You want a smoothie, but you also want it to contain some gut-friendly boosts. Good, here are my top 13 gut healing boosts for smoothies (and/or smoothie bowls).
Truth. The only real reason I drink smoothies and eat smoothie bowls is so that I can pack all the gut healing boosts into them.
I’ve been doing this for years.
There was once a time when I organized a 7-day smoothie challenge.
It doesn’t matter how many years go by, the challenge remains relevant, delicious, and fun.
In case you want in on all this fun, you can do so for free HERE.
Anyways, I do believe that a great smoothie is great as-is.
But I also believe that because a smoothie is thick and in liquid form, already with great flavor, you can add gut-healing boosts without changing the smoothie flavor.
This doesn’t always work, but with many of the below, it will work.
Top 13 Gut Healing Boosts for Smoothies
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This is, hands down, one of my favorite ways to boost smoothies. I believe in L-Glutamine so strongly for gut healing that I wrote an entire blog post about it. During periods of intense gut healing, I find myself taking 15-20g per day. 15g is 1 Tbsp, so if you toss 1/2 Tbsp – 2 tsp in a smoothie, you’ve covered a lot of base in one smoothie. Taste: The taste is fairly neutral, though sometimes I think it has a slightly sweet taste to it. Once you add it to a smoothie, you won’t even know it’s there.
Collagen provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system, essential for mobility. It’s a great protein addition, and I take it almost daily. Taste: The taste is neutral. (By the way, if you purchase THIS collagen, you can use my code AGUTSYGIRL at checkout to save 15%.)
(I believe in Gelatin for gut healing in general). People have a hard time distinguishing between collagen and gelatin. To learn the difference, read my guide to collagen vs. gelatin. Gelatin is, like collagen, is great for people looking to strengthen their stomach and digestive lining, leading to better digestion and overall gut health. Grab Perfect Bovine Gelatin Bottle HERE. (Use code GUTSY10 to save 10%.) Taste: The taste is neutral.
This is the powdered form. Quercetin acts as an antioxidant that fights inflammation, which is the main cause for most diseases related to human health. We get quercetin from foods like apples, peppers, red wine (can I get an amen?!), capers, olive oil, and beans, but during times when we need that extra boost for lowing inflammation, adding it as a powder into a smoothie comes in handy. Taste: The taste is neutral.
I’ve been praising Moringa long before it was popular. In fact, I was writing about it in 2015 and by that time had already figured out how to make my own Moringa powder. Among many other things, Moringa has been known to aid in digestive functioning. When my Perioral Dermatitis was at its worst is when I really got serious about taking it, as I was trying to reduce inflammation throughout my entire body. It worked, and I believe in all that it can do to this day. Taste: Moringa definitely has a taste. I’d say it’s somewhat earthy and I probably wouldn’t use it in an overly fruity smoothie. It pairs best in a green and/or cacao/avocado smoothie.
Ashwaghanda is an adaptogenic herb that you might not otherwise think to add for gut healing. Here is why I do: improves thyroid function, relieves “adrenal fatigue,” combats stress and anxiety, and boosts immune function (source). So often when it comes to gut healing, we are seeking the thing that will miraculously target the gut and heal us quickly. The gut doesn’t heal like that. It also doesn’t end up in a broken state because of any one thing. Everything – yes, everything – plays into the gut and how well its functioning. By addressing the thyroid, “adrenal fatigue,” stress, and more you are ultimately addressing the gut as well. Taste: While it doesn’t smell the greatest, I have found that I can add it safely to almost any smoothie.
Ginger has been a staple in both Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. It’s a warming spice that helps keep digestive juices moving. It’s mostly used for nausea, indigestion and stomach cramping. Taste: Ginger definitely has a spicy taste to it, so you’ll want to be sure it’s the right add in to your smoothie. A little will go a long way.
- Chia Seeds
Why do I use these for gut healing? Because when I’m in a period of not eating a ton of fiber by way of broccoli, sweet potatoes, and other high-FODMAP fibers, chia seeds are a way I can easily get a ton of fiber to help keep things moving through me. Works like a charm! You can save that same 10% at Perfect Supplements by using my code from above and grabbing your chia seeds HERE. If you’re interested in a ground chia seed, Nutiva has an Organic Ground Chia Seed, which also works great in a smoothie. Taste: The taste is neutral, but the texture is not neutral if you choose the traditional (vs. ground) chia seed.
I choose to add ground flaxseeds to my smoothies for the same reason I choose chia seeds; extra fiber. As a side note that I will mention just super quickly – flaxseeds are also used in seed cycling. Seed cycling is used for hormonal balance (again, the gut and hormones go hand-in-hand). And since I practice seed cycling, I also have a bag of whole flax seeds. I grind them on the daily, and they work lovely in smoothies. Taste: Flaxseeds are fairly nutty tasting. Because of it, if I’m looking for specific sweet smoothie (i.e. lots of citrus fruit), I avoid flaxseed because I don’t think it’s tastes the best.
- Pumpkin Seeds
I do not buy pre-ground pumpkin seeds. I bought them whole, and grind when I want to add them to smoothies. (To grind nuts and seeds fresh, I use my Magic Bullet, Vitamix, or Coffee Grinder.) Pumpkin seeds are also used in seed cycling, and they also help cleanse the body because they are full of nutrients. Taste: They may have a slightly earthy/nutty flavor, but I don’t get a huge flavor burst from them. As with the flaxseeds, though, I wouldn’t use them with citrus.
Whenever you are looking for a thicker and creamier smoothie or smoothie bowl, tossing in hempseeds is one super easy way to do so. I’ve written about hemp and your gut in the past. Taste: Hempseeds have a slightly earthy taste, but I find myself adding them to most smoothies.
So, the answer is “No, no you cannot just toss a probiotic capsule in the blender and blend away.”I mean, I guess you probably could, but it’s not ideal. Without exception, I add a probiotic into both my smoothies and my children’s smoothies. It’s the ultimate easy way to get your probiotic in. The key, though, is that you must have a high-quality probiotic in order to do this (open up the capsule and pour its contents in the smoothie). I use the Just Thrive Probiotic. You can learn all about it HERE. And if you purchase the probiotic HERE, just use my code AGUTSYGIRL and you’ll save 15%. Taste: None at all. You’ll never know it’s there.
- Liquid Coconut Oil
On a list of specific thing aimed at healing leaky gut, I call out coconut. There is so much research out there on the benefits of coconut oil as it relates to the gut. If you can get past all the BS the media puts out by way of organizations like the American Heart Association, you might get to the really good stuff that proves its benefit. Coconut oil turns to liquid when it’s really warm out; otherwise, it stays solid. If you toss some into a smoothie, it will harden because the smoothie is so cold. Most don’t enjoy that chunkiness, so my best recommendation is simply to add in the liquid coconut oil. It will stay liquid, and you’ll never notice it’s there. Taste: It’s only slightly coconut flavored. You likely won’t notice it at all.
Anything else you add to your smoothies and smoothie bowls for gut healing? Let me know in the comments below.
Note: Never just add in supplements haphazardly. If it’s something that you have no clue about, consult with your doctor or nutritionist. Otherwise, you could be doing yourself more harm than good.
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You will heal. I will help.