You want a smoothie, but you also want it to contain some gut-friendly boosts. Same! Here are my top 13 gut healing boosts for smoothies (and/or smoothie bowls).
Truth. The main reason I drink A LOT of smoothies is so that I can pack all the nutrient-dense, gut-healthy boosts into them.
Smoothies are already packed with great flavor from fruits, so I like to add unflavored gut-healthy boosts that you can hardly recognize are there - I’ll review the taste of each ingredient below!
Top 13 Gut Healing Boosts for Smoothies
This is one of my favorite ways to boost smoothies. During periods when I’m not eating as much animal protein, I find myself taking 15-20g per day. In most supplements, 15g is 1 Tbsp, so if you toss 1/2 Tbsp – 1 tbsp 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.
If you’re going to add collagen into your routine, it’s important that you add it daily. Collagen provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system, which is essential for mobility, but adding it to your smoothies doesn’t provide a direct effect. Collagen has to be broken down in your body into amino acids, and then those amino acids may be used by your body to create its own collagen. If you do want to take it daily, I recommend between 10-15g, and pairing it with a food high in vitamin C, like berries. Taste: The taste is neutral, but I prefer the Vital Proteins brand.
People have a hard time distinguishing between collagen and gelatin. Gelatin, like collagen, is great for people looking to strengthen their stomach and digestive lining, leading to better digestion and overall gut health. Taste: The taste is neutral, but I prefer the Great Lakes Wellness Brand.
Turmeric’s active component, curcumin, acts as an antioxidant that fights inflammation, which is the main cause for most diseases related to human health. Curcumin may have adaptogenic properties, and play a role in inhibiting large increases in your stress hormone, cortisol. During times of high-stress, adding it as a powder into a smoothie comes in handy. Taste: Earthy and peppery. Try adding this to a smoothie with frozen butternut squash, coconut oil, kefir, spinach, and banana.
I’ve been praising Moringa long before it was popular. Among many other things, Moringa has been known to aid in digestive functioning. 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.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that you might not otherwise think to add for gut healing. Here is why I do: relieves adrenal fatigue, combats stress and anxiety, and boosts immune function. 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 it's functioning. By addressing stress and anxiety, 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 are a way I can easily get a ton of fiber to help keep things moving through me. Works like a charm! Taste: The taste is neutral, but the texture is not neutral if you choose the traditional (vs. ground) chia seed.
If I add ground flaxseeds to my smoothies, it’s 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 a popular method used for hormonal balance. There’s strong anecdotal evidence for seed cycling, but few research studies have been performed. Either way, seed cycling can’t hurt, and again, the gut and hormones go hand-in-hand. Taste: Flaxseeds are fairly nutty tasting. Because of it, if I’m looking for a specific sweet smoothie (i.e. lots of citrus fruit). Honestly, I avoid flaxseed because I don’t think it tastes the best.
Pumpkin seeds are also used in seed cycling. They contain lignans, a type of insoluble fiber that speeds food through the digestive tract and can relieve constipation. 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 hemp seeds is one super easy way to do so. They provide both protein, and heart-healthy Omega-3 fats. Taste: Hemp Seeds have a slightly earthy taste, but I find myself adding them to most smoothies.
So, 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. Instead, use probiotic-rich yogurt, kefir, cultured cottage cheese or buttermilk in order to do this. Taste: Unflavored products add a tarte, tangy twist, but they are not overpowering unless you add too much.
Liquid Coconut Oil
There is research out there on the benefits of coconut oil as it relates to anti-candida and antifungal properties. 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.