Gut health is becoming an increasingly popular topic and people search for reasons behind digestive issues.
While there are several gut-friendly foods you can eat to help keep your digestive system healthy, like oats, fruit, vegetables, and even wholemeal bread, coffee has also been shown to offer several gut health benefits.
From helping shift bowel movements to providing good bacteria for your gut, here are the positive effects that coffee can have on your gut health.
1. It keeps your digestive system moving
One important function to good gut health is keeping everything moving, which means regular visits to the loo.
Coffee is a natural stimulant that has some laxative effects which can help keep you regular.
"Drinking coffee can increase muscle contractions in your colon in four minutes, in turn triggering the urge to rush to the loo," Beanies spokesperson Lucy Ward says.
"Bear in mind that its gut-stimulating effect is usually stronger in the morning. This is because the body’s process of emptying the stomach, as well as your colon contractions, are slower when you’re asleep.
"As you wake up and get moving, so does your colon – pair that with the effects of a cup of coffee, and the urge to sit on the porcelain will be quite significant."
2. It increases gastric motility
As coffee can stimulate muscles in the digestive tract, this means that it can speed up the transit of food through the digestive system.
This in turn reduces the risk of bloating and stomach ache which are common digestive ailments.
3. It keeps your gut microbiome healthy
Gut microbiome is the bacteria that is found in our gut that can be both helpful and detrimental to our wellbeing.
Most of the time, if your gut microbiome is properly balanced then these bacteria can co-exist without causing any issues, but foods that are high in sugar or highly processed can throw this off balance.
Yet, coffee can actually help to restore this balance as one study found that the gut microbiome of people who regularly drink coffee is healthier than those who drink it in small amounts or who do not drink it at all.
4. It enhances bile production
Bile is essential for breaking down fats, ensuring smooth digestion, and absorbing vitamins - and coffee consumption can increase bile production.
One study found that coffee stimulates gastric, bile, and pancreatic secretions, which makes it ‘favourable’ for the first steps of the digestive process.
How much coffee should you drink per day?
While you might be thinking the more the merrier when it comes to coffee consumption, the NHS recommends consuming no more than four cups of coffee per day as it can increase your blood pressure.
Other health professionals advise not drinking coffee past 2pm to allow the caffeine to leave your system before going to sleep at night, and to be mindful of any sugar or additives you may be adding to your coffee as these can be harmful to gut health.
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