The Best Breakfast Foods for Gut Health
You know you should eat something in the morning, but sometimes that's easier said than done. Listen up, though: Your breakfast of choice can make the difference between gently waking up your digestive system and giving it, well, a gut punch.
"The best combination in the morning for good digestive health is going to be high-protein paired with high-fiber," says Niket Sonpal, MD, gastroenterologist and assistant professor at Touro College of Medicine in New York City. "This combination will help your GI tract work more efficiently, and will help you feel fuller longer throughout the day for sustained energy." Add some complex carbohydrates and probiotics for the perfect gut-friendly day.
Not good at math? No worries. We found the best gut-friendly breakfast formulas that your brain will crave all day — and your stomach will thank you for later.
Get the Recipe: Meyer Lemon Avocado Toast
Avocado + Whole-Grain Bread
"This is one of my favorite combinations for your gut health," says Dr. Sonpal. "It provides the right amount of protein to set you up well for the day, providing you sustained energy." Choose a high-fiber bread and be creative with ingredients like chia seeds or flaxseed, which will further help you feel satiated throughout the day. (Bonus: It's also very simple to make.)
Yogurt + Granola + Bananas
Yogurt contains probiotics, which are known as the live "good" bacteria that is your digestive system's bestie. This, paired with high-fiber granola, also "gives your stomach acid something to do, which will reduce your risk of acid reflux," explains Dr. Sonpal. Adding bananas provides prebiotic fiber (which serve to "feed" the good bacteria in your gut).
Related: What Are Prebiotics?
Frozen Vegetables + Frozen Fruit
Dr. Sonpal likes this combination because it's an easy way to start your day with fiber-filled veggies. "Vegetables don't change the flavor of a smoothie that much, because the fruits do overpower the taste, so smoothies are a great way to add high-protein and high-fiber ingredients like peanut butter, avocado, flax seeds and vegetables," he says.
Oatmeal + Fruit
Oats are one of the best things for your gut because they are a good source of fiber and contain prebiotic fiber to boot. "I really love overnight oats, for example, because you can mix those in batches and then let them sit overnight and then add blueberries, strawberries, whatever your fruit of choice for a healthy breakfast ready for you in the morning," says Dr. Sonpal.
Nut Butter + Apple
It's easy, it's old school, and it does the gut-friendly trick, thanks to the high fiber and protein combo. "I've been eating this combination since I've been in kindergarten, yet it's still one of the best breakfasts you can eat for good gut health," Dr. Sonpal says.
Read More: 11 Gut-Friendly Breakfasts to Begin Your Day