, Jane enjoys cooking and watching bad rom-coms. She also loves nuts, and is a bit of a nut herself when it comes to Yoga, which she’s a little too obsessed with in the opinion of her friends and family.