The One Ingredient a Leading Gastroenterologist Wants You To Add to Your Coffee for Optimal Gut Health


If thereโ€™s one thing Will Bulsiewicz, MD, a gastroenterologist, bestselling author of The Fiber Fueled Cookbook, and U.S. medical director of Zoe, is passionate aboutโ€”aside from the gut microbiomeโ€”itโ€™s coffee. In fact, Dr. Bulsiewicz says it’s one of his two favorite gut-healthy drinks for healthy digestion that he enjoys daily. (Take that, kombucha.)

But when we asked Dr. Bulsiewicz for his go-to coffee shop order, he gave us some intel that you can use when making coffee at home. The one ingredient he likes adding to his coffee: “Cinnamon,” he says. “It’s the one ingredient everyone has in their spice rack.”

Delicious, shelf-stable, and easy to find in nearly any grocery storeโ€”there’s a lot to love about adding cinnamon to your coffee. But Dr. Bulsiewicz says that this humble, delicious ingredient can also enhance the gut-friendly qualities of your daily cup of joe. Keep reading for the lowdown.

Is it good to put cinnamon in your coffee?

Yes, there are quite a few benefits to putting cinnamon in your coffee. Dr. Bulziewicz explains more below.

1. Itโ€™s packed with antioxidants

Dr. Bulsiewicz says that coffee is apparently the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet1. That’s because coffee is high in polyphenols2, a plant compound with potent antioxidant properties that help fight inflammation and ward off chronic disease and cancer. โ€œPolyphenols are also prebiotic, which means that they can shape the microbiome,โ€ Dr. Bulsiewicz explains. So adding a pinch of cinnamon, another polyphenol powerhouse, to this antioxidant-packed brew can help further elevate the antioxidants in your morning coffee.

2. It adds a little fiber to your drink

Dr. Bulsiewicz says a cup of joe is a good source of gut-supporting fiber. โ€œMost people don’t realize this, but coffee actually contains two types of fiber: soluble and prebiotic fiber,โ€ he says. Soluble fiber completely dissolves, which is why coffee might go on under the radar when it comes to fiber-rich foods. Dr. Bulsiewicz adds that soluble fiber is also considered prebiotic, aka the fermentable fiber that feeds good gut bacteria. Cinnamon is also a surprising source of fiber. In fact, even just one teaspoon of cinnamon contains more than a gram of fiber. (Although that’s likely more than you’d want to put in your coffee.)

3. Itโ€™s a consistent way to support your gut health

Consistency is key when it comes to gut health, says Dr. Bulsiewiczโ€”consistently eating fiber and plant foods, drinking lots of water, exercising, etc. go a long way towards maintaining the health of your gut.ย Although coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon shouldnโ€™t replace other fiber-rich foods in your diet, Dr. Bulsiewicz says consuming it regularly has its perks and is a great way to stay consistent in your gut health journey. โ€œSo, can you get more gut health power from a salad? Sure. But coffee is the thing that [most people] do every single day and because we do it every day, it starts to have a snowball effect in our gut microbiome,โ€ Dr. Bulsiewicz says.

4. It tastes pretty darn good

Drinking coffee black might not be everyone’s cup of tea, err, coffee. This is why Dr. Bulsiewicz suggests adding cinnamon is a great way to make an already gut-healthy drink even better for digestion. โ€œEveryone likes it,โ€ Dr. Bulsiewicz says. We canโ€™t say heโ€™s wrong.

How much cinnamon do you put in your coffee?

In terms of how much cinnamon to add to your coffee, Dr. Bulsiewicz says itโ€™s up to you and your taste preferences. โ€œYou don’t necessarily have to hit some standard of expectation, you just need to make it flavorful and recognize that it’s good for your gut,โ€ he says. So, take this as an invitation to listen to what your taste buds say. Start with 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and see how you like it, adding more if you want it.

Other gut-healthy ways to drink your coffee

Want to kick it up a notch? Dr. Bulsiewicz looks to his spice rack for more than just cinnamon. In fact, he enjoys pairing cinnamon with ground ginger and turmeric for a trifecta of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredients.

If you can’t stand to drink your coffee black, Dr. Bulsiewicz says a small amount of soy milk is perfectly fine for gut health. โ€œA little bit of organic soy milk can help cut the acidity and mellow the flavor,โ€ he says.

On the other hand, if youโ€™re looking to add a bit more fiber to your cup of coffee, Dr. Bulsiewicz recommends mixing in a fiber supplement, particularly acacia powder. โ€œAbout three to five grams of fiber from acacia powder will do,โ€ he says.

Discover the benefits of drinking coffee, according to a registered dietitian:

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Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.


  1. Eastman, Peggy. โ€œNew Research on Antioxidants Shows Surprising Role for Coffee.โ€ Oncology Times 27 (2005). 39-40. doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000290968.61298.07

  2. Bae, Jae-Hoon et al. โ€œCoffee and health.โ€ย Integrative medicine researchย vol. 3,4 (2014): 189-191. doi:10.1016/j.imr.2014.08.002




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