The breakfast a gastroenterologist says is best for your gut health


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When it comes to eating for gut health, arguably no one knows better than gastroenterologists, who spend their days working with patients who are suffering from all sorts of digestive problems. In other words, they basically think about digestion non-stop.

While most people know that coffee can help you poop, when it comes to what to actually eat in the morning, it turns out that some breakfasts are better for jumpstarting digestion than others. Niket Sonpal, MD, a New York-based internist and gastroenterologist and adjunct professor at Touro College, has a few rules for breakfast he tends to stick to.

What a gastroenterologist eats for breakfast

1. Coffee

If you rely on coffee in the morning to, er, move things along, rest assured that it’s a habit Dr. Sonpal does too. “Coffee helps perk us up, and wakes up everyone’s colon,” he says. But he still advises pairing it with something to eat, if you have time.

2. Oatmeal with chia seeds

One of Dr. Sonpal’s favorite is oatmeal with chia seeds, a double dose of breakfast fiber. “I like adding chia seeds to my oatmeal because it adds another layer of fiber as well as a great deal of iron and other nutrients,” he says. One cup of oatmeal has 16.5 grams of fiber and two tablespoons of chia seeds has about 10 grams. Combined, that’s nearly the recommended amount for the whole day. (If you’re not used to getting much fiber, start slow and then work your way up to avoid feeling bloated and overloading your stomach.)

3. blueberries

Dr. Sonpal loves oatmeal topped with fruit—and his go-to is blueberries. “They have fiber and area full of antioxidants,” he says. Blueberries benefit the heart and brain as well as the gut.

Overall, the big takeaway when crafting your morning meal to jumpstart your digestion is loading up on (drumroll) fiber. And hey, a little coffee won’t hurt.

Smoothie for breakfast fiber? Yes, please:

Now that breakfast is taken care of, here are some healthy ideas for lunch and dinner.

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