When it comes to making smoothies, there’s a short list of usual suspects that tend to make their way into the blender: alt-milk, protein powder, spinach, berries, bananas. But Will Bulsiewicz, MD, a gastroenterologist and author of Fiber Fueled, has a favorite smoothie ingredient that’s a little more unexpected.
“I am utterly obsessed with putting broccoli sprouts in my smoothie—it’s my secret weapon,” Dr. Bulsiewicz says. You can sprout your own broccoli seeds in water at home, but you can also buy broccoli sprouts at many grocery stores.
“Broccoli sprouts release a phytochemical called sulforaphane, which causes them to taste bitter,” Dr. Bulsiewicz says. “I say, embrace the bitter! Sulforaphane [a phytochemical] is absolutely incredible. It heals the gut, reduces inflammation, and [could help] fight cancer.” He says broccoli spouts have a much higher amount of sulforaphane than mature broccoli, which is why he suggests going the sprouted route versus using mature broccoli.
“I am utterly obsessed with putting broccoli sprouts in my smoothie—it’s my secret weapon.” —Will Bulsiewicz, MD
Because a little goes a long way, you can still have your go-to smoothie and just incorporate the broccoli sprouts right in it. The key to keeping it taste yummy is balancing out the bitterness with something sweet or tart (like berries or a banana).
And just like that, with one little add-in, you just gave your smoothie habit a gastroenterologist-approved upgrade.
What a registered dietitian recommends when it comes to eating for your gut health:
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