A Functional MD's Everyday Smoothie Recipe For Hormone Balance
When it comes to hormone-balancing foods, experts are quick to recommend a hearty helping of fiber. Fiber, you see, plays a critical role in estrogen balance, as it helps to excrete estrogen so it doesn't keep circulating in your body—not to mention, getting your fill of fiber means you'll stay fuller for longer, with none of those dreaded blood sugar crashes during the day.
To meet your daily fiber quota (that's 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women), functional medicine doctor and mbg Collective member Taz Bhatia, M.D., recommends getting six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. "And the way to do that is at every meal, half of your plate needs to really consist of that," she explains on the mindbodygreen podcast. Including, yep, your breakfasts: And what better way to pack in a ton of fruits and veggies than with a nutrient-dense smoothie?
"I can't live without my morning smoothies," Bhatia says. Here, she shares her go-to recipe.
An MD's everyday smoothie recipe for hormone balance.
Smoothies are easy, delicious, and nutritious—truly, there's no better breakfast for busy mornings. "I've tried to play around with other things, but I don't have time to sit and eat a big breakfast," Bhatia explains. So at least four to five days a week, she whips up a nutritious blend for breakfast. Usually, she'll chuck in whatever healthy ingredients she has on hand, but one of her favorites happens to be this creamy, banana-coffee confection. Feel free to play around with the measurements below:
- 1 serving protein powder of choice (more on that below)
- ½ banana
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee
- 2 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cup milk of choice
- Optional mbg addition: 1 handful of spinach or other leafy greens for even more veggies
- Place all ingredients into a blender and whir until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Bananas, chia seeds, and flaxseeds add quite a bit of fiber into the blend: Yellow bananas, for example, contain soluble and insoluble fibers, with about 3 grams per medium banana; chia seeds contain 11 grams of fiber in just 2 tablespoons; and 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds boast 7 grams. Throw some spinach into the mix if you choose, and you're adding even more prebiotic fiber plus antioxidants (for even more nutrient support, you can also opt for a scoop of high-quality greens powder).
While the smoothie's blood-sugar-balancing properties will give you all-day energy, that extra nudge from the instant coffee certainly doesn't hurt. Plus, it can even help you streamline your morning routine (because why not compile your coffee and breakfast into one step?).
As for the protein powder, Bhatia doesn't mention a specific brand she loves—but the best protein powder ultimately depends on the specific benefits you're looking for, anyways. For example, proper protein powders tend to be better for those who are strictly interested in muscle gains, and for those following vegan lifestyles, there are plenty of plant-based options on the market (sourced from pea, rice, hemp, etc.).
Collagen powder, on the other hand, has a different set of amino acids than a typical animal or plant-based protein powder and supports full-body benefits, including skin, hair, muscle, joint, and bone health.* If you are interested in adding a collagen powder to your smoothie, here's our roundup of favorites.
There are endless concoctions and blends for a stellar morning smoothie, but Bhatia especially loves the recipe above for hormone balance. Feel free to tweak the ingredients as you see fit—as long as you have a significant portion of fiber, you're all set.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.