If you’re like me, you’ve experienced intense gut problems in the past (or going through some right now). If you’re human, you’ve experienced mild gut discomfort, at least to some degree.
Bottom line: gut health is everything.
Over the past year, I experienced what it was like to have almost minimal gut health. I essentially healed my gut through my diet and incorporated many staple foods and recipes. Throughout my journey, smoothies & smoothie bowls were a must! By nature, they are easier to digest because everything is already blended and broken down for you. This takes a load off your digestive system. By incorporating the right ingredients, they can be incredibly beneficial for your gut.
As a side note, I prefer having my smoothies as smoothie bowls with a few toppings because this force you to chew. Chewing activates the digestive enzymes of your saliva, which kickstarts your digestion (this essentially tells your stomach that food is coming so it should get ready!).
Keep reading for a gut friendly smoothie bowl recipe below! I first outline why I personally like each ingredient and how it can benefit the gut. Enjoy :)
What I use + Why:
- It provides creaminess without having to add water which can make your smoothie watery (vs. thick)
- Helps keep you satiated because it boosts the protein content
- Source of probiotics
- Low in sugar (1 cup is only 7g of natural sugar!)
- Sweet potato
- Makes smoothies so creamy & naturally sweet!
- Contain fiber and antioxidants that are helpful for the gut
- Steamed zucchini or cauliflower
- Makes smoothies incredibly creamy + adds nutrients
- Cauliflower is a great source of fibre
- Zucchini is hydrating (90% water)
- Raw veggies can wreak havoc on digestion, which is why we need to steam or roast them first!
- Pea protein powder
- Pea protein has been researched as an incredible protein for improving the gut microbiome
- One study shows an increase in Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus (good probiotics)
- Make sure to choose a protein with no additives (e.g., stevia, natural flavors, gums)
- I love the company Nuzest!
- Cacao powder
- Amazingly, cacao powder has prebiotic properties (prebiotics help sustain the “good” bacteria in your gut)
- Research shows that it can help stabilize and balance gut health – huge win for all the chocolate lovers!
- Ensure that you are using 100% raw organic cacao with no additives (my favourite brands include Navitas Organics and Giddy Yoyo)
- ½ cup frozen sweet potato*
- ½ cup frozen cauliflower or zucchini*
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (sub coconut yogurt if dairy-free)
- 1 serving vanilla protein powder (my favourite is Nuzest)
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
*steamed/roasted first and then frozen
- In a high speed blender (I used a Vitamix) blend all the ingredients.
- Start on the lowest speed, and keep increasing it. If the blades get stuck, stir with a tamper and repeat the process.
- Slowly increase the speed until it is smooth and creamy
- Add toppings, but remember not to go overboard because smoothie bowls can become high in sugar really fast. I recommend ½ cup of healthy cereal (e.g., One Degree Organics, Barbara’s Bakery) and a small bit of fruit.