10 Healthy Drink Ideas for a Healthy Gut
Hi, everybody! Today, we're talking about gut-healthy beverage ideas, and I want to share that number 10 is my favorite. I have a special trick for you at the end. So watch all the way through.
I'm Ashley Oswald, founder and a registered dietitian of Oswald Digestive Clinic where we help people improve and eliminate bothersome gut issues like gas, bloat, diarrhea, or constipation. And you can work with us. One of two ways. You can schedule an appointment to work with our clinic one-on-one or you can start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 ways to improve gut health. So let's dive right in to talk about these gut-friendly beverage ideas.
10 Healthy Drink Ideas for a Healthy Gut
So number one is infused water. If you haven't done this before, I think you're going to really enjoy it, especially in the summer months. So all you have to do is have a pitcher and put some berries or ginger as a really great kind of anti-inflammatory, healthy root.
So put them in the water before you go to bed. And then the next day drink from that pitcher. And that water's going to have a really wonderful flavor from whatever fruits or spices you decided to infuse into that water.
So you can look up all sorts of different combinations. You can just see what's in your fridge. What sounds good together? You could add cinnamon to it like I said, ginger, or you can add turmeric typically like mint and some sort of fruit is really refreshing for people.
Lime, Lemon, or Orange slice
Number two is just adding some lime or lemon or even an orange slice to your water. So in winter, I really like restaurants to just ask for a hot cup of water, because of course they typically will bring kind of a cold glass of water with ice. So I like just asking for a hot cup of water with some lemon or lime, you can just squeeze that into the water to make it more flavorable and more enjoyable to you.
So number three that I want to share is carbonated water. So for most people, carbonation is not going to impact gut health negatively. Tune into how you feel. You know, when you notice that when you drink carbonated waters, you have gut issues.
You know, especially if you have acid reflux, then certainly this isn't an option, a great option for you for everybody else, carbonated water, especially again in summer, it's really refreshing and can really help to mix up the beverage ideas.
And there's a company I really liked called splash where they add just a splash of real fruit juice. So you're not getting an overly high sugar content, which often is the issue with beverages for gut health. People are drinking a lot sugar more than they realize.
So this splash can be a really great alternative option. And also a lot of these companies making sparkling flavored waters, they're using natural artificial flavorings, which at the end of the day, we often just don't know what that is unless you call the company and dig deep.
And personally, I like to be safe rather than sorry about what I'm putting into my body. Especially since sometimes foods aren't the most "bestly" regulated in the United States. As in, you know, we don't have extensive research on some of these things like artificial sweeteners that we often see in beverages or even some of these artificial flavorings to really understand how it might be impacting, um, how our body functions.
So to me, thinking as close to nature as possible is going to be just this good kind of foundational path I would prefer to follow. So this company is called splash and there are other companies out there that are trying to do similar things as well.
So then number four that I want to share is tea. So there are a ton of different flavors of tea. Something you'll want to be cautious of here is the caffeine content.
So herbal tea has no caffeine. Green tea has a little black tea is one of the teas with the most caffeine. So if you're in our Heal Your Gut Course, we have a whole section on how sleep impacts gut health. And you might know that not getting proper sleep can negatively impact gut health in a variety of ways that we talk about in the course.
And so you'll want to be careful to not consume caffeine later in the day if you know that it might be impacting your sleep negatively and you might be doing this and not even realizing how it's negatively impacting your sleep. So anyway, there are a lot of herbal non-caffeinated tea options out there, or you could kind of make your own tea by getting fresh tea leaves.
You can slay some ginger into it and you can just throw a cinnamon stick into it. I also like using little pieces of licorice. If you have blood pressure issues, you might want to be cautious of that and, or a variety of just loose leaf teas that you can put into a stainless steel infuser and make into a tea.
Now, one that could be really nice for gut health is called golden milk. And this is a blend of herbs, Gaia Herbs has one of ginger and turmeric and different spices that can support and help to decrease inflammation in the body, which can certainly help with gut health and all over auto-immune sorts of challenges.
So you might want to look into that. I'll share a link to make it easy for you just to go to the Gaia herbs website. And then one of my favorite teas, and this will be great if you have a sweet tooth is called sweet and spicy by Good Earth. It's the combination of herbs spices that they have in this tea that makes it sweet. So it still doesn't have that high sugar content. And if you have a sweet tooth, you're going to definitely want to check that one out.
Now, next on the list is hot chocolate but using a healthier recipe, making it homemade. Now I wanted to include this one on the list because I see a lot of people enjoying hot chocolate during the winter months. And I think most people don't realize just how much sugar is in that hot chocolate, which can negatively impact their gut health and all over health.
But they also maybe don't realize that there are healthier recipes available. So I want to just share one with you today. That's super simple.
So one tablespoon cocoa powder, a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, and then full fat coconut milk, two taste. So if you want the flavor more watered down, add more, otherwise less, there are some optional ingredients I'll share at the end, a pinch of real sea salt, and then just hot water as well to taste.
Now, the optional ingredients are a quarter teaspoon of maca powder or you can add some monk fruit liquid sweetener. So just two to three drops to make it taste a little bit more like the sweet, hot chocolate that you're used to. You might even be able to substitute Stevia if you don't have the liquid sweetener of Monkfruit, but the flavor is different between the two, of course.
So add all the dry ingredients, your mug, fill the mug halfway with hot water and then blend with a little frother or with a spoon, add the coconut milk to taste, and then froth or stir. And let me know in the comments, if you end up trying that and what you think now.
The next one is coffee, and I will do a disclaimer. You know? Some people do have food sensitivities to some of these foods. I'm sharing. Food sensitivities, if we can optimize and improve gut health, sometimes they'll go away.
We sometimes have clients come to us, who can only eat maybe 10 foods, and then we help to improve their gut health. And then there are only maybe five to 10 foods that seem to still be triggering them, which is a significant difference, right?
So just wanted to add that there, but coffee, if it doesn't bother you, caution with the caffeine content, but black coffee could be an enjoyable alternative to just having water all day.
And certainly, pay attention to the quality that you're buying as well. There can be potential mold issues in coffee. So purity coffee is a really great brand. If you want to go quality and are concerned about the possible mold issues. Maybe you've had a mold issue in the past, or you suspect you're having some symptoms of that. So I'm going to just link that below for you to make it easy for you.
Electrolyte replacement beverage
Now, the next beverage I want to share is an electrolyte replacement beverage. If you are somebody who has chronic diarrhea, you're losing a lot of salts and electrolytes in that diarrhea. So it's really important to use an oral rehydration product to help replace those levels.
But as we might know, a lot of the ones on the market are not of great quality. They either have artificial sweeteners added or fake dyes and colorings, which we, again, just don't completely understand how those might be negatively impacting our bodies.
And so, I like to try to stay as close to mother nature as possible. And I want to share a recipe with you in case you or somebody in your family gets like acutely sick, or has a lot of diarrhea. This would be a great one to use instead of Pedialyte.
If somebody, you know is having chronic diarrhea, certainly you should look into the possible root causes and consider reaching out to our clinic too. So this homemade, kind of you you'd call a homemade Pedialyte I guess, or they go homemade electrolyte replacement beverage would be with chicken broth or any sort of bone broth.
So one dried broth cube with four cups of water, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and two tablespoons of sugar. Now electrolyte replacement beverages need to have a little sugar cause that helps those electrolytes cross the gut barrier. So that is actually an important component of the electrolyte replacement beverage.
Now the next one is a soda replacement. So this can be a really great one to help somebody taper down on soda intake, which probably is one of the leading intakes of sugar in our country alongside juice. I would suspect.
And this brand is called Zevia. So it's a soda made with Stevia which, depending upon the form of Stevia, is included as a little bit more natural, maybe less of the risk of some of the other artificial sweeteners.
You'll still want to sort of use this as a tool to taper off of soda, for example, because there is still some concern about taking in too much like fake sweet foods with this Stevia or other artificial sweeteners because it might still cause your body to adapt to that sweetness flavor and crave more and more of that sweetness versus being satisfied with the natural sweetness and different fruits and vegetables. So that's Zevia, it comes in all sorts of flavors. Can be used as a tool for tapering down on soda.
Hemp or Macadamia Milk
And number nine is hemp or macadamia milk to give you some of that creaminess, especially if you're not eating dairy products, I would say here to reach for the unsweetened versions because with some of these plant-based milks, there can still be a lot of sugar added and then last but not least.
Fruits and greens powders
And again, this is my favorite and it's the fruits and greens powders. If you haven't tried these, they're basically these powders of a bunch of different fruits and veggies, produce, powdered. And so it has a very similar flavor to juice, packed full of antioxidants comes in a variety of flavors, including lemonade and pink lemonade, and just can be really refreshing.
And a great replacement for, juice which is really typically high in sugars in lower and nutrient value. So I'm going to also link those below. I have a really cool story of that where I had a friend who was drinking a lot of juice, and organic juices, thinking they're healthy.
And we simply swapped that for this powder, which he doesn't do every day, maybe a few times a week, whenever he has a craving for juice and he lost 15 pounds without even trying. And he is at what would be considered kind of normal weight for his height. So it can be a really cool tool and an enjoyable swap, especially if you have kiddos who are really into juice, I bet that they would enjoy this just as much.
So now I want to share that trick that I promised you all. So if there's a beverage that you want to drink more of, try having it in a short glass or mug, and if there's a beverage you want to drink less of, have it in a tall skinny glass, so your brain is going to think you are drinking more than you really are in the tall skinny glass, and then vice versa, in the short, wide glass or mug.
So just kind of a little brain trick there. And how to know if you're drinking enough fluid like enough water? Well, basically the easiest way to know that is if your urine is a light yellow color. If you're taking B vitamins, it might be a fluorescent yellow, but as long as it's more watered down, that's what we're looking for. Certainly, there are some labs that we can use to check hydration like BUN creatinine, but that doesn't make sense to just follow to do on a daily basis. Just follow the color of your urine.
And in the morning it might be darker, but then throughout the day, if you're drinking enough water, it should be light yellow. If it's overly clear, then you might be drinking too much. And that could be dangerous. You could be watering down the sodium in your blood and people have actually passed out from that.