Do you love your coffee but dread the side effects of coffee? Such as...
I hear ya!
Honestly, I love my morning coffee too!
And sometimes herbal tea just isn't going to cut the mustard 😂
But coffee is something I am mindful of drinking because it is a stimulant. Stimulants put us on "high alert" and can leave us feeling frazzled.
I'm mindful of how coffee makes me feel and if I'm already feeling stressed or anxious, or about to deliver a workshop (where I don't need the added stress), I skip it and choose chicory coffee instead.
The thing is, good quality coffee CAN be a healthy choice for gut health.
It's a source of polyphenols, which helps reduce inflammation in the gut and caffeine (in small doses) can help with focus and concentration. Research also found that people who drank coffee and/or tea had the lowest incidence of stroke or dementia.
But coffee effects everyone differently and it may not be the best choice for you.
Read on to find out more about the symptoms of caffeine intolerance and my favourite satisfying coffee alternative, a chicory latte!
Is coffee good or bad for IBS?
The side effects of coffee can range from an upset stomach, to sudden diarrhoea, and even an irritated bladder.
Here are a few unpopular side effects of coffee. Do any of these resonate with you?
❌ Sends you rushing to the loo (Coffee has a laxative effect. Careful if you already have sensitive pipes 💩💩💩)
❌ Triggers your gastritis or acid reflux 🔥😫 (Coffee is very acidic and can irritate your stomach)
❌ Irritates your bladder and flares your interstitial cystitis (IC) 🚾(It's a diuretic and acidic)
❌ Leaves you feeling anxious and jittery 😰😨(Coffee triggers the release of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline)
❌ Has you riding that rollercoaster of energy highs and lows 🎢 😨(It's a stimulant)
❌ Increases your blood pressure and risk of heart palpitations 🤎
But you crave a nice hot frothy drink and dread cutting back? 😳
Don’t worry. I have the solution for you!
There’s no need to miss out on steamy hot drinks while healing your gut or dealing with a sensitive bladder or bowel.
My chicory latte recipe is a tummy-friendly take on the regular latte and it's naturally caffeine free. Scroll down to get the recipe 👇
Chicory Latte Recipe
What you'll need:
Check out a video I made: How to make a chicory latte here.
Not drinking coffee every day has helped me with feelings of overwhelm (linked to stress). I've written more on the impact of stress on our gut here.
Let me know if you're going to try chicory coffee! ☕️ 😍
All ingredients are available at Planet Organic. Simply use MARY15 for 15% off each time you shop 🛍 💝 This chicory coffee is gluten free.
What is chicory coffee?
Chicory is a plant that belongs to the same family as dandelions.
The chicory root is roasted, and ground and the powder can be used to make a hot drink that tastes similar to (instant) coffee.
Like coffee, chicory is naturally bitter in flavour, making it a useful coffee substitute.
Does chicory coffee taste good?
Chicory coffee brings the bitterness of coffee (which I love) but without the side-effects of caffeine. I would describe chicory coffee as having a similar depth of flavour and bitterness to an instant coffee.
Chicory coffee is also a brilliant prebiotic replacement for black tea or coffee and won't leave you anxious or jittery.
Health benefits of chicory coffee
A source of prebiotics for your gut bugs
Chicory root coffee contains inulin, a type of prebiotic fibre that feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut which play a role in reducing inflammation, and fighting harmful bacteria.
Less stress and anxiety
Chicory coffee is naturally caffeine free. Unlike regular coffee, chicory won't trigger the stress response and send you into "fight or flight" mode with a racing heart beat or anxious feelings.
I've added a powdered mushroom mix to my chicory coffee for extra immune and stress support.
Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, cordyceps and maitake provide a wonderful mix of active ingredients, including β-glucan, shown to calm stress, strengthen immunity and protect against inflammation. Reishi is particularly helpful for strengthening our resilience to stress.
Mushrooms are reported to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular-protective, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer properties. If you're a fan of eating mushrooms you may like to try out my favourite dairy-free mushroom stroganoff recipe.
Smoother bowel movements
I've chosen to add extra prebiotic powder to my chicory latte as it's an opportunity to feed my gut bugs, without altering the flavour of the chicory coffee (but this is optional). I use partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG).
PHGG is particularly helpful if you fluctuate between constipation and diarrhoea as it helps regulate your intestinal pipes. ⚖️💩 PHGG is also a low-fodmap prebiotic powder which is generally well tolerated.
PHGG can be used as:
PHGG has been shown to be helpful in cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), particularly in IBS-D (diarrhoea), where it was found to improve the consistency of the stool and increase the abundance of friendly bacteria in the gut. Check out this study. And in another study, PHGG showed improvements in bloating and gas. Find out more about the causes of bloating and gas in my previous blog here.
Balanced hormones and stable energy levels
Avoiding fluctuations in blood sugar (by minimising your use of stimulants like coffee) means less anxiety and jitters because your stress hormones are more balanced.
Chicory coffee is also a good substitute for coffee if you’re peri- or menopausal as coffee can be a trigger of hot flushes.
What are the side effects of chicory coffee?
Chicory coffee is a source of fibre and prebiotic inulin so while it's generally well tolerated, it may encourage more regular bowel movements initially as the balance of bacteria in your gut adjusts.
Chicory coffee also stimulates bile from the gallbladder and this can have a very mild laxative effect (good news if you're constipated!)
If you have a sensitive stomach or struggle with chronic diarrhoea, start with half a dose and build up gradually to the full dosage.
If you're really struggling with excessive bloating, gas and diarrhoea, consider working with me 1-1. I can help you figure out your best dietary options.
Hello! Welcome to Stellar Health
I hope you have fun exploring my recipes and feel inspired to experiment with them. Here you will see examples of how I cook with some of my recommended ingredients and experience the benefits for yourself.