6 Healthy Granolas—With Seriously Cool Benefits—You Need to Try

Photo: Instagram/@purely_elizabeth
With nutritionists in agreement that a lot of granola isn't all that healthy (cue sad trombone), the search is on for crunchy crumbles that aren't a sugar bomb in disguise.

We've already pinpointed the healthiest options, but if you're looking for an added boost that goes beyond nutrition labels, lucky you: There's an emerging food trend of amped-up granola that is not only good for you, but packed with a little something extra to brag about.

Want to top off your smoothie bowl with an extra dose of probiotics? Kick start your day sans coffee with some caffeine-infused granola? Or even need a little help getting a detox going? We've got you covered.

Scroll down for the healthy, overachieving granola (in both loose and bar form) you need to try.

purely elizabeth granola
Image by Julia Wu for Well+Good

For gut health, try Purely Elizabeth Probiotic Granola

Getting enough gut-friendly bacteria helps you ward of bloating, boosts your mood, and even helps you sleep better—so it's no wonder why so many people are hunting around for more ways to sneak it into their diets. The brilliant minds at Purely Elizabeth took note and formulated a probiotic-rich granola whose microbes were made to survive the baking process.

The key player in their recipe is GanedenBC30, a vegan beneficial bacteria strand that isn't activated until it reaches the gut—that's how it's able to survive while some other probiotics are destroyed by the harsh acids in the digestion track. The brand infused it with their best-selling ancient grain granola, made with coconut oil, coconut sugar, organic quinoa, millet, chia seeds, walnuts, maple syrup, and sunflower seeds. (It also comes in chocolate sea salt.) 

sakara granola
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For a caffeine boost, try Sakara Plant Protein Granola

If you're trying to quit coffee, matcha is a lifesaving solution (that's also full of antioxidants)—and it just so happens to be the active ingredient in one of Sakara's three granola blends. It also has 12 grams of protein per cup—all from plant-based sources like almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. Himalayan salt, organic vanilla extract, mulberries, and organic honey add a perfect mix of sweet and salty.

udi granola
Image by Julia Wu for Well+Good

For brain health, try Udi's Active Omega 3 Granola Clusters

It's pretty unrealistic to rely solely on fish to get enough omega 3s—and it's a nonstarter if you're vegan. But considering that fatty acid does everything from boost brain health to treat depression, this granola is the next best thing to noshing on avocados. The blend of gluten-free oats, flax and chia seeds, and walnuts makes it a powerhouse source, while dried cranberries and honey keep it from tasting too bland. Amaranth is also included for extra protein and calcium. (Because why not, right?)

Cascadian Farms granola
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For extra protein, try Cascadian Farm Organic Protein Chewy Bars

Protein is responsible for almost every single bodily function (from digestion and hormone regulation to energy and immunity), so getting enough is super important—and can be tricky if you don't eat meat. Cascadian Farm Organic is capitalizing on the "it" protein source of the moment—pea protein—to provide 9 grams per granola-packed bar. (The fact that peanuts and peanut butter are the first two ingredients listed helps to amp things up too.)

living intentions granola
Image by Julia Wu for Well+Good

For a detox, try Living Intentions Radiant Raspberry Superfood Cereal

Resetting your body doesn't mean you have to go on a juice cleanse. Living Intentions crafted a granola made specifically with the goal of removing inflammation from the body. The key ingredients? Zeolite (an alkalizing clay that helps bring balance back to the body), milk thistle (which helps the body get rid of toxins), schizandra berry (a go-to Chinese herb for mental clarity and skin hydration), and aloe vera (another toxin cleanser). The brand as a whole focuses on using sprouted ingredients, which—bonus!—makes things easier to digest.

oat mama
Image by Julia Wu for Well+Good

If you're nursing, try Oat Mama Blueberry Muesli Lactation Granola

Diaper duty is all the evidence you need to know that when you're lactating, you're still eating for two. The friends behind the Oat Mama brand found that filling up on rolled oats, chia seeds, and coconut actually made them lactate more—and they're in turn helping other nursing women by selling their special formulated granola, with roasted almonds and dried blueberries mixed in. Bonus: If you already have a kid or two running around, they'll enjoy it as well.

Need some breakfast ideas to go with your granola? Here are 35 healthy smoothie bowl recipes. And as if that wasn't enough, these 35 morning meals are packed with protein (and no, they aren't smoothies).

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