FTake action: Many people struggle with digestive discomfort. Fiction: talking about it is seriously forbidden. It’s time to reframe the conversation about digestion and get on good terms with your gut, because prioritizing your digestive health can give you tons of information about your overall well-being, and that’s a whole lot more. simple (and more delicious) than you think.
Frances Largeman-Roth, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, RDN explains, “About 80% of the immune system is located in the digestive system, so a healthy gut is vital for overall well-being.” Additionally, digestive functioning plays a role in preventing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and IBS. It can also impact your mood, since your gut is home to 90% of your body’s serotonin receptors, she says.
So how do you participate in all the gut health boosting actions? Probiotics may immediately come to mind (and they’re awesome!), but there’s another key player in the mix. “Prebiotics are the indigestible fiber in foods like bananas, apples, chia seeds, and oats,” says Largeman-Roth. “These fibers travel to your lower digestive tract where they become a food source for probiotics. Without prebiotics, the probiotics in your gut cannot thrive. You need both prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy gut with a diverse range of good bacteria.
If you’re like most Americans who don’t get enough prebiotic fiber in their daily diet, you might want to try Largeman-Roth’s Gut-Healthy Smoothie. Adapted from his book Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Cooking, the smoothie contains a scoop of healthy fats and a scoop (or individual stick) of Benefiber prebiotic fiber for better digestion.
Incorporating Benefiber herbal powder into your routine makes it much easier to take in fiber and nourish the good bacteria in your gut*. It’s clear, grain-free and tasteless**, so it won’t influence the taste of your morning drink (you won’t even notice it in the water***). Toss it with some of Largeman-Roth’s favorite ingredients (which together contain 18 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per serving) and enjoy a deliciously effortless digestive smoothie.
Other digestion-promoting ingredients in the mix include kiwi fruit, which Largeman-Roth calls “a prebiotic star,” and kefir, a variant of yogurt that’s packed with live, active cultures. You can also get creative with substitutions and additions, she says. , like replacing the kale with baby spinach, adding a handful of chopped apples, or adding a pinch of honey.
“I would recommend this smoothie to anyone looking to improve their gut health or overall health,” says Largeman-Roth. “The more attention we pay to how we feed our gut, the better off we will feel from head to toe.” So give your gut some love and get ready to talk about it.
Keep reading for an RD’s daily (and delicious) digestive smoothie recipe.
Makes 1 serving
1 cup chopped kale, packed
1 cup whole kefir
1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 kiwi, peeled
1 Pack Benefiber Original Sticks Prebiotic Fiber Supplement
In a blender, mix all the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Serve in a tall glass and enjoy!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
**Most Benefiber SKUs are clear and tasteless, except Strawberry Kiwi Stick Packs and Advanced Digestive Health Prebiotic + Probiotic Stick Packs
***Not recommended for soft drinks