Pictured recipe: Super Berry Smoothie
The microbiome is having a moment right now—and for good reason! Over the last few years, more and more research has uncovered just how vital a healthy microbiome is for a strong immune system, healthy digestion, glowing skin and much more.
We recently spoke with one of our favorite gut health experts, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, MD, MSCI, about how he eats to achieve optimal gut health (hint: it involves a lot of plants!) Dr. B also shared his breakfast recipe with us, and we were inspired to kick off our mornings with his gut-healthy breakfast, too.
After downing a few glasses of water to rehydrate (and of course brewing his morning coffee), Dr. B opts for a nutritious smoothie. He told us that his favorite breakfast drink is filled with bananas, greens, berries, ground flax, broccoli sprouts and, occasionally, some walnuts.
Bananas and raspberries are important for better gut health because they contain fructans, a high-fiber natural carbohydrate that survives longer in the GI tract than other forms of carbs. They also contain fiber, which is what good gut bacteria feed on. Both of these foods help fight inflammation, too.
We all know we should be eating more greens, and what better way to add more into our diets than blending them into a smoothie? Leafy greens contain cellulose, a type of indigestible fiber that is also essential for amazing gut health. Combine that with all the vitamins and minerals greens have to offer, and you have one stellar smoothie ingredient.
Flax and walnuts are rich in plant-based omega-3 fats, which are essential for fighting inflammation and achieving a world-class microbiome. Both of these can be considered superfoods in their own right, as walnuts are linked with lower blood pressure and better brain health, while flax is chock-full of fiber and protein to keep you full for hours.
While you probably don't have broccoli sprouts sitting in your fridge, they're worth adding to your next grocery list. Broccoli sprouts are essentially immature broccoli plants and are loaded with health benefits. They have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-aging effects. Dr. B says he can find them at his local supermarket, but if you can't, try Whole Foods, your local natural foods store or grow your own at home!
Related: How to Make Epic Smoothies at Home
We have several similar recipes that are just as nutritious—and tasty, too. Try our Berry & Flax Smoothie or our Green Smoothie to help nourish your body and boost your gut health first thing in the morning.