In this article:

  1. A Hearty Prebiotic-Rich Breakfast for a Healthy Gut
  2. Lunch for Happy Microbes
  3. Dinner for Easy Digestion
  4. Q&A with Dr. G

You can read all the articles in the world about gut health, but nothing comes close to getting advice directly from a microbiome expert.

We sat down with Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum — Dr. G — to talk about what’s on his plate all day, every day. As a leading microbiome researcher and the pioneer who discovered the mycobiome, we trust his advice (and will be making some changes to our plates in the coming days!).

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Seriously, he’s so good at this stuff that the scientific community affectionately nicknamed him “Dr. Microbiome.” If that doesn’t convince you he’s all about a healthy gut, maybe his daily diet will.

Here’s what this leading microbiome researcher enjoys for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, followed by a Q&A about the ideal weekly menu for optimal gut health.

A Hearty Prebiotic-Rich Breakfast for a Healthy Gut

To start the day, Dr. G usually eats a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal topped with berries and banana slices (bananas are a great prebiotic). On weekends, when he has more time, Dr. G opts for a vegetable omelet with spinach, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and onions and enjoys a slice of 100% whole-grain toast with honey on the side.

Oh, and even though too much caffeine can wreak havoc on your body, don’t feel too bad about your daily cup of Joe — even Dr. G enjoys his morning java! Dr. G enjoys a cup of coffee most weekdays and drinks a pot of Earl Grey or green tea on the weekends.

Lunch for Happy Microbes

For lunch, Dr. G fits in as many colors as possible with a fresh salad full of tomato, radishes, lettuce, spring onions, arugula, watercress, and strawberries. He tops his rainbow salad with a lean protein such as salmon or chicken and dresses it in extra-virgin olive oil, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and crushed garlic.

If he’s in a hurry, Dr. G eats a legume soup of lentils, onions, herbs, spices, and fresh lemon. On those extra busy days, hummus with olive oil serves as a healthy protein source.

Dinner for Easy Digestion

Dr. G gravitates toward the gut-friendly classic of roasted or steamed protein with roasted vegetables. A typical dinner plate might have roasted chicken and mixed vegetables, including asparagus, eggplant, garlic cloves, onions, broccoli, potatoes, and root vegetables — not all in the same day, Dr. G says, so don’t feel like you have to fit in every vegetable under the sun!

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Q&A with Dr. G

Q: What foods are non-negotiable for you in a week — the ones you MUST get in?

Foods to eat every day:

  • Coconut or extra-virgin olive oil, at least 1 tablespoon
  • Resistant starch foods, at least 1 cup but no more than 2 cups
  • Cruciferous vegetables, at least 1 cup with no maximum
  • Mycobiome-friendly vegetables, at least 2 cups
  • Apple cider vinegar, at least 1 tablespoon

Optional: Eggs (2), poultry (like chicken and turkey — 6 ounces), low-fat or non-fat dairy products (1 cup), tofu and tempeh (4 to 6 ounces), edamame (1 cup): 2 servings maximum.

Foods to eat three to seven times a week:

  • Fish and seafood, up to 6 ounces
  • Ground turmeric, at least 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger, at least 1 teaspoon dried and ground or 1 tablespoon fresh grated
  • Garlic, 1 to 2 cloves
  • Pistachios and/or walnuts, ¼ cup
  • Green tea, at least 1 cup
  • Fermented foods, ½ cup

Q: On the other hand, which foods are a no-no for you — the ones you avoid as much as possible?

Foods to exclude completely:

  • Added sugar sweeteners (except for maple syrup and raw honey)
  • Refined grains
  • Processed, cured meat (such as lunch meat)
  • Processed or packaged food with more than three ingredients
  • Oils or fats, other than those mentioned above, including butter
  • Full-fat dairy products

Q: What kind of beverages do you drink? Any coffee?

I usually drink a cup of coffee in the morning and late afternoon. During the day I take tea and alternate between back and green tea.

In addition to that, I drink freshly squeezed orange juice — no juices that aren’t fresh. I also avoid pops and soda, whether original or diet.

Q: What is your supplement regimen like?

I take my BIOHM Probiotic, usually after breakfast. Since my food contains natural fiber I do not take prebiotics. However, if I feel I need to have some more fiber especially when I am traveling and access to plant fiber-rich food is limited, I do take BIOHM’s Prebiotic. I don’t take any vitamins since the food I eat is chock-full of all the essentials!

What Dr. G Eats in a Day

Editor’s note: This post has been updated for relevancy. Its first publish date was October 11, 2019.


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