7-Day Meal Plan for a Healthy Gut: 1,200 Calories

By: Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., R.D., C.D.

To help you boost your gut health, we created this 7-day meal plan that features foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics.

A healthy gut is a hot topic these days. Words like probiotics, prebiotics, fermented foods, microbiome, microbiota and gut bacteria are making their way into everyday chatter—and for good reason! Research has shown that a healthy gut microbiome has many surprising health benefits, beyond just helping with digestion. Good gut bacteria have been shown to improve heart health, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and can even improve your sleep pattern and mood by producing feel-good neurotransmitters, like serotonin. An added bonus: diverse gut bacteria is also associated with a healthy weight.

Read More: Gut Health: Prebiotics, Probiotics and the "Forgotten Organ"

To help you boost your good-gut bacteria count, we created this 7-day meal plan that features foods that promote healthy gut bacteria growth and maintenance. We've included healthy probiotic foods (like yogurt, kimchi, kefir and kombucha) that deposit helpful bacteria into the gut, as well as prebiotic foods (like high-fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains) that feed the good-gut bacteria. We left out foods that have the tendency to harm your gut, like highly processed, refined foods that contain additives and preservatives, artificial sweeteners and red meat.

Day 1

Berry-Kefir Smoothie

Breakfast (304 calories, 9 g fiber)

• 1 serving Berry-Kefir Smoothie

A.M. Snack (32 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1/2 cup raspberries

Lunch (325 calories, 12 g fiber)

• 1 serving Green Salad with Edamame & Beets

P.M. Snack (138 calories, 6 g fiber)

• 1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips
• 1/4 cup Avocado-Yogurt Dip

Dinner (402 calories, 6 g fiber)

• 1 serving Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo Salad

Meal-Prep Tips: Prepare Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal to have for breakfast on Day 2. Buy store-bought cooked chicken or prepare Best Poached Chicken to have for lunch on Day 2 and Day 5.

Daily Totals: 1,201 calories, 70 g protein, 129 g carbohydrates, 37 g fiber, 49 g fat, 1,399 mg sodium

 

Day 2

Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal

Breakfast (291 calories, 6 g fiber)

• 1 serving Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal

A.M. Snack (62 calories, 7 g fiber)

• 1 cup blackberries

Lunch (301 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 serving Greek Kale Salad with Quinoa & Chicken

P.M. Snack (67 calories, 0 g fiber)

• 1 15-oz. bottle kombucha
• 1 clementine

Dinner (453 calories, 14 g fiber)

• 1 serving Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils

Meal-Prep Tip: You'll have leftover roasted root vegetables from tonight's dinner. Plan to save 1 cup of roasted veggies to have with lunch on Day 3 and Day 6 (1/2 cup for each day).

Daily Totals: 1,208 calories, 51 g protein, 164 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 43 g fat, 1,169 mg sodium

 

Day 3

Roasted Veggie & Hummus Pita Pockets

Breakfast (281 calories, 6 g fiber)

Peanut-Butter Banana Toast

• 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
• 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
• 1 medium banana, sliced

A.M. Snack (32 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1/2 cup raspberries

Lunch (357 calories, 10 g fiber)

• 1 serving Roasted Veggie & Hummus Pita Pockets

P.M. Snack (95 calories, 3 g fiber)

• 1 medium apple

Dinner (463 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 serving Honey-Garlic Salmon
• 1/2 cup Easy Brown Rice
• 2 cups mixed greens
• 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette or salad dressing of your choice

Related: Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipes

Daily Totals: 1,199 calories, 57 g protein, 161 g carbohydrates, 28 g fiber, 41 g fat, 1,580 mg sodium

 

Day 4

White Bean & Avocado Toast

Breakfast (270 calories, 12 g fiber)

• 1 serving White Bean & Avocado Toast

A.M. Snack (112 calories, 3 g fiber)

• 1 clementine
• 10 almonds

Lunch (304 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 serving Kimchi Shrimp Cup of Noodles

Easy Cucumber Salad

• 1 1/2 cups sliced cucumber
• 1 tsp. lemon juice
• 1 tsp. olive oil
• Salt, pepper & dried dill to taste

P.M. Snack (31 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1/2 cup blackberries

Dinner (497 calories, 8 g fiber)

• 1 serving Spaghetti Squash & Chicken with Avocado Pesto

Meal-Prep Tips: Make a batch of Basic Quinoa to use for lunch and dinner on Day 5. Prepare Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal tonight to have for breakfast on Day 5.

Daily Totals: 1,215 calories, 70 g protein, 112 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 49 g fat, 1,398 mg sodium

 

Day 5

Breakfast (291 calories, 6 g fiber)

• 1 serving Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal

A.M. Snack (31 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1/2 cup blackberries

Lunch (301 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 serving Greek Kale Salad with Quinoa & Chicken

P.M. Snack (87 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips
• 1 serving Avocado-Yogurt Dip

Dinner (479 calories, 12 g fiber)

• 1 serving Tex-Mex Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl

Daily Totals: 1,189 calories, 53 g protein, 148 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 46 g fat, 1,598 mg sodium

 

Day 6

Berry-Kefir Smoothie

Breakfast (310 calories, 9 g fiber)

• 1 serving Berry-Kefir Smoothie

A.M. Snack (32 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1/2 cup raspberries

Lunch (357 calories, 12 g fiber)

• 1 serving Roasted Veggie & Hummus Pita Pockets

P.M. Snack (101 calories, 5 g fiber)

• 1 clementine

Dinner (472 calories, 22 g fiber)

• 1 serving Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

Daily Totals: 1,199 calories, 52 g protein, 208 g carbohydrates, 46 g fiber, 27 g fiber, 1,284 mg sodium

 

Day 7

Breakfast (280 calories, 6 g fiber)

Peanut-Butter Banana Toast

• 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
• 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
• 1 medium banana, sliced

A.M. Snack (95 calories, 4 g fiber)

• 1 medium apple

Lunch (308 calories, 7 g fiber)

• 1 serving Kimchi Shrimp Cup of Noodles
• 3 medium celery stalks
• 1 serving Avocado-Yogurt Dip

P.M. Snack (112 calories, 3 g fiber)

• 1 clementine
• 10 almonds

Dinner (372 calories, 15 g fiber)

• 1 serving Lemony Linguine with Spring Vegetables

Evening Snack (55 calories, 2 g fiber)

• 1/2 cup Pineapple Nice Cream

Daily Totals: 1,223 calories, 59 g protein, 196 g carbohydrates, 36 g fiber, 29 g fat, 1,875 mg sodium

 

Watch: What a Day of Eating for a Healthy Gut Looks Like

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