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 now so today I wanted to share with you my top 13 gut healing boosts for smoothies (and/or smoothie bowls).
I’m doing a 7-Day Smoothie Challenge for anyone who wants to participate from Monday, April 30 – Sunday, May 6, 2018. From my health coaching e-newsletter this past Friday,
The reason I want to do a 7-Day Smoothie Challenge is, as I said, not because I think people should live on smoothies and nothing else.
It’s because I believe that by adding in an extra smoothie a day, we are able to boost nutrition and what we are able to provide our bodies in a simple, delicious way.
It’s also because I have created probably 50+ smoothies during the past several years for various clients, and now I want to hand-pick my favorites and share them with you.
- Who: YOU (+ your friends, family, co-workers, etc. – all you have to do is click HERE to share this blog post with them on Facebook or send this post to them directly)
- Where: My blog.
- What: A 7-Day Smoothie Challenge. I will provide (at the very least) 7 full smoothie recipes that you can make at home and enjoy. My goal is to curate more than 7 so you have even more options and/or the ability to have more than one smoothie per day, if desired.
- When: Monday, April 30 – Sunday, May 6
- Why: Because smoothies have been an easy way for me to incorporate all things during my gut-healing journey, and I want to share them with you. Plus, it’s going to be the perfect way to kickoff May!
- How: Stay tuned to my e-newsletter and the blog. By Friday, April 20th, I will have a complete list of ingredients the smoothies use so you can start gathering. By Friday, April 27th, I will put the recipes all in one place on my blog so you have them ready to go for Monday, April 30th. More info to come….
Some of the smoothie recipes I’ll provide will already include some of the below. Some will not. For those that don’t, you have the power to add in whatever is best for YOU. I do this all the time.
It’s the magic behind a nutrient-dense, gut-healing smoothie.
Top 13 Gut Healing Boosts for Smoothies
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- L-Glutamine. 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. 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.
- Gelatin (THIS brand is quite a bit cheaper). People have a hard time distinguishing between collagen and gelatin. To learn the difference, read my guide to collagen vs. gelatin. Gelatin is a great healer for people looking to strengthen their stomach and digestive lining, leading to better digestion and overall gut health. Taste: The taste is neutral.
- Quercetin (powder). 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.
- Moringa. 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. 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 seek that 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. 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! It’s no secret that I use Nutiva Chia Seeds, but what you might not know is that, if you don’t care for the traditional chia seed texture, they also have an Organic Ground Chia Seed, which works perfectly in a smoothie. Taste: The taste is neutral, but the texture is not neutral if you choose the traditional (vs. ground) chia seed.
- Flaxseeds (ground). 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). I started my first round of seed cycling this past Tuesday. I bought whole flax seeds, and I grind them on the daily. They work lovely in smoothies. After I seed cycle a month or two, I’ll share a follow up post on it. 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 (freshly ground). This is the only product on this list that I do not buy pre-ground. 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, and 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.
- Hempseeds. Whenever you are looking for a thicker and creamier smoothie or smoothie bowl, tossing in hempseeds is one super easy way to do so. In 2015, I wrote about hemp and your gut. Taste: Hempseeds have a slightly earthy taste, but I find myself adding them to most smoothies.
- Wildway Foods, Smoothie Bowl Starter Kit. If you’re looking to add a great all-in-one mixture to your smoothies, this is a kit I’d strongly suggest. I featured them on my post-Expo West top finds list. There are various blends, but for example, one of the blends (Recharge) includes: Egg whites, MCT oil powder (MCT oil, tapioca starch), coconut flour, hydrolyzed collagen peptides, flaxseed, maca root, ashwagandha root, reishi mushroom, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086. The only note of caution on them is that every single one uses egg whites. For many, egg whites can be highly inflammatory to the gut. Only you know if and how they affect you. Taste: The taste is neutral.
- 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, and 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?