This Spinach Berry Smoothie is all about the science of supporting a healthy gut!
We’ve partnered with Seed on this Science Smoothie to show you that supporting your gut health and diversity of your microbiome is easier than you think. (hint: it’s all about eating more fruits and veggies). I’ve been taking Seed’s Daily Synbiotic, a pre-and-probiotic, for years now and love how it makes me feel. I take two capsules every morning on an empty stomach to support healthy digestion—if you want to try Seed, use code NUTRITIONSTRIPPED15 for 15% off your first month’s supply.
There’s a Periodic Table of Microbiome-Friendly Foods that I used to develop this simple, easy recipe.
Image Source: pcf.org
Why? Recent studies have suggested that the “intestinal microbiome plays an important role in modulating risk of several chronic diseases. It is now understood that diet plays a significant role in shaping the microbiome, with experiments showing that dietary alterations can induce large, temporary microbial shifts within 24 hours. (1)”
One way to support whole-body health, including gut health, is through diversifying the number of fruits and vegetables you consume in your diet—a smoothie is a great way to incorporate important macro- and micronutrients that contribute to a well-balanced diet and support the health of your microbiome.
Enter: Spinach Berry Smoothie, or scientifically what we’re calling the, The Cyanidin, Mighty Micronutrient + Protein Punch Smoothie. What does that mean? This Science Smoothie got its name from some of the incredible benefits of its ingredients.
Let’s dive into how this smoothie supports your gut microbiome!
Benefits of This Spinach Berry Smoothie
Smoothies are such a great way to get a nutrient-dense meal packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, but the key is to make sure they’re well-balanced so you feel full and energized and you do that using our Foundational Five system.
A Foundational Five Nourish Meal is any meal that contains all 5 elements of nutrition: non-starchy carbohydrates, starchy carbohydrates, healthy fat, protein, and the Flavor Factor. By including at least 3 of the 5 elements in any of the smoothies you make, you’ll better support your gut health, feel energized, and satiated.
If you’re not familiar with my Foundational Five system yet, you can download our free guide where I share more about it!
Here’s are the Foundational Five elements in this Spinach Berry Smoothie:
1 • Non-starchy Carbohydrate
Spinach (or any hearty green will do like collard, dandelion, kale, etc.)
Optional: microgreens or sprouts if available
2 • Starchy or Sugary Carbohydrate
3 • Fat
Unsweetened almond milk
4 • Protein
5 • Flavor Factor
Now that you know what’s in this smoothie, let’s take a look at how these ingredients support your gut microbiome.
Berries, including blackberries, are high in polyphenols — plant compounds which have a number of health promoting effects, including promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria while fending off harmful ones.
The most abundant polyphenol in blackberries is cyanidin-3-O-glucoside which is a specific type of anthocyanin — the compound responsible for the deep blue/purple color of these berries.
Leafy greens have high levels of micronutrient contents containing many essential vitamins and minerals.
A single serving of spinach contains 49% of the recommended daily intake of folate (vitamin B9).
Plus, a100g serving of spinach contains high levels of magnesium, potassium, and iron, meeting 20%, 16%, and 15%, respectively of their RDA.
Both beans and tahini are rich sources of plant-based protein.
Dietary protein serves as the major source of nitrogen for colonic microbial growth and is essential to the assimilation of carbohydrates and production of beneficial products such as Short-chain fatty acids. A combination of protein and carbohydrates in the large bowel can contribute to bowel health.