Smoothies are all the rage these days it seems. For good reason, though. Smoothies are one way to get a ton of nutrients into your body in a way that can be absolutely delicious and good for your gut. As an integrative gastroenterologist, people often ask me what sort of smoothie they can make that will be gut healing. Well, here is one of the many recipes I personally enjoy.
Organic Green tea (4 cups, cooled)
Half a bag of organic frozen blueberries
Half a bag of organic frozen cherries
4 generous handfuls of organic spinach
1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil
1-2 tablespoons of organic ground flax seed (or chia seed)
1 pinch of organic cinnamon
Optional: 1 organic banana (if you really need it sweeter)
Optional: 1 spoon of collagen protein powder
After I have all my ingredients in, I blend it all up in my Vitamix. What you get in the end is a wonderful and refreshing treat that will also give your DNA and microbiome a whole lot of love!
Here is a breakdown of some of the things that these ingredients can do for you:
- Green Tea is loaded with antioxidants. It can help with weight loss, reduces inflammation, and can improve brain function. EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is the main type of compound we often talk about that is found in green tea that is loaded with these health benefits. I often recommend drinking 2-3 cups a day in order to get the desired benefit. The smoothie is one great way to get a head start!
- Blueberries are probably one of my absolute favorites! They are a great source of fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.
- Cherries are a great source of antioxidants and they are also packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Cherries can help with post-exercise pain and also can help promote better sleep hygiene.
- Coconut oil gives a nice flavor the smoothies. It is a source of good fat. There is data supporting its benefit in brain health, cholesterol management, reduction of inflammation, and improved immune functioning. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid which we know has anti-bacterial properties and can reduce bad yeast like candida.
- Spinach is one of my favorite greens! I try to eat it every day. It is a great source of folate, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and a number of other vitamins and minerals. Your microbiome will love you for eating this!
- Flax and chia seeds are a great added fiber source to a smoothie. Fiber can act as a prebiotic to help the good bacteria in your gut flourish. This is also one way to get a dose of Omega 3s first thing in the morning with your smoothie! You can enjoy your delicious smoothie and know that you are improving your cholesterol at the same time!
- Cinnamon is one of my special tricks. I personally enjoy the flavor but make sure not to put too much in the smoothie because the flavor could be a bit strong if you did. Cinnamon has antibacterial properties, can aid in fat burning, and reduce bloating. It is loaded with anti-oxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar.
- Banana is something I use to help sweeten it up if you feel like you need something else. I would rather you use a banana than some alternative sugar source. Banana has vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, among many others. If you get the banana a bit towards the greener side that is probably better for you and may serve as more of a prebiotic for your gut.
- Collagen protein powder is another great thing you could consider adding in for that extra boost. I use collage protein powder with people who are concerned about leaky gut, inflammation, arthritis, skin and bone health, among several others. This is definitely something that can make your gut healing smoothie even more powerful!
When you drink this smoothie, potential side effects could include euphoria, increased attention, a boost of energy, and a happy gut microbiome! I hope you all enjoy it!