When you’re hoping to restore your gut health, you might assume coffee is one of the first things that needs go. The caffeine and acidity levels have a bad reputation for causing tummy troubles — but don’t toss your grounds out just yet! It turns out, you can still enjoy your morning java and even use it to give your microbiome a boost with a few surprising add-ins.
Will Bulsiewicz, MD, a gastroenterologist and author of Fiber Fueled ($25.65, Amazon), recently shared his gut healthy coffee tips on Instagram. “Coffee itself isn’t the problem,” he explains. “But rather, it’s the garbage we add to it. Artificial sweeteners, dairy milk, sugar on sugar, syrups, more sugar — the list goes on and on.”
Instead of those “garbage” additions, Dr. Bulsiewicz recommends opting for a few spices: cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.
Cinnamon probably doesn’t sound too crazy — it’s one of the usual sprinkle options often found on coffee shop counters. It also acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help keep your blood sugar balanced on top of benefiting your microbiome.
Ginger and turmeric, on the other hand, might be more surprising suggestions. However, they both pack potent anti-inflammatory perks that can help keep our gut happy (and maybe even lose a little weight). Turmeric also has a slightly sweet flavor that can help when going without sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Bulsiewicz doesn’t list specific recommended amounts of the spices per coffee cup, but we gave it a try with a few pinches of each. Even as someone who usually hates cinnamon, I was pleasantly surprised by how nice they all tasted together in my morning coffee! I used ground ginger, but I’m sure grating fresh from a root would also work. And it is definitely the strongest flavor of the three, but the turmeric balanced it out — and both helped hide the cinnamon well enough that I didn’t even notice it while letting each one provide their health perks.
For those who are reluctant to go completely without more traditional add-ins, Bulsiewicz recommends simply swapping them out with healthier natural alternatives, like stevia or monkfruit for sweetness, or soy or oat milk rather than dairy. And don’t forget to stay hydrated with plenty of water, too!
You can follow Bulsiewicz on Instagram for more of his simple and sometimes surprising gut health tips.
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, FirstForWomen.com.