Ginger’s Medicinal Properties and Other Health Benefits

If you’re a ginger-enthusiast like me, you’ll love learning about the amazing health benefits ginger offers. If you’re not, we’ll cover a few ways to incorporate ginger into your diet that actually taste good (like a healthy strawberry ginger soda! stay tuned…)

Ginger is delicious in savory stir fries, sweet traditional desserts, and even bubbly beverages. This super spice has a long list of wonderful health benefits, from anti-inflammatory properties to calming upset stomachs. Many cultures claim it — whether munched, pickled, crystallized, grated, or dipped in hot water. It’s also cited for its medicinal properties, as well as for resolving health ailments for centuries.  

If you’re a ginger lover, this will make you love it even more. Without further ado, here are some of the best benefits ginger has to offer.

Helps Relieve Nausea

Ginger reduces nausea and vomiting. This includes motion sickness, morning sickness, postoperative nausea, and travel-related sickness. Moreover, it’s all natural and (can be) completely organic, which is often more appealing than taking medication all the time. 

Coming from someone who gets motion-sickness from swings and rocking chairs, I know how important it is to plan ahead. I take these ginger chews on car rides, boat rides, and planes to help keep my stomach calm.

Reduces Arthritis Inflammation and Pain

Ginger helps improve rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other rheumatism. That includes muscle pain and muscle soreness caused by exercise. These benefits are credited to ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Aids in Digestion

Consuming ginger helps reduce bloating, flatulence, intestinal colic, poor digestion, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Ginger supports your body’s food digestion, as well as nutrient absorption and assimilation, by stimulating your body’s digestive acids and secretions.

This makes ginger a great addition before or after a meal to support your digestive processes.

Helps Combat Lung Disease and Infections

Ginger can help combat bronchitis and asthma due to its immune-boosting properties. This is because ginger can help remove excess mucus and reduce inflammation in the airways. For the same reason, ginger is often used as a natural decongestant and antihistamine. 

Helps Alleviate Gut Infections

Some animal studies show that ginger may inhibit H.pylori stomach infections. H.pylori is a bacteria that lives in your digestive tract that, if unmanaged, can lead to stomach cancer and gastric ulcers.

Research also shows that ginger helps reduce gum disease. I know—you thought we were talking about the gut! Well, the mouth is the very first part of the gut, so it’s incredibly important to have a healthy mouth. Gum disease is caused by bacteria buildup, so it makes sense that ginger helps because it’s an antibacterial.

Supports Blood Glucose Levels

Some studies show that ginger can effectively lower fasting blood sugar in people with diabetes and reduce Hemoglobin A1c. Hemoglobin A1c is a blood sugar indicator regularly used by people with diabetes for monitoring purposes. 

Improve Blood Circulation and Prevent Cold Hands and Feet

Ginger is hyperthermic, meaning it triggers a warming of the body. This warming and circulatory response promotes blood circulation to the extremities and makes it a practical solution for helping cold hands and feet. It may even aid in Raynaud’s disease

Eases Period Cramps and Dysmenorrhea

Period cramps are sometimes linked to your body’s excessive production of prostaglandins, which helps contract the uterus to shed the lining during a period. Ginger may reduce prostaglandins and therefore help ease period cramps. It can also help with endometriosis thanks to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Prevents Respiratory Infections

Ginger is an excellent support to the immune system. It’s also a great preventative measure against the common cold and other viral infections. In addition, it also reduces painful sore throats, nasal congestion, and coughs.

Has Anti-Cancer Properties

Gingerol is a compound found in ginger, and it’s what gives ginger such a refreshing spice! This compound, along with other compounds found in ginger, are shown to have protective properties against certain types of cancer, such as colorectal, liver, and prostate cancer. 

Eases Migraines

Migraines are terrible, especially if you experience them on a recurring basis. Consuming ginger can help reduce headaches and migraines thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to several animal studies, ginger also helps protect memory, support brain function, and reduce brain damage. 

Prevents Drug-Resistant Microbial Diseases 

Ginger, when mixed with garlic like in this delicious wellness shot, has an intense antibacterial effect that helps protect your body against pathogens (microorganisms that cause disease). This means it helps prevent sickness, including drug-resistant diseases. Prevention of these diseases is especially helpful because these diseases are drug resistant and therefore harder to treat. 

Conclusion

This super spice is prevalent in cultures all over the world: in curries, stews, sweets, cookies, pressed juices, and more—and no wonder! It’s health benefits make it a no-brainer to include in any healthful diet.

To help you get your daily dose of ginger, here are a few fun ways to incorporate it into your daily routine: 

  1. Ginger herbal tea
  2. Veggie stir fry with ginger and garlic
  3. Strawberry ginger with hibiscus prebiotic soda (this one is my fave!)
  4. Sugared ginger chews
  5. Ginger snap cookies
  6. Ginger pills (perfect if you don’t like the taste of ginger)

My favorite from the list above? Mayawell’s Strawberry Ginger with Hibiscus healthy soda. It has a strong dose of spicy ginger that’s perfect after a meal to settle the stomach. I often drink it right away in the morning, too, to get my digestive system started on the right foot. With 20% of your daily value of fiber in each can and no refined sugar, it’s the perfect way to amp up ginger’s already amazing benefits.

What are prebiotics?

If you’re a gut-health enthusiast, you may notice that the iPhone doesn’t recognize the word “prebiotics.” That invalidation from Apple makes the modern American ask some questions:

  • Are prebiotics even real, or is this like Dogecoin?
  • If they are real, what are they?
  • Do they mean probiotics, and need to work on their proofreading skills? 

 

All valid questions. That’s why we’ll go over what prebiotics are (yes, they’re real!), and why they’re an important part of any healthful diet.

Definition of prebiotic 

The word prebiotic comes from two root words:

  1. Pre, meaning “before”
  2. Biotic, meaning “produced by life or living organisms”

Merriam-Webster defines prebiotic as “existing or occurring before the origin of life.” (Which sounds pretty existential and profound, doesn’t it?)

When we piece this together through the lens of gut health, we come to the following conclusions:

  1. Prebitoics come before a certain outcome. You can’t have good gut health without first getting your prebiotics right.
  2. Prebiotics involve real, living things. In our gut, prebiotics promote the life of good bacteria all throughout our gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Put very simply, prebiotics are fermentable fiber that help nourish gut bacteria found throughout the intestinal tract. If we were to consider gut bacteria to be “seeds,” we could consider prebiotics to be the essential “water” that grows and nourishes them.

The importance of gut bacteria

 

You may be wondering why we need to worry about our gut bacteria in the first place. It’s a good question! We spend a lot of time washing bacteria off of our hands and cursing bacteria for bad breath on our first date, so why focus on preserving bacteria in your gut? 

 

When we talk about the gut, we’re talking about everything from your mouth to your bum, and all the stuff in-between, too: esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine. 

 

Each part of your gut is lined with bacteria, and this collection of bacteria is called your gut flora, or gut microbiome. Nearly 100 trillion micro-organisms live in our GI tracts. That’s more than the entire Earth’s population! 

 

Your gut bacteria allow you to convert food into what your body needs to thrive. Your gut bacteria:

  • Break down food into forms your body can utilize
  • Assist with mineral and Vitamin absorption
  • Keep your immune system strong
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Control inflammatory responses 
  • Boost metabolism 
  • Improve mental clarity 

 

Essentially, gut bacteria are the super-tiny MVPs of the GI tract. You couldn’t digest without them.

Prebiotics vs. probiotics

If prebiotics nourish our good gut bacteria (remember, “pre” = “before”), it makes sense that probiotics are new living bacteria we can introduce to the digestive system to sit alongside existing bacteria. 

Probiotics can be helpful. If you’re experiencing digestive issues, introducing new bacteria to your gut can help restore balance to your GI tract. However, if you’re not giving your gut bacteria enough food, they’ll continue to die. 

Let’s go back to our garden analogy: say we’re experiencing a terrible drought and our summer garden is shriveling up into a dead, barren wasteland. We can continue to bring new plants and flowers into our garden, but without any water (prebiotics), those plants will continue to shrivel up and die. Furthermore, we waste our time, money, and energy in the process. 

That’s not to say probiotics aren’t helpful—they can be! But they should be accompanied by prebiotics and a healthy dose of fiber. 

Prebiotics vs. fiber

Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plants, and there are two types: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. 

  • Soluble fiber ferments in the colon (these are prebiotics)
  • Insoluble fiber does not ferment in the colon (these are NOT prebiotics)

Because soluble fiber ferments in the colon, this means it interacts with your gut bacteria. The fermentation allows gut bacteria to eat, be nourished, and grow. 

So, all prebiotics are fiber, but not all fibers are prebiotics. (Much like all hotdogs are sandwiches, but not all sandwiches are hotdogs.)

Balancing your prebiotics 

Gut bacteria, much like you and me, feed off of different foods. Some love avocados, others love celery, some love pineapple, etc. That’s why eating a varied diet is important; it ensures all of your different gut bacteria are getting the nutrients they need.

How to incorporate prebiotics into your diet

Lucky for all of us, there are tons of delicious plants out there that contain the prebiotic fiber we need to keep our gut microbiome happy and healthy. A few of my favorite staples include:

  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas

But, as much as I love Jerusalem Artichoke and garlic, incorporating them into my daily diet just isn’t realistic. That’s why I’ve found other ways to get my needed daily dose of prebiotics.

There are many capsules and supplements out there to help boost your prebiotic intake, but it can be hard to know what’s good quality vs. what’s a marketing scheme. And honestly, I usually forget to take these. There’s no enjoyment that comes with taking a pill, so I find it challenging to stay on track.

That’s why Mayawell is the only way I add prebiotics to my diet now. It comes in 4 bubbly flavors and has 5g of organic, hand-harvested prebiotic fiber in every can (that’s 20% of your daily value!). It’s also free of additives, fillers, stabilizers, and refined sugar. At only 40 calories per can, it’s the perfect, delicious way to reach your fiber goals. And it tastes good, so I never forget to drink it. 

Remember how we talked about balancing your prebiotics? Well, the cool thing about this prebiotic soda is that the Active Agave used to sweeten it retains up to 60% of a person’s existing gut bacteria. This means it’s diverse: it appeals to more types of gut bacteria than most foods.

Let’s see what you learned

Are you really ready for the real world of gut health? Could you explain what prebiotics are to your mom? Test your new knowledge with the fill-in-the-blank below:

  1. If we were to consider gut bacteria to be “seeds,” we could consider __________ to be the essential “water” that grows and nourishes them.
  2. __________ are new living bacteria we can introduce to the digestive system to sit alongside existing bacteria.
  3. Dietary ________ is an indigestible part of plants, and there are two types: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
  4. True/False: Eating a varied diet is important; it ensures all of your different gut bacteria are getting the nutrients they need.

Answers

  1. Prebiotics
  2. Probiotics
  3. Fiber
  4. True

6 Healthy Reasons Why You Should Add Lime to Your Diet

Limes are one of the most widely used fruits out there, from detox drinks to tequila shots, but they don’t get the same recognition as the exalted lemon. But limes offer more health benefits than people know. They deserve their moment in the sun.

One lime contains about: 2g fiber, 22% of your daily value of vitamin C, and a ton of antioxidants. Let’s dive deeper, and break down what that means for you and your everyday health journey.

Lime is Healthy for Your Heart

Lime supports heart health in several different ways:

  • Contains pectin, which positively affects your cholesterol levels
  • Rich in vitamin C, which helps reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease
  • Contains potassium which helps relieve tension in the walls of blood vessels to help lower blood pressure

Lime Offers Protection Against Kidney Stones

If you’ve had a kidney stone, you know they’re terrible; if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. Research finds that the citric acid in fruits like lime, lemon, and orange may prevent kidney stones from forming. This is why patients with low urinary citrate levels are often encouraged to increase consumption of foods rich in citric acid, like limes. 

Lime Benefits Your Digestive System

Carbohydrates in limes are usually made of soluble fiber in the form of pectin. This soluble fiber helps slow digestion, which keeps your blood sugar stable and inhibits the growth of colon cancer tumors.

Pectin is also known for promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Moreover, citrus fruits like lime contain a nutrient in their peels and oils called d-limonene, which helps relieve symptoms of indigestion and gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Has anyone ever recommended lemon water to start your day, or tea with lemon to settle your stomach? That’s why! We recommend trying iced lime water or green tea with a squeeze of lime, instead.

Lime Lowers Your Risk of Developing Cancer

There are a few properties of limes that help with cancer prevention:

  • The d-limonene in citrus fruits provides multiple health benefits, including cancer prevention.
  • Limes contain a flavonoid called naringenin, which has cancer-preventing solid properties, as recently found in scientific studies.
  • Citrus pulp and juice contain high levels of beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin, which are plant compounds that help prevent malignant tumors from forming in rodents.

Lime Protects You Against Anemia

Iron deficiency often leads to the blood disorder anemia. While limes don’t contain high amounts of iron, they do have high levels of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb any iron you may already be consuming.

This is important because a common issue with iron deficiencies is not the lack of iron intake, but rather the body’s inability to use the iron you’re giving it. Helping your body absorb more iron may help balance iron levels overall. 

Lime Promotes Beautiful Skin

Easy, breezy, beautiful… lime. Dermatologists often cite vitamin C for its positive effect on your body’s collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps prevent wrinkles, and also helps keep your joints healthy. 

The juice of limes and lemons is also often used as a natural remedy for acne due to their antibacterial and astringent properties. They help exfoliate skin and prevent pores from getting clogged—and they smell good. Who doesn’t want a lime facial?

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It works hard everyday to protect you from the outside world, so it needs all the help it can get.

Adding Lime to Your Diet

When you consider the health benefits of lime, adding it to your diet is a no-brainer. These are a few of our favorite ways to consume it:

Remember that one of the best ways to achieve overall health is to strive for balance and variety: Eat a varied diet, make sure you’re taking time to slow down and enjoy life while also hustling towards your goals, and balance your lemons with your limes.  

4 Health Benefits of Pineapple You Should Know Right Now

Pineapple is delicious, and that’s a fact. The only downside is that it requires a fair amount of effort to cut up and reach all that good, golden juiciness inside. But pineapples are worth it: this tropical fruit is loaded with tons of nutritional benefits that support overall health and well-being. Once you learn about all of the good things about pineapple, it’s easy to justify the longer prep time. 

Pineapples are also versatile. They’re bright, sweet flavor makes them the perfect additions to  juices, shakes, fruit salads, and even savory foods like sandwiches and kebabs. If you need more convincing, keep reading to find out why it’s time to add pineapple to your diet.

Pineapples Improve Gut Health

Pineapple is unique in that it serves as a source of dietary bromelain, a digestive enzyme that works to break down proteins in food. (Bromelain is the culprit behind why pineapple sometimes makes your tongue tingle!)

This means that if you suffer from bloating and digestive issues, regularly consuming pineapple may help support these functions. 

Pineapple is also high in fiber. 1 serving of pineapple contains about 13g of dietary fiber. That’s a ton! Dietary fiber has a wide array of benefits, from acting as a prebiotic to regulating blood sugar and helping clean your intestines. 

Pineapples Keep You Hydrated

Similar to watermelons and pears, pineapples are a great way to stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. Pineapples are 85-90% water, so if you’re sick of sipping on boring water all day, pineapples are a great way to make hydration more enjoyable. Adding a dash of pineapple juice to your water makes for a light and refreshing drink that’s super easy to sip on, as well.

Your body needs about eight glasses of water each day, but that doesn’t take into account tough workouts or sweaty summer days. If you think you can’t hit that 8-glass target (or just don’t want to—water can be boring), turn to your friend the pineapple to help you out. 

Pineapples Improve Your Sleep 

Magnesium intake can help you sleep at night. It helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, which can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. 1 cup of sliced pineapple contains 20 milligrams of magnesium and is a great way to up your intake.

Some people with poor gastrointestinal (gut) health can have lower-than-normal levels of magnesium. Remember what we talked about earlier? Pineapple helps improve gut health! 

The gut is incredibly central to all of our body’s key functions. This means that prioritizing gut health leaks into other areas of your life, such as your sleep quality.

Pineapples Contains Potassium

Bananas are famous for being potassium-rich, but they aren’t the only superstar fruit in this category. Your body requires potassium to stay healthy and strong. That’s why it’s one of the essential minerals and a staple of any healthful diet. It helps manage blood pressure, keeps your bones healthy, reduces muscle wasting, and helps keep your kidneys thriving. 

1 serving of pineapple contains about 200 mg of potassium, which is 5% of your daily value. (Bananas are around 9%. You can check out the nutrient content of different foods here.)

Conclusion

Whether you eat pineapple raw, add it to your beverage rotation, such as with this pineapple-mango turmeric soda, or include it in your weekend BBQ, your body will benefit! Pineapples are good for your gut, keep you hydrated, improve sleep, and contain notable amounts of potassium and magnesium.

The best thing about pineapple? It’s delicious. It’s important to eat foods you like. This means you’ll continue to eat them, and creating a healthy lifestyle will be an easy and joyful process.

For a simple way to incorporate more pineapple (that also has added gut-health benefits) check out Mayawell! Mayawell offers prebiotic sodas with no refined sugar, 5g dietary fiber, and 40 calories or less.

Why Does Having a Healthy and Balanced Gut Matter?

Most of the time, you eat without even thinking about it. After your plate is cleaned, your food doesn’t get a second thought. But for the body, food takes a lot more work and (metaphorical) thought. That’s where your gut comes in, and that’s why having a healthy and balanced gut matters.

Your gut is responsible for turning food into fuel to keep your organs working, help your body thrive, and keep you awake during that 9 AM meeting.

But what really is gut health? You can’t see your gut, and you can’t always feel it (unless there’s something wrong), so it can be challenging to tell if it’s working its best.

Gut health is the function and balance of bacteria throughout your gastrointestinal system. At a very basic level:

gut health = thriving and balanced bacteria

(Remember, bacteria can be good!)

Organs such as the oesophagus, stomach, and intestines all need to function properly to enable humans to eat and digest food without pain, and they can’t do that without good bacteria to help them out.

There’s a lot of science behind how to keep your gut healthy. But here, we’ll focus on why it’s so important to take care of your gut and keep it healthy. Here are three good reasons!

Your Gut Is Responsible for Critical Body Functions

Healthy stomach = excellent well-being.

More than 100 trillion bacteria live in your stomach, and these bacteria are essential to our metabolism healthy and overall well-being. They feed on dietary fiber from the foods we eat, and they perform several functions, such as producing Vitamins B and K and breaking down dietary fiber. 

The breakdown of dietary fiber causes the release of healthy, anti-inflammatory fatty acids, which are essential energy sources for the body’s systems. Now, not all bacteria are beneficial. Some of the “bad” bacteria must be eliminated and replaced with good ones.

An imbalance of bacteria can have a negative impact on your health. Just like with everything in life, we need balance! Fortunately for all of us, balancing bacteria is something prebiotics can help with.

A Healthy Gut Improves Immune System Function

When your immune system is weak, it can usually be linked back to a weak gut. There are tons of reasons for this, some of which are swept into the “leaky gut” discussion that’s become trendy lately. 

The good news? Simply understanding this connection of gut and immunity empowers you to be mindful of what you put in your body so you can improve immunological health. 

A Healthy Gut Enhances Your Mood 

Your stomach is the often called the second brain (creepy, I know). A network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and hormones connects the brain and stomach. That’s how you know when you’re hungry—your gut delivers that message to your brain.

Because of this gut-brain link, poor digestive health may even contribute to mood problems.

You can also see this when you’re really nervous or afraid: Do you get an upset stomach, or lose your appetite? Us too! It’s part of the linked, innate fight or flight response to stressors in our environment.  

3 Key Ways to Keep Your Gut Healthy

Eat Fruits and Vegetables 

Be mindful of how many fruits and vegetables you’re eating. Every meal doesn’t need to be perfect, but making sure you’re aiming for balance is important. Fruits and veggies contain a lot of fiber, and that fiber feeds the good bacteria in your stomach.

Increasing your intake of fermented foods (like kimchi!) is another delicious way to enhance your gut health. Fermentation is often accomplished by a present bacteria or yeast turning carbohydrates in food into organic acids or alcohol. Pretty cool, right?

Try a Probiotic

Another tool that can help keep your gut healthy is a probiotic. Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to your health, particularly the digestive system. A probiotic will introduce new good bacteria to your gut. 

But what about prebiotics? To put it simply, prebiotics serve as food for probiotics. They’re a type of fiber, so you’re probably already consuming some prebiotic-rich foods without even realizing it. However, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough prebiotics to keep your probiotics well-fed. That’s the key to a healthy gut. 

Consume Less Junk Food

This is one of the biggest recommendations out there, but it’s true! Consume highly processed foods in moderation. Highly processed foods are more difficult for your body to digest and process. They aren’t as “natural,” and sometimes your body has trouble knowing what to do with them.

Think about it this way: the human body has been dealing with potatoes for years, but potato chips are a curveball! The cellular structure is different and that makes digestion more challenging. 

This doesn’t mean you can never have potato chips again. It just means you should try to balance potato chips with normal potatoes, as well as fruits and veggies you genuinely enjoy.

Final Thoughts

Much like the perfect chocolate chip cookie and what to get your partner for Valentine’s Day, the human gut is much more complicated than we ever thought it could be. It has a significant effect on overall health: it contributes to a robust immune system, cardiovascular health, mental focus, better mood, good sleep, and efficient digestion. Positive gut health may help avoid certain cancers and autoimmune disorders, too.

There are lots of little things you can do to help keep your gut health. One easy and delicious way is to try one of our healthy prebiotic sodas that comes in 4 bursting flavors! They’re good for your gut and better for your taste buds—we promise.

Matcha Recipe for the Morning

Americans drink about 400 million cups of coffee every day. That’s a lot of coffee. You know how many bathtubs that could fill? I don’t, but I bet it’s a lot.

My household adds to that daily coffee count: we love our bean juice. But sometimes, coffee first thing in the morning makes the stomach feel a little… weird. A waterfall of acid down the esophagus isn’t always what the doctor ordered (especially if your work bathrooms aren’t quite as private as you’d like). On bad days, it also makes my anxiety worse.

That’s why it’s good to switch up your morning routine and have options. A varied diet also helps keep the gut healthy. This is because our gut bacteria feeds off of what we eat and drink. If we’re always consuming the same things, gut bacteria that likes those foods are consistently fed while other bacteria are starved. A varied diet ensures all bacteria are receiving enough food to thrive.

Health Benefits of Matcha

Matcha is a great coffee alternative:

  • Similar caffeine content to coffee to help get you up and at ‘em (caffeine amount depends on how you make your matcha)
  • Many people experience a more calm caffeine high with matcha vs. coffee
  • Comparable bitter flavor profile; if you like coffee, you’ll probably like matcha
  • Filled with antioxidants (like coffee, so you’re not losing any benefits)
  • No coffee breath (ew)
  • Super easy to make
  • Easy on the stomach

Read more about the benefits of matcha here.

Why You Should Drink Matcha in the Morning

Matcha is a perfect choice to shart your day:

  • It boosts your metabolism
  • Matcha contains the amino acid L-Theanine, which promotes relaxation, memory, serotonin (happy feelings), and concentration
  • It can increase your physical endurance up to 24% (according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) so it makes a great pre-workout
  • Matcha contains abundant polyphenols, which are prebiotics that encourage healthy gut bacteria and discourage unhealthy gut bacteria 

Read more about the digestive benefits of matcha.

However, because of the more subtle caffeine effects, matcha is also a great option for the afternoon! I usually need a pick-me-up around 3 pm. Coffee at this time will keep me way past my bedtime, whereas matcha gives me just enough energy to keep going.

A Gut-Healthy Morning Matcha Recipe 

I know bubbly matcha might sound weird, but it’s [chef’s kiss]. Furthermore, it’s a great way to make your morning bright, bubbly, and refreshing. 

Mayawell contains 20% of your daily value of prebiotic fiber, so this morning matcha recipe trumps coffee in the “health” realm, for sure. It will help you prioritize digestion and good gut health in a way that tastes delicious (ick, MiraLAX). And I can personally guarantee this fulfills your caffeine buzz needs without sending you to the bathroom.

A healthy gut is an essential part of your morning routine. When your gut feels good, you’ll reap the rewards all day long:

  • Improve mental clarity
  • Boost metabolism
  • Reduce bloating
  • And so much more! 

Choosing a Matcha Powder

There are many different kinds of matcha powder out there, and some are better than others. Look for ceremonial grade matcha instead of just culinary grade. We highly recommend this ceremonial matcha powder by Jade Leaf. 

Mayawell Matcha Recipe

This recipe is quick and simple. You can mix ahead of time so all you have to do morning-of is pour over ice. 

Ingredients

1-2 T ceremonial grade matcha powder

¾ cup water

Strawberry ginger Mayawell

1/3 cup coconut milk or cream

Vanilla simple syrup (optional)

Note: We make our own sugar-free simple syrup (below). You can also add a drizzle of honey, maple syrup, or raw cane sugar.

Optional: Keto Simple Syrup

1 cup water

1 cup Monk Fruit Sweetener (we like besti)

Directions
  1. Blend matcha powder with ¾ cups of water. More matcha = a stronger matcha flavor and more caffeine. 
  2. If you want to make a keto simple syrup, add 1 cup water and 1 cup Monk Fruit sweetener to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sweetener is fully dissolved. 
  3. Add ice,  ¾ cup of your blended matcha, and simple syrup or sweetener (optional) to a large glass. Stir. Top off with Strawberry Ginger Mayawell. 

The Best Gut Healthy Drink for Your Morning Routine

There are two types of mornings:

☀️ You wake up to birds singing outside your sunny window, make a smooth cup of your favorite french press, then head outside for a crisp morning walk (during which you contemplate your existence and work through any existential crises).

🚨 You wake up 20 minutes late to a buzzing alarm, grab a granola bar for breakfast, apologize to your dog for not having time to walk them before work, and run out the front door hoping no one notices you forgot to put on deodorant.

With fall approaching and the world starting to ease itself out of pandemic hibernation, many of us are getting reintroduced to more hectic morning routines. Kids are going back to school, traffic is busier, and you’re trying to get a wholesome breakfast in before heading to the office. We can’t always do it all—it’s exhausting! Incorporating a gut health drink into your morning routine is an easy, effective way to change the course of your whole day.

 

Why even have a routine?

It’s important to get your body started off on a positive note in the morning, especially if you want to be the most productive, alert, and joyful you possible. Studies show that having some kind of daily routine helps us all be better versions of ourselves:

  • Routines help alleviate anxiety
  • Better, more regular routines → lower likelihood of chronic stress
  • Routines allow us to prioritize what’s important to us

And the list goes on. 

But very few of us have time to get in a full breakfast, an hour-long workout, or a solid meditation practice before we hit our 9-5. The good news? We don’t have to do everything to make a big change in our life.

It’s helpful to pick one small (but significant) aspect of your life to improve, and incorporate that into your daily routine. This way, you can achieve small wins, and research shows small changes are more sustainable and effective than a complete overhaul. Yeah, waking up at 4 a.m. so you can meditate, stretch, lift weights, and make a full-on breakfast skillet sounds productive, but chances are that’s not something you’ll carry through for more than a week. 

We know that good digestion helps regulate blood sugar, cravings, and brain fog during the day. Because of how closely the stomach and the brain are connected, incorporating a gut healthy drink into your morning routine is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success all day long.

What is “gut health”?

While we don’t have a Mirriam-Webster style definition for gut health, many experts agree that “A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.” 

Essentially, a healthy gut = a gut with a strong immune system. 

One of the keys to a strong immune system is a daily dose of prebiotics.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are fermentable fiber that help nourish all the good bacteria in your gut and intestinal tract.

If we consider gut bacteria to be “seeds,” prebiotics are the “water” that grows and nourishes those seeds, helping them flourish into beautiful flowers, vegetables, trees (you get it).

Prebiotics have a ton of scientifically proven benefits. They:

  • Improve digestive health (that’s our goal!)
  • Bolster the immune system (no one likes a cold… or COVID. Too soon?)
  • Boost metabolism (always nice)
  • Enhance cognitive function (bye, brain fog) 

Prebiotics are also linked to reduced rates of diabetes and obesity, which is pretty cool. 

How do I get my daily dose of prebiotics?

The easiest way for me to get my daily dose of prebiotic fiber is to drink it. I prefer to have a gut healthy drink right away in the morning as part of my wake-up routine. This way, the first thing my stomach receives is nourishment (versus an acidic coffee), and I make sure I don’t forget about it later in the day as my schedule gets busier. 

Drinking prebiotics is also more convenient than timing pills, mixing supplements, or thinking too much about food; it’s easy to sip on something in the car on my way to work, or during my morning meetings. 

My favorite way to drink my prebiotics? Mayawell! (I know I know, I write for Mayawell, but I promise I’m not being biased.) It’s definitely the most delicious way to get my daily dose of fiber. After trying it 4 months ago, I’m hooked and it’s an essential part of my morning gut health routine.

Mayawell is a bubbly prebiotic soda. Now, I know what you’re thinking. 

Soda?! For breakfast?! 

Yes, soda. For breakfast. 

But this is a soda you can actually feel good about drinking:

  • No refined sugar
  • The drink is sweetened with organic agave, which has a low glycemic index (meaning it won’t raise your blood sugar)
  • It’s packed with 5g of prebiotic fiber
  • It’s less than 40 calories 
  • And it’s so good (really) 

There are four flavors, so you never get bored from having the same thing every morning:

  • Strawberry Ginger has the added benefits of stomach-settling ginger. 
  • Pear Lime has green tea in it to further boost your metabolism and give a small hit of caffeine. 
  • Pineapple Mango has turmeric and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

And the Raspberry Cucumber is actually the most refreshing drink I’ve ever tasted.

Is this fake news?

“Prebiotic” is now a buzzword in the health and wellness space. This is good in some ways because now there are lots of options out there. But it’s bad in other ways — it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s a little too good to be true. 

There’s legitimate science behind Mayawell’s gut healthy drinks. That’s why it’s the only prebiotic beverage I’ll drink:

  • 6+ years of research went into making the drink
  • The prebiotics come from their proprietary, tested Active Agave™
  • Active Agave™ is largely made from Agavin, a non-digestible sugar (meaning it’s low GI)
  • Mayawell nourishes more varieties of gut bacteria than most prebiotics (which is important, because everyone’s gut bacteria is different)

Apple Cider Vinegar Morning Mocktail 

Apple cider vinegar, like Mayawell, has gut benefits. 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the morning is shown to:

  • Boost metabolism
  • Expel lactic acid buildup
  • Manage bloating and acid reflux
  • Freshen breath
  • Regulate blood sugar

We all know vinegar isn’t the most delicious thing to have, especially right away in the morning. Its acidity can also give some people an upset stomach in the morning. I like to dilute apple cider vinegar in Mayawell to make a morning cocktail. It tastes good, it’s easy on the tummy, and it doubles up your morning dose of good-for-you. 

Recipe
  • 1 can of Pear Lime Mayawell 
  • 1 T organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T apple juice 
  • A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

Your Morning with Mayawell

Good gut health before 9 am can be easy. It doesn’t matter how or where you sip: at the office, before your morning workout, or in the car during your commute. Including a gut healthy drink in your morning routine is the best way to make sure you’re prioritizing a good gut feeling, no matter what you have going on today.

4 Quick & Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids

School is starting, schedules are getting busier, and mornings are getting more and more stressful—especially when kids are involved. That’s why I’ve complied my favorite healthy breakfast ideas for kids. They’ve made my mornings infinitely more enjoyable (and incredibly tasty). 

Once my kids are out the door for school, I know I don’t have as much influence over what they’re eating and drinking. If my daughter wants to throw her carrots and apple slices in the trash at lunchtime, that’s her choice as an independent 6 year old; if she wants to guzzle a Coke during her afternoon pizza party, that’s her prerogative. And that’s okay! Part of teaching my kids about true health is giving them the freedom to choose and pursue balance. 

This does make me extra-aware of what I’m giving them for breakfast. It’s the first thing their tummies will process in the morning, and what will carry them through the whole rest of the day. 

But mornings are hectic enough. I don’t need the added stress of trying to get my kid to drink green juice (there’s no way) and do a few yoga flows to get her GI tract moving. 

That’s why I compiled my 3 go-to, kid-friendly breakfast hacks that help me set them up for success all day long.

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Oatmeal is a simple—and incredibly nutritious—healthy breakfast option for kids. One serving of oats contains:

  • A significant amount of key minerals and vitamins like Manganese, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.
  • 13g of protein and 4g of dietary fiber to keep your kiddo full until lunchtime.
  • Beta-glucan, which is a type of fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol.

Read more about the nutritional value of oatmeal here.

Nut butter, chia seeds, and yogurt in this recipe provide more protein and fat, which are exactly what your kid needs to stay fueled throughout the day.

  • Fat provides the body with an energy source that takes longer to digest, meaning it keeps you feeling full longer.
  • Protein allows our cells to turnover more quickly, providing the building blocks our bodies need to flourish.

The beauty of this recipe is you can make it the night before, so all you have to do morning-of is choose your spoon!

Ingredients

⅔ cup milk of your choice (oat, almond, or traditional cow! Check ingredients for added sugar)
½ cup rolled oats
2 T chia seeds
⅓ cup plain greek yogurt
2 T all-natural peanut butter
2 T cacao powder (not cocoa powder—cacao is rich in health benefits, whereas cocoa is not)
2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 T honey or maple syrup

*The peanut butter in this recipe can be substituted with almond or sunflower seed butter. I like to rotate which kind I use so we’re always having something different.

*If you prefer your oats warm (any hot cereal fans out there?), take out the yogurt, but you can still prep everything the night before. Put your oatmeal in the microwave for 1-2 minutes morning-of, and then top with a dollop of fresh yogurt, if you want!

For more chocolate-filled breakfast recipes, check out this zucchini-filled chocolate oatmeal.

You can be creative and add in fruits like bananas, or keep it plain and simple. Either way, it’s kid-approved.

Blender Cinnamon Pancakes with Secret Veggies

My kids love these healthy breakfast pancakes, and so do I! They’re delicious, easy, and incredibly convenient:

  • Naturally sweetened with banana
  • Freezer-friendly, so you can make a ton at once at thaw as-needed
  • All you need is a blender
Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ cup milk (any kind—just watch for added sugar)
1 ripe banana (about 1 cup)
0-2 T maple syrup or honey
2 T ghee (sub coconut oil, butter, or avocado oil)
Optional: spinach (about 1 cup)

Directions
  1. Put all dry ingredients in your blender. Blend until you get a powder consistency. Empty into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Measure all wet ingredients in your blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add your dry ingredients back into your blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Fry ‘em up! Add 2 T ghee (coconut oil, avocado oil, or butter also works) to a pan on medium high heat. Use ¼ cup to measure out the batter. Wait for small bubbles to form on the top, then flip them over.

*I love to top these with a drizzle of nut butter and honey.

*Frozen blueberries are a delicious addition to your batter. If you want to do this, add the batter to your frying pan, then add ~4 frozen blueberries per pancake before you flip. By the time your pancake is done cooking, the frozen blueberries will be soft and the perfect temperature.

Mayawell 

Constipation is a significant problem in kids—just like it is with adults. As we send them out the door for a full day of school, the last thing they should be worrying about is pooping.

That’s why getting enough of the right kind of fiber and prebiotics is so important. 

I was struggling with this. My daughter is too young for a pill or prebiotic powder supplement, and it was stressful to constantly be checking in on her fiber-filled foods that day.

That’s when I discovered Mayawell. Mayawell is a prebiotic soda I can genuinely feel good about giving my kids. Each can contains 5g prebiotic fiber, so it keeps my daughter regular, and there’s no refined sugar or weird ingredients. It’s sweetened with their proprietary Agavin blend which has an incredibly low glycemic index, which means there’s no before-school sugar rush (or ensuing sugar crash).

I can also read, understand, and pronounce every ingredient on the can, which is important because I want to know exactly what I’m giving my kids. 

Mayawell comes in four flavors. My kids love the Pineapple Mango in the morning. It’s a fun way for them to start their day, and it helps me to know they’re leaving hydrated and with good digestion.

Muffin Tin Snack Plate

I know it sounds weird, but hear me out. 

  • A “snack plate” (of healthy snacks) gives your kids options. We all like autonomy, and our kids are no different! 
  • Using a muffin tin as a “plate” keeps the foods separate (kids often don’t like mixing) and makes things a little more fun.

As you’re filling the muffin tin, think about the macronutrients: carbs, fats, and proteins. Have at least one representative from each group in the muffin tin. 

Here are 3 combination ideas:

  1. Leftover chicken from dinner last night, cheese, apple slices, a few almonds, and healthy crackers like these ones from Simple Mills.
  2. A hard boiled egg, cashews, blueberries, and some green pea snack crisps.  
  3. Toasted chickpeas, half of a peanut butter bar, some strawberries, and a few carrot slices.