The billions of friendly bacteria that make their home in your GI tract play a key role in immune system health and good digestion. There’s also mounting evidence that they can influence mood - several studies found that depressed subjects were all deficient in the same species of gut bacteria. This fascinating area of research still has much to teach us, but in the meantime one thing is crystal clear: take good care of your microbiome, and it will take care of you.
We reckon there’s no better way to show your gut some love than treating it to a delicious, gut-friendly breakfast!
Gut healthy recipes will be ones that provide a steady supply of nutrients to the bacteria in your gut, as well as to your digestive system as a whole. That means eating a wide variety of whole foods, at a baseline.
Then there are certain key compounds that play unique roles in promoting bacterial diversity and abundance, like fiber (especially prebiotics), probiotics, and plant-based micronutrients known as polyphenols, which are loaded with antioxidants.
Some examples of gut healthy foods that are:
Oats: they're a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which feed the good bacteria in your gut. Plus they contain antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins like B6 and E.
Bananas: they're loaded with prebiotics, as well as vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.
Asparagus: a good source of both types of fiber, plus vitamins A, C, and E, it also possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
Mushrooms: they're are a good source of B vitamins (rare in plant foods!), selenium, zinc, and polyphenols. They also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and act as a prebiotic.
Here are some quick and tasty gut friendly breakfast ideas to get you started.
makes 10 small pancakes
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 overripe bananas
2 eggs (or replace with flax egg, chia egg, or applesauce for vegan option)
½ cup unsweetened plant milk (almond, oat, cashew)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Oil for cooking
Pinch of salt
Toppings of choice: maple syrup, fresh berries, cacao nibs, nuts
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth
Lightly coat a pan with cooking spray or oil of your choice
Once the pan is hot, add ⅓ cup of the batter for each pancake and cook for about 3 minutes, then flip pancake until golden brown.
Serve with your favorite toppings
makes 1 serving
½ cup onions, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (or a pinch of garlic powder)
3-4 stalks asparagus, chopped
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
1-2 eggs or egg whites (or 1 cup crumbled tofu, plus a pinch of turmeric powder + salt to taste)
Gently sauté onions + garlic with a splash of olive oil or water until soft
Add mushrooms + asparagus and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until tender
Add veggie mix to your omelette, scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu for a prebiotic fiber boost
makes 1 serving
Fresh fruit of choice - e.g. berries, figs, peaches, plums
1 cup unsweetened, plain yogurt with live cultures (either dairy or vegan)
2-3 tbsp toasted oats or low sugar granola
Toppings of choice: chopped nuts, cacao nibs, toasted coconut
Swirl the smoothie powder through the yogurt until well mixed
Fill a glass with alternating layers of chopped fruit, yogurt and oats/granola (You can refrigerate this overnight if you’re a forward planner!)
Add toppings and grab a spoon