Teabird Ashley is following the FODMAP diet, check out what she has to say below!
Greetings fellow tea-lovers!
I am a member of the Bird & Blend team, and one of my favourite aspects of the job is getting to sample all the amazing teas, having so much choice, and being encouraged to drink on the job!
After having struggled with an array of tummy and other health issues for years, I recently decided to do something about it. I had to stop letting myself believe it was a 20-something’s prerogative to carry on in the same care-free manner just because I was- quote: “too young to have such problems” or prioritise them, even though they were slapping me in the face…or rather, the gut!
When I made the decision to consult my GP, I was not expecting to be instructed to try a new diet, as I’ve always been an ‘everything in moderation’ kinda girl, and didn’t consider there to be anything wrong with my eating habits, having convinced myself that my issues were medical and not nutritional.
As such, I was extremely sceptical about following the restrictive FODMAP free diet I was placed on, and had already decided to blow it off after a few weeks since I was SO sure it wouldn’t help…Unfortunately, now that I’m a few weeks in, I have to sheepishly admit that it really has made a dramatic difference to my symptoms, as much as it pains me to scorn my beloved ‘Peppermint Cream’ Bird & Blend Tea blend, among other things!
What is FODMAP diet?
For anyone reading this who hasn’t started the low FODMAP lifestyle yet or doesn’t know much about it, FODMAP stands for ‘Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols.’ The whole idea is to cut out certain ingredients from your diet which have high levels of these fermentable carbohydrates (which are poorly absorbed by nearly everyone), and then reintroduce these ‘triggers’ one by one to test what your individual body can handle. While you’re in the initial 4-8 week restriction period, there are many things which contain high levels of FODMAP’s which you need to avoid, and I’ve had to learn the hard way that this stretches to include some of my most loved tea blends.
Which Bird & Blend teas can you enjoy when following FODMAP?
Below is a list of all Bird & Blend Tea Co’s lovely blends, and I have colour-coded it to indicate which teas are good-to-go or no-go’s! As those of you already following the FODMAP diet will know, every food/drink item is colour-coded using the Traffic Light System of Green/Yellow/Red to indicate whether each ingredient is fine to consume, consume with caution in moderation, or not at all. I have modified this system to include two extra colours.
Light green indicates teas which ought to be green but which contain caffeine and thus must be kept to 3 or fewer a day. There are also some specific ingredients in tea blends that those following a strict low FODMAP diet should avoid, but it is important to note that the amount of these ingredients in one cup of tea would be trace, and that unless you’re eating the steeped ingredients (which we don’t recommend, coz yuck!), you should be fine!
With our Bird & Blend Tea blends that fall into this category, I have coloured them orange to indicate that in theory they should be red, but because the level of high FODMAP ingredients is so insignificant, it should be fine!
While tea is totally allowed on a low FODMAP diet (thank the lord!), there are still a few general rules/guidance.
First of all, it should be noted than any caffeinated drink can cause IBS issues, and so if you know caffeine irritates your tummy, it’s best to avoid teas with caffeine altogether.
Thankfully, most people are able to tolerate caffeine, and so most people, even those following a strictly low FODMAP diet can have up to 3 caffeinated teas per day, and as much caffeine free tea as they’d like. Yay! So you can still have your morning cup of tea, afternoon pick me up, and after work cuppa!
Bird & Blend offers a huge range of blends which are naturally caffeine free, so there’s plenty of choice!
There are however some types of tea that are to be avoided entirely, regardless of whether or not they are caffeine free. These include: Chamomile Dandelion (unless weak and limited intake) Fennel Chicory Root All Oolong teas Powdered Chai (unless weak and limited intake)
If a limited intake is suggested, it means you should go for a cup rather than a mug-sized portion.
You’d be surprised to learn that the amount of time you steep your tea for can also affect the FODMAP level, so if in doubt, brew it weak rather than strong. Hopefully this post will take the stress out of choosing FODMAP friendly cuppas, as after all: “tea is a drink that relieves thirst and dissipates sorrow!”