January 2, 2022 — 10:27 AM
Ask any gut health expert how to get your fill of fiber in every meal—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and they’ll likely tell you: Eat your cruciferous vegetables. But it’s not so easy to sneak those veggies into your morning meals, especially if you’re a fervent member of the sweet-breakfasts-or-bust camp.
The solution? A yummy, fiber-rich smoothie. Just chuck in all the ingredients—greens included!—and you have one gut-healthy sip. Gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., MSCI, has mastered his own creamy confection. “There’s a core structure that I switch up,” he shared on the mindbodygreen podcast. The ingredients may be simple, but they pack in quite a punch. Find his go-to shake below.
How to make this gut-healthy smoothie
- Bananas: He always uses bananas as a base, as these make the smoothie whip-thick and creamy. “If you freeze your banana, it radically transforms your smoothie,” Bulsiewicz says. Bananas are also relatively high in soluble and insoluble fibers (about 3 grams per medium-size banana), which—get this—helps promote regularity.
- Leafy greens: There’s always greens of some variety. I tend to do arugula,” he says. “Broccoli sprouts also tend to sneak in there.” Now, when tasked with selecting your cruciferous veggies, you might immediately think of cauliflower or Brussels sprouts, but arugula is also a star on the fibrous cruciferous vegetable list. Same goes for those broccoli sprouts: “The best place to get sulforaphane is not the broccoli; it’s the sprouts,” Bulsiewicz explains.
- Berries: “[I like to have] a nice, strong, healthy portion of organic blueberries,” Bulsiewicz notes. Those blues provide 4 grams of fiber, and they’re also a good source of polyphenols, which have tons of health benefits.
- Seeds: “Ground flax, hemp, and chia all make it into the smoothie,” he says. Chia and flax are filled with soluble fiber and omega-3s, while hemp seeds offer tons of plant-based protein—a winning trio in Dr. B’s eyes.
- Liquid of choice: He typically fills the blender with oat milk, as it’s creamy and contains the special fiber, beta-glucan, which is stellar for gut health. He does use coconut milk from time to time, but only as a treat. “I love coconut milk,” he says. “But people should realize coconut milk and coconut oil are incredibly high in saturated fat. You don’t want to be going overboard on these types of things.”
So you’re sold on the ingredients. Great! Here’s how to make his well-rounded smoothie:
- Put 1 frozen banana, a handful of arugula, a handful of broccoli sprouts, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 1 Tbsp. of ground flaxseeds, 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds, and 1 Tbsp. chia seeds into a blender.
- Fill the blender with oat milk until it just covers the top of the ingredients. Whir it up until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy! You can also sprinkle some hemp hearts on top for added crunch.
Dr. B’s breakfast smoothie is just as sweet as it is gut-healthy. Plus, it’s a fairly low-lift undertaking, especially if you freeze the fruit overnight, and the result is creamy and filling.
Promotes a healthy gut microbiome*