Fact: Lots of people deal with digestive discomfort. Fiction: Talking about it is seriously off-limits. It’s time to reframe the digestion conversation and get on good terms with your gut—because prioritizing your digestive health can give you tons of insight into your overall well-being, and it’s a lot simpler (and more delicious) than you might think.
Registered dietitian nutritionist Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN is breaking it down for us: “About 80 percent of the immune system is located in the digestive system, so a healthy gut is vital for overall well-being.” What’s more, digestive functioning plays a role in staving off conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and IBS. It can also have an impact on your mood, since your gut houses 90 percent of your body’s serotonin receptors, she says.
So how do you get in on all the gut-health-boosting action? Probiotics might immediately come to mind (and they’re great!), but there’s another key player in the mix. “Prebiotics are the indigestible fiber in foods like bananas, apples, chia seeds, and oats,” Largeman-Roth says. “These fibers travel to your lower digestive tract where they become a source of food for probiotics. Without prebiotics, the probiotics in your gut can’t flourish. You need both pre- 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 diets, you’ll want to give Largeman-Roth’s gut-healthy smoothie a try. Adapted from her book Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen, the smoothie features a dollop of healthy fats and a scoop (or a single-serve stick) of Benefiber Prebiotic Fiber for an added digestion boost.
Incorporating Benefiber’s plant-based powder into your routine makes taking fiber and nourishing the good bacteria in your gut* seriously easy. It’s clear, grit-free, and taste-free**, so it won’t influence the taste of your morning bev (you won’t even notice it in water***). Blend it in with a few of Largeman-Roth’s favorite ingredients (which all together pack 18 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per serving), and enjoy a digestive smoothie that’s deliciously effortless.
Among the other digestion-supporting ingredients in the mix are kiwis, which Largeman-Roth calls “a prebiotic star,” and kefir, a yogurt variation that’s packed with live and active cultures. You can also get creative with substitutions and additions, she says, like replacing kale with baby spinach, throwing in a handful of chopped apples, or adding a dash of honey.
“I would recommend this smoothie to anyone who is looking to improve their gut health or their overall health,” Largeman-Roth says. “The more we pay attention to how we’re feeding our gut, the better we’ll 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 full-fat kefir
1 Tbsp creamy almond butter
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 kiwi, peeled
1 stick pack Benefiber Original Prebiotic Fiber Supplement
In a blender, combine all 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 taste-free, excluding the Strawberry Kiwi Stick Packs and Advanced Digestive Health Prebiotic + Probiotic Stick Packs
***Not recommended for carbonated beverages