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Gut Health Smoothie

The one thing that I consider absolutely essential to a gut healthy lifestyle, is a daily Gut Health Smoothie. I make one for my entire family every day. And although it’s certainly not designed with taste in mind, I have worked out a recipe that is accepted by my picky 14-year old son and my sceptical Welsh farmer husband. They may not shout with joy, but by jingo, they drink it! Which is good enough for me. 

So. Why is a gut health smoothie such a good idea? 

  1. Time hack. I’m a mum, a wife and the director of a business. I haven’t got time to faff around. A smoothie makes it easy to combine most of the critical ingredients for gut health into one small glass, and get it down their necks. Result! 😉
  2. Texture. A blended smoothie deals with a few of the inherent texture issues that accompany natural ingredients. Kefir can separate into curds and whey; prebiotic powder can clump. All of this is easily resolved with a quick blend.
  3. Easy combining. A smoothie makes it easy to combine disparate gut health supplements like powders, oils, fruit and kefir. Why struggle? 

So here, fresh from the farmhouse kitchen to you, is my recipe for the Ultimate Gut Health Smoothie. I vary the ingredients depending on who I’m making it for (under-30s, for example, don’t need the collagen). I’ve outlined the reasons for each ingredient inclusion below. Once you’ve mastered the concept, feel free to freestyle and branch out on your own! 

Whip up this beauty first thing in the morning, before you eat anything else, and then go out to meet the day, secure in the knowledge that you’ve done what needs doing for your gut. Added benefit: the combination of probiotics, fibre and good fats will make you feel full1 and create a feeling of satiety that will help you resist cravings and make better food choices throughout the day. 

Word of warning: as we always say at Chuckling Goat, start slowly! Gut health is not a “pedal to the medal” type of deal. Think of your gut as a delicate baby garden – you want to water those tiny flora and fauna with a fine rose, not blast it with a garden hose!  If your system is sensitive, start with just 1 TBSP of kefir daily for a week, increasing slowly over time. At the first hint of any discomfort, go back down to 1 TBSP again and start the process over. Once you’re up to the full 170 ml, you can begin to combine the other ingredients into your smoothie. Jump straight onto live chat with our friendly Nutritional Therapists if you have any questions. 

Ultimate Gut Health Smoothie – ingredients per person

  1. 170 ml Chuckling Goat Kefir  
  2. 10 g (1 TBSP) Complete Prebiotic 
  3. 10 g (1 TBSP) flaxseed oil, cold pressed and organic
  4. 10 g (1 TBSP) fish collagen
  5. 1 handful blueberries (or berry of your choice, can be fresh or frozen)
  6. ⅓ – ¼  banana (1 banana is usually enough for 4 people – it’s just to add a bit of sweetness.)  
  7. Additional powders of your choice: chlorella, spirulina, reishi mushroom, maca, cacao, etc. Experiment! 

Blend it up. Drink it down. Feel the gut health!

Why these ingredients? 

Chuckling Goat Kefir: always the mainstay.2 Contains loads of diverse living bacteria to repopulate your microbiome.3 How long do you need to continue to take kefir? Well, how long are you planning to experience stress, pollution, chemicals in your environment, sugar, antibiotics in the groundwater and food chain? Yep, that long. These things all deplete the bacteria inside your gut. Kefir puts them back. It’s the only way I know to reverse the ongoing assault on your microbiome that is made by modern life. 

Complete Prebiotic. Kefir is a probiotic that restores your gut bugs. Prebiotics feed those gut bugs what they need to eat. Prebiotics feed probiotics – so they work best together!4 This one contains 18 sources of natural exotic fibre that you are not going to get in your everyday diet. Try it for a week – you’ll notice the difference straight away, and you’ll never go back. (Hint – you should ideally be going to the loo 3 times daily, smoothly and painlessly. If you’re not – give the prebiotic a go.) 

Flaxseed Oil. One of nature’s richest and best sources of vegetable-based, vital omega-3 fatty acids. Has a load of other benefits as well: weight loss, aids constipation and diarrhoea, helps with eczema, boosts heart health5 – amazing stuff! And no, if you’re just eating the flaxseeds themselves, you’re not getting the amount of oil I’m recommending here. Flaxseeds are good fibre value, but you’d need to eat a mountain of seeds to get 1 TBSP of oil. And good fats are where it’s at! Flaxseed oil and kefir are particularly powerful in combination; they emulsify beautifully in a smoothie, and form the major component of the Budwig Protocol, designed in the 1950s by Dr. Joanna Budwig, seven-time Nobel peace prize nominee and foremost European expert on the topic of fats and lipids.6

Collagen. For over-30s only; younger people produce their own. We begin to lose our collagen production at age 25, and by 50 we have ceased altogether. The lining of your gut is only one cell thick,7 and gets ripped and torn over time. Without the additional collagen, it cannot repair itself. This ripping process can result in the creation of  little pockets of bacteria, called diverticulitis.8 When these little pockets “explode”, you get diverticular disease, and it’s very difficult to reverse. The best action here is preventative! Collagen helps keep your gut lining in good order, as well as aiding skin, hair and nails. What’s not to like? I recommend fish collage (doesn’t taste fishy, hurray!) because it is absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently into the body and has superior bioavailability over bovine or porcine collagens. Since it’s absorbed more efficiently and enters the bloodstream more quickly, it’s considered the best collagen source for medicinal purposes.9

Blueberries. They may get overshadowed by other faddish fancy berries these days, but blueberries remain one of the most nutritious, antioxidant-rich types of fruit in the world, shown to do everything from enhance brain health to keep your heart strong. Tummy-wise, they aid with inflammation and support digestion.10 Plus, they taste delicious! On alternate days mix it up with other berries if you choose – anything that’s dark in colour contains helpful  anthocyanins that will boost your gut health, and variety is a good thing when it comes to your gut. 

Banana. I like to throw in a bit of banana because it’s creamy and sweet. Plus, contains a good-ish pop of potassium, magnesium and fibre. Go for bananas on the greenish side; yellow or brown ones have a lot of sugar, and the green ones contain resistant starch, which is a plus for your gut.11

Other powders. This is a great place to throw in other powders, herbs etc. There’s a world of wellness supplements out there – give them a go! Word of warning: don’t overdo, or add too many in at once. Once you’ve accustomed your system to your basic smoothie recipe, try adding in one variable additional powder at a time, in small amounts to begin, and see how your system reacts. 

References

  1. Helpguide International - "Choosing Healthy Fats". Written by Robert Segal, M.A. and Lawrence Robinson on June 13, 2019
    link to articlehttps://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/choosing-healthy-fats.htm#:~:text=Monounsaturated%20fats%20and%20polyunsaturated%20fats,levels%2C%20while%20increasing%20good%20HDL.
  2. BBC - "Which foods can improve your gut bacteria?". Written by Dr Michael Mosley on January 13, 2017
    link to articlehttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38800977
  3. Frontiers in microbiology - "The Microbiota and Health Promoting Characteristics of the Fermented Beverage Kefir". Written by Bourrie, B. C., Willing, B. P., & Cotter, P. D. on May 4, 2016
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854945/
  4. Current developments in nutrition - "Health Effects and Sources of Prebiotic Dietary Fiber". Written by Carlson, J. L., Erickson, J. M., Lloyd, B. B., & Slavin, J. L. on January 29, 2018
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6041804/
  5. Dr Axe - "Flaxseed Oil Benefits Digestion, Skin & Heart Health". Written by Annie Price, CHHC on October 18, 2018
    link to articlehttps://draxe.com/nutrition/flaxseed-oil-benefits/
  6. Dr Axe - "7 Budwig Diet Benefits for Cancer Prevention + More". Written by Jillian Levy, CHHC on January 2, 2018
    link to articlehttps://draxe.com/nutrition/budwig-diet-protocol-cancer/
  7. Cell host & microbe - "Intrinsic Defense Mechanisms of the Intestinal Epithelium". Written by Ramanan, D., & Cadwell, K. on March 31, 2016
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4861060/#:~:text=Despite%20the%20need%20for%20an,of%20microbes%20that%20aid%20digestion.
  8. Mayo Clinic - "Diverticulitis". May 7, 2020
    link to articlehttps://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diverticulitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20371758
  9. Dr Axe - "Fish Collagen: The Anti-Aging Protein with the Best Bioavailability". Written by Annie Price, CHHC on June 21, 2018
    link to articlehttps://draxe.com/nutrition/fish-collagen/
  10. Dr Axe - "Top 7 Health Benefits of Blueberries". Written by Rachael Link, MS, RD on April 30, 2018
    link to articlehttps://draxe.com/nutrition/health-benefits-blueberries/
  11. Healthline - "Green Bananas: Good or Bad?". Written by Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN on September 25, 2016
    link to articlehttps://www.healthline.com/nutrition/green-bananas-good-or-bad#:~:text=The%20resistant%20starch%20and%20pectin,linked%20to%20several%20health%20benefits.

4 thoughts on “Gut Health Smoothie

  1. Such useful advice, as always – thank you, Shann. I have been making these smoothies for a while now: I took your advice from a previous newsletter to take the fish collagen; I’m taking the prebiotic and add in the blueberries. As I’m menopausal, I have been using flaxseed oil in a homemade salad dressing but will add it to the smoothie from now on. I have recovered from ME/CFS, having had symptom for 6 years. I started drinking your kefir 4 years ago and have never looked back- fully recovered now and bouncing with energy.

    I have followed your blogs for quite a few years now after a friend recommended your book. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the research you have done and the information that, as a consequence, you have passed on. Thank you.

    1. Hi Joanna,

      Thank you for your kind words – we’re glad that you find Shann’s blog posts useful, along with the kefir! 🙂

  2. Hi Chuckling Goat.
    I like the sound of the smoothie but I am vegetarian so is there any alternative for collagen sourced from fish. I’ve had a look on line and not found anything. There do seem to be Vegan supplements that help the body produce collagen but I am 57 and in your post you say that by 50 we cease to produce any collagen and so any supplement that aids the body in collagen production is not going to work if your body is not making any in the first place. Any suggestions. Thank you. Ian.

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