June 13, 2017

Aloha Superfood Gut Healing Smoothie

Aloha Superfood Gut Healing Smoothie

Gut stuff is important, but that’s nothing new. The little neighborhood friendly bacteria posting up in your intestines are responsible for a lot of things, like protecting against pathogens and GI disorders, processing nutrients, reducing of serum cholesterol, reinforcing intestinal epithelial cell-tight junctions, and even controlling mood and immune response ( 2 ).

I try to pay attention to my gut at each and every meal by reaching for whole foods, fibers, and superfoods. This particular smoothie is packed with all three, thanks to ALOHA superfood greens.

So how do food choices affect gut bacteria? There are many whole plant foods (re: fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereals) that interact with gut bacteria and are main energy sources for colonic fermentation. Polyphenols, for example, increase good bacteria in fecal matter (meaning good bacteria is in your gut and leaving your gut).  They’re also antiinflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antiadipogenic, antidiabetic, antinuclear, antiallergenic, immune modulating and have neuroprotective potentials, suggesting an association between the consumption of polyphenol-rich foods and a reduced risk of several chronic diseases ( 2 , 3 ). One study even reported that flavonols increase the growth of Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. (two strains of good bacteria) and decrease plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) (a blood marker of inflammation). Pathogens, therefore, are good for gut bacteria, as they stimulate the good, and hinder the bad.

Eating enough dietary fiber is also important, as it’s the main source of carbohydrate for gut microbiota production. The recommended amount of fiber consumption is 30-40g per day. Carbohydrate fermentation is the chief energy source for gut microbiota, leading to the production of short chain fatty acids, which play a role in supplying energy to intestinal mucosa, heart, brain and muscle, and play an important role in cell differentiation, proliferation, programmed cell death, regulation of immune function, thermogenesis, and lipid metabolism. In total, whole plant foods, polyphenols, and dietary fibers change both the species content and composition within the gut microbiota, increasing commensal bacteria thought to be associated with human health.

I herein present to you a smoothie that’s packed with all of the above: whole plant foods, prebiotic fibers, resistant starch foods, polyphenols, some aloe for gut healing, and ALOHA superfood greens for an extra kick of polyphenols and antioxidants.

gut healing superfood smoothie:

  • 2 tbsp aloe gel (helps repair the gut lining) – aloe gel = scoop out inside of aloe
  • 1/4 medium sized roasted sweet potato (prebiotic food)
  • 1 underripe banana (resistant starch-rich food)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter (resistant starch-rich food)
  • 1/2 medium sized zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen spinach (polyphenol rich food)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed (rich in polyphenols)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein – ALOHA has a good one!
  • 1 heaping tbsp cacao (prebiotic-like food)
  • few generous shakes of cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 cup almond milk, depending on desired thickness
  • 1 scoop ALOHA superfood greens

ALOHA superfood greens ingredients: Coconut Water*, Peas*, Spinach*, Wheatgrass Juice (does not contain gluten), Raspberry Juice*, Wild Blueberries*, Spirulina*, Vanilla Bean*, Oyster Mushrooms, King Trumpet Mushrooms, Enoki Mushrooms*, Lemon Juice*, Hawaiian Yellow Ginger*, Moringa, Xanthan Gum, Himalayan Pink Salt

A deeper look inside the powder: raspberry juice and wild blueberries are also high in polyphenols, as is spinach, and peas are a prebiotic-rich food. Wheatgrass may also be healing for the gut, as one study showed it has a therapeutic role in treating patients with active left colon ulcerative colitis ( 4 ). Oyster mushrooms are not only high in antioxidant and scavenging abilities, but they’re and high in total phenol content ( 5 ).

gut healthy grocery list

prebiotic foods (look for: galactooligosaccharides (GOS), fructooligosaccharides (FOS), oligofructose (OF), chicory fiber, inulin). Aim for 5 grams in your diet per day. They alter either the composition or function of the gut microbiota. Most are dietary fibers, and so some gas or bloating can result from too much prebiotic. It’s recommended to start small to allow the gut to adapt.

  • apples, asparagus, artichokes, banana, berries, black beans, cherries, dandelion greens, chicory root, chickpeas, eggplant, endive, flaxseeds, garlic, honey, jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), jicama, kefir, kiwis, leafy greens, leeks, legumes, lentils, mangoes, oatmeal, onions, peas, pears, quinoa, radicchio, tomatoes, white beans, whole grains, yogurt

polyphenols:

  • cloves, cocoa powder, flaxseed meal, dried sage, blueberry, hazelnut, dried peppermint, dried mexican oregano, black elderberry, dried rosemary, capers, pecan, celery seed, dark chocolate (70% or higher), chestnut, dried thyme, black olives, plums

resistant starch-rich foods: red lentils, kidney beans, adzuki beans, less ripe bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes, roasted have higher than steamed, cassava, sweet potatoes, rye bread, oats (higher amounts in uncooked), cashew nuts

aloe: Helps soothe and heal the gut lining if it is damaged. In one study, in fact, aloe vera was shown to inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species (inflammatory fiends!) as well as assist with healing inflammatory bowel syndrome ( 1 ).

References

( 1 ) Langmead, L., Makins, R.J., & Rampton, D.S. (2004). Anti-inflammatory effects of aloe vera gel in human colorectal mucosa in vitro. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 19(5), 521-527. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2004.01874.x

( 2 ) Cardona, F., Andres-Lacueva, C., Tulipani, S., Tinahones, F.J., & Queipo-Ortuno, M.I. (2013). Benefits of polyphenols on gut microbiota and implications in human health. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 24(8), 1415-1422. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.05.001

( 3 ) Ozdal, T., Sela, D.A., Xiao, J., Boyacioglu, D., Chen, F., & Capanoglu, E. (2016). The reciprocal interactions between polyphenols and gut microbiota and effects on bioaccessibility, 8(2),78. doi: 10.3390/nu8020078

( 4 ) Ben-Arye, E., Goldin, E., Wengrower, D., Stamper, A., Kohn, R., & Berry, E. (2002). Wheat grass juice in the treatment of active distal ulcerative colities. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 37(4), 444-449. doi: 10.1080/003655202317316088

( 5 ) Yang, J-H., Lin, H-C., & Mau, J-L. (2002). Antioxidant properties of several commercial mushrooms. Food Chemistry, 77(2), 229-235. doi: 10.1016/S0308-8146(01)00342-9

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