Smoothies are a fabulous way to get a hit of lots of different nutrients and health benefits all in one meal. This gut and immune supporting recipe is packed with beneficial ingredients such as pineapple, ginger, banana, kefir and chia seeds. These smoothie ingredients work to support good and healthy gut function.
How do these ingredients support gut health?
Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, manganese, fibre, and potassium. They are very soothing to the digestive tract and packed with prebiotic fibres, which can help to regulate the bowels and enhance the production of friendly gut bacteria. And of course, their velvety texture makes a great base for any smoothie.
Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which helps your body break down and efficiently absorb protein from food, as well as having anti-inflammatory effects. Pineapple is also packed with vitamin C and high in dietary fibre.
Kefir is a type of fermented milk drink that provides a good source of probiotics, aka ‘good’ bacteria, which help with healthy digestion and immune function. It’s also a fantastic source of protein, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin B12, all of which are key for gut - and overall - health.
Kefir happens to be low in lactose, which means that it’s likely to be more well-tolerated than regular milk for those with lactose intolerance. If you’re lactose intolerant or follow a dairy-free lifestyle there are also dairy-free options available, such as coconut kefir. Kefir adds a creamy texture to your smoothie.
Ginger is often used as a natural treatment for stomach upset and nausea. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and has antimicrobial properties, so it helps fight bad bacteria and reduces inflammation while creating a healthy environment for good gut bugs to live.
Whole flaxseeds contain high levels of a gel-forming fibre that moves through the digestive system without being digested, supporting elimination and colon detoxification. Ground flaxseeds are also great to add to smoothies because not only are they a good source of plant-based omegas, they’re also high in soluble fibre and oils that lubricate the digestive system.
Fresh peppermint leaves contain menthol, which is a natural analgesic (pain reliever) that has relaxing effects on the muscles in the digestive tract. Peppermint can be effective at relieving certain stomach issues, like indigestion or nausea. However, if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD you should stay away from peppermint.
Gut Biome ZookiWe recently launched Gut Biome Zooki, our first ever gut-supporting supplement. It’s packed with 35 billion live bacteria from three hand-picked strains which are protected from the damaging effects of stomach acid by being encapsulated in lipids. Thanks to the natural blueberry and lemon flavour, it’ll blend into your gut health smoothie with a subtle hint of fruit. Read more about it here.
PS: Make sure you chew as you drink your smoothie. It might sound silly, but a smoothie is food after all and it won’t be digested properly if you don’t stimulate the process by chewing!