Missing Coffee? What are the Alternatives?
As soon as I had gastritis symptoms my GP told me one of the main things to avoid was caffeine, so that was Coffee and tea out the window. Chocolate is also a no-go, and even De-Caff coffee has negative effects on gastritis sufferers. So I needed to find another hot drink for those times you just really need one.
Why you should avoid Coffee?
When you drink Coffee especially on an empty stomach, which lots of people do particularly in the morning it makes the body produce more hydrochloric acid. When there is no food in your stomach (or even when there is ) this can do harm to your stomach lining, giving you issues like indigestion and gastritis. Plus caffeine found in coffee can irritate the stomach too.
How about decaf coffee instead?
Unfortunately, decaf coffee is still acidic and still contains a small amount of caffeine, and although it’s only a small amount, it can be enough to cause more irritation. So should be avoided until your stomach is healed.
If you really can’t do without your morning coffee, lots of people use chicory root alternatives, it tastes pretty good, even looks like coffee grounds and you at least feel like you are having a cup of the real thing. I have recently purchased this whole earth one and it’s really tasty.
There are different ways of preparing it but I brew mine in a coffee maker. You can drink black, but I like it with almond milk, cinnamon, and a bit of coconut sugar or honey. It’s really good and the taste is much closer to coffee than I thought it would be.
Cold brew coffee
It is said that Cold brew coffee is 67% less acidic than regular coffee. Not to be confused with iced coffee, Cold-brew coffee is made by brewing ground coffee beans in water (room temperature) for six to 12 hours. This makes a coffee concentrate that you can then mix with cold water or milk.
Low acid coffee
This is not something I often drink, but I know people who can’t live without their coffee swear by this.
I bought it after it was recommended to me by some fellow gastritis sufferers. It’s very tasty and good for an occasional treat. Puroast Low Acid Ground Coffee, Mocha Java Flavor.
Gastritis friendly hot drinks
Many of the herbal teas I found were fruity which for some reason just doesn’t agree with me. Someone recommended Peppermint tea but although this can be good for IBS sufferers, it can actually make certain symptoms such as heartburn worse, so I decided to avoid this.
After trying various teas I came across camomile tea, with its well-known properties that help you sleep and relax, as well as being a possible anti-inflammatory, I felt this was the one for me. It took me a while to get to enjoy the taste but now I love it and I generally have 3 or 4 cups a day.
I always add a large slice of fresh root ginger to my cup of Camomile tea. I let the teabag brew for about 5 minutes and then remove it, but I leave the slice of Ginger in and let its goodness brew for as long as possible.
Ginger has many powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it helps aid digestion and is great at alleviating nausea, which is why it’ss often recommended to pregnant women with morning sickness.
It is also believed to help speed up the emptying of the stomach after a meal, food sitting in the stomach can be a major contributing factor to indigestion.
In one 2011 study taken by people with Functional dyspepsia were given either a placebo or Ginger capsule and then after an hour given some soup. People that had taken the ginger took 12.3 minutes to empty their stomach, whereas those that took the placebo took 16.1 minutes.
As mentioned above I add a slice of ginger to my camomile tea and its delicious, but you can just add a slice to boiling water and let it seep for 5-10 minutes.
Benefits of giving up coffee
I know it’s hard for many to give up their daily coffee, some people really come to rely on that caffeine boost to get them started each day and stopping it can leave some with withdrawal headaches and a lack of energy at first. But not only will your stomach thank you for it there are other health benefits too.
Less anxious and in a better mood – Although at first, you may feel more anxious and jittery as your body adjusts to less caffeine, give it a couple of weeks and you will notice you feel calmer and will stop feeling your heart racing. People can often feel tired and not in the best mood when they haven’t had a coffee, so their emotions can be very up and down. Avoiding caffeine will help even out your emotions.
Fewer headaches – Withdrawl headaches are very common when you stop having caffeine. These may appear within 12-24 hours after your last coffee. Some may be mild but some may be pounding migraine-type headaches. Drink plenty of water, keeping hydrated will help keep these at bay. The headaches will usually go within 2-9 days. After this initial period, many people notice they suffer from less regular headaches than they did whilst drinking coffee.
Sleeping better – It’s very common for people to report that their sleep improves greatly after cutting caffeine from their lives. Several studies have shown that if someone has caffeine even 6 hours before bed, it can impact their sleep cycle.