Can’t Poop? Fight Constipation With Tea Polyphenols
Nothing puts a dent in your day like a painful, inconvenient, time-consuming bowel movement, are we right? Constipation can seem like more of an annoyance than anything (and one that makes you cranky). But as a sign of sluggish digestion, diminished motility could also indicate that something more serious is going on with your body— such as gut dysbiosis or low thyroid function. (1) While everyone’s digestive systems are different, it’s suggested a lack of healthy gut bacteria may be a common cause. (2)
Research suggests the occasional stretch of irregularity is quite common. Most of us have probably experienced travel constipation, or noticed a poop decline with high stress levels or new medication. However, since the gut is the foundation of a healthy body, it’s important to pay attention to your elimination habits— and get your gut back in check when things start to slow down.
Our customers use a tried-and-true 4 step process as an effective way to heal the gut when struggling with constipation, even when it’s chronic. We also like to suggest a powerful group of antioxidants found in brewed tea, which has been shown to support healthy digestion and elimination. We’ll look closer at how tea polyphenols can help you poop like clockwork, but first, how do you know you’re constipated?
How To Tell if You’re Constipated
Most research agrees that 1-3 bowel movements per day is ideal, and constipation is characterized by less than three BM’s per week. But in addition to frequency, the quality and form of your poop are equally— if not more— important. If you’re pooping every day and it’s a mini series of pebbles, you may still be constipated.
The best way to find out is to refer to the Bristol Stool Chart. It’s a great way to start familiarizing yourself with the health of your poop and conducting your own gut health checks. The Bristol Stool Chart explains on a scale of 1-7 the form and color healthy poop takes on, and when your poop is screaming for attention.
To start improving your digestion, elimination (and the quality of your poop), let’s take a look at one of the best natural remedies for fighting constipation: Tea polyphenols.
How Tea Polyphenols Can Help You Poop
A well-formed, healthy poop (think: painless to pass, and resembles a big brown banana) is said to indicate the presence of healthy gut bacteria. Therefore, one of the best ways to improve your digestion and elimination is to start increasing the probiotics in your system.
While you may think of taking a supplement to get the job done, chances are you already have a powerful, probiotic rich beverage waiting to be brewed in your cupboard. Yes, we’re talking about tea— in particular, tea polyphenols.
Tea is one of the richest sources of polyphenols, which are antioxidants best known for promoting heart health and longevity. (3) However, a little known fact about tea polyphenols is that when absorbed, they can actually increase healthy gut bacteria and reduce harmful bacteria— which is key for repairing gut health, and promoting regular digestion and elimination.
Let’s take a look at the research. One study showed that both green and black tea polyphenols increased strains of healthy gut bacteria in animals that were associated with lean muscle mass, such as lactobacillus, and reduced the strains of gut bacteria associated with obesity (4). Not too shabby. Additionally, tea polyphenols have been shown to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, which further supports their probiotic action. (5)
Black tea, however, may be the gold medalist for boosting gut health. Why? You could say it has to do with black tea’s “biology”.
You see, black tea polyphenols are larger than other tea polyphenols. They’re too big to be absorbed in the small intestine. Instead, they’re forced to stay in the digestive tract for longer periods of time while they wait to be broken down.
It’s during this “delay” that black tea polyphenols feed healthy gut bacteria, which helps them grow and repopulate. (6) In this sense, black tea polyphenols also act as a prebiotic— the nutrient required to feed probiotics, which are often found in fibrous plant foods.
While black tea is the richest source of polyphenols, all varieties of tea will contain moderate amounts— including green, white, and hibiscus tea.
Certain teas are also high in oxalates. So it’s very important to note that for some with gut issues, they may have a tough time processing the high oxalate levels. Oxalates produced by the body and in food can be a major factor as to why those with gut issues have unresolved symptoms.
Healthy Guidelines for a Healthy Gut
At BE, we follow 7 universal principles for eating and healing in order to establish a thriving inner ecosystem. And while tea polyphenols can help fight constipation, it’s important to realize that the foundation of a healthy gut is a diet rich in fermented foods as well as a variety of plant foods. (7) And in the case of tea’s, the principles of uniqueness and step-by-step are important to look at.
The Principle of Uniqueness. As humans, we share so many similarities with one another, but your body is unique. Each of us is an experiment of one and for that reason, you may need to modify certain elements of any diet or lifestyle to suit your own individuality. While the Body Ecology program recommends a specific protocol for restoring balance in your body, any time you try a new way of eating, it’s vital to observe your body’s reactions and assess whether this new path is bringing you back toward balance.
For those on Stage 1 of the Body Ecology Diet (BED), we normally recommend removing caffeine from a diet or atleast choosing a tea that is less caffeinated. As you move on to Stage 2, this is where you can add in more caffeine, provided your body responds well to it.
The Principle of Step-by-Step. Just as it takes time to get out of balance, it also takes time to rebuild your health. You cannot expect instant healing, but making small, consistent changes gives your body the foundation it needs to support optimal, long-term health. Starting any new program is about creating new habits. It takes time and effort, which can sometimes feel hard. The key is to take everything step-by-step. Incorporate one healing principle (or even one element of a healing principle) at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Take care of yourself by going at the pace that feels right to you.
Recommended Tea Polyphenols – Pique Tea
With that said, one of the teas that we think is a great option to consider is Pique Tea – a convenient, pure, and high-quality tea with superior testing. When you’re drinking something every day, you want to make sure it is pure. Pique Tea is the only tea company to Triple Toxin Screen for heavy metals, toxic mold and pesticides.
They use a Cold Brew Crystallization (which eliminates all heat and extracts the maximum antioxidant capacity of tea leaves) to create unique Tea Crystals which deliver up to 12 times the antioxidants of regular tea (verified by 3rd-party testing) so you’re getting the most out of each brew.
Their teas are also organic, additive and sugar-free, and dissolve in warm or cold water, giving you a powerful, clean, and perfectly brewed cup of tea on-the-go.
Since you’re part of the Body Ecology tribe, you can get up to 20% off their Tea Crystals (with purchase) plus free shipping!
Here’s to good gut health!