Smoothies are quite popular these days. They are super convenient and oh so yummy! Did you know they can also be nutritionally therapeutic? Yes, you heard that right! Try these gut healing smoothie ideas to bring your gut health and overall wellness back into balance.
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Pros & Cons of Smoothies
You may have heard conflicting information about how healthy smoothies really are. Are they loaded with calories and sugar? Are they a great snack or meal replacement? Are they a waste of money? Is eating whole fruits and vegetables healthier? So, what’s the actual truth about gut healing smoothies?
I believe smoothies are a great way to pack a ton of nutrients into one meal! I mean, have you seen how much spinach can be blended into a smoothie and you can’t even tell it’s there? To the contrary, smoothies are also a great way to consume way too much sugar and calories without even noticing it!
Can smoothies be expensive? Yes. Can smoothies also be an affordable option? Yes. Can smoothies be unhealthy? Yes. Can smoothies be unbelievably healing and healthy? Yes. All of the above are true, and this article will show you gut healing smoothie ideas that are healthy, healing, and won’t break the bank.
Keep reading to learn the best gut healing smoothie recipes that will give you the perfect balance of calories, protein, healthy fat, and gut healing superfoods!
All products listed below, except those with an asterisk, can be purchased at stores such as Costco or your local health food store or grocer. Items marked with an asterisk may be purchased through my affiliate link, where I will earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
- Fresh/Frozen Leafy Greens (I like to buy organic spinach in bulk and freeze it right in the container. This helps it last longer. If you keep your spinach fresh, try placing a paper towel in the container to help it keep without spoiling quickly)
- Frozen Riced Cauliflower (I know this may sound odd, but just trust me)
- Fresh/Frozen banana (Freeze them before they turn all the way yellow or have brown spots to get more prebiotic fiber)
- Fresh/Frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, acai berries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Frozen sweet potato cubes
Picking Your Protein: Whey vs. Plant Protein vs. Collagen
Plant-based, Whey, and Collagen protein powders are all very different. Whey, which is derived from milk, is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Collagen is not a complete protein, yet has many added benefits for skin, hair, nails, joint, and bone health. Most plant-based protein powders are not complete proteins; however, some do contain all 9 essential amino acids.
Is it imperative for your protein powder to be a complete protein? In my opinion, if you have other sources of complete proteins in your diet, having a protein powder that is a complete protein is not necessary. It all depends on your goals and preference.
If you are lactose intolerant, you’ll want to opt for a plant-based or collagen protein powder. Whey isolate is more easily tolerated than whey, although it does still contain a small amount of lactose. If you prefer a vegan protein powder, you’ll want to avoid whey and collagen powders.
In terms of preparing a gut healing smoothie, plant-based powders are the way to go. While plant-based protein powders are lactose free and vegan, they may contain soy or gluten. Be sure to read the ingredients list to avoid any added ingredients that you may be sensitive to.
- Plant-based (My favorite is the *GBX Protein from Amare Global. It’s creamy, easy to digest, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, has no yucky fillers, and boasts 17gm of plant protein per serving)
- Whey Isolate (Whey isolate is a great choice if you are looking to add a lot of protein to your diet, if you’re an athlete, or working to build muscle)
- Collagen powder (My personal favorite is Vital Proteins, in either chocolate or vanilla)
- Nut butters (I am a fan of the Mixed Nut Butter at Trader Joes. Look for no added sugar)
- Raw nuts (Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts)
- Greek / Plain yogurt (Look for live active cultures on the label)
Gut Healing Functional Foods
These ingredients may sound a bit overwhelming if you don’t already have them in your pantry. The good news is that once you purchase them, they last a very long time. These products are a great way to ramp up the functional nutrition value of your gut healing smoothie.
- Hemp seeds
- Cacao nibs
- *GBX Seed Fiber (contains a cultured mushroom mycelia extract that has anxiety, tension, and stress relieving effects)
- *GBX Super Food Blend (adds 3 servings of fruits and vegetables per serving)
If dairy causes you GI distress, opt for one of the non-dairy liquids. I have personally found that while some individuals don’t tolerate cow’s, they do fine with Kefir and goat milk.
- Kefir (fermented milk drink, contains probiotics)
- Cow’s milk
- Goat’s milk
Choose unsweetened when possible.
- Nut milk (ex. almond or cashew)
- Coconut Milk
It may not be necessary to add a sweetener to your smoothie. If you find that you need that little touch of sweetness, sparingly add a natural sweetener.
- Local Honey
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Liquid Stevia
- Pitted Medjool Date
Build Your Own Smoothie Guide
Gut Healing Smoothie Recipes
Smoothies can be made to your liking and sometimes it takes a little trial and error. The ingredients you choose may be due to your taste preference, or you may have a specific outcome you are looking to achieve, such as weight gain, weight loss, increasing fiber intake or general overall health.
While this post won’t focus on high calorie smoothies, Registered Dietitian, Katie Dodd shares a 1000 calorie weight gain smoothie that will give you some great ideas.
Try the two smoothie recipes below and make sure to download and print the build your own smoothie guide to take the guess work out of building a gut healing smoothie.
Finally, the better the blender, the better the smoothie will be. An old-fashioned blender will not blend these items to an enjoyable consistency. I personally use the Total Blender Classic from Blendtec. A Vitamix would also do a great job. Both the Blendtec and Vitamix come at a higher price point. If you are looking for a more affordable option, I also recommend the Magic Bullet Blender from Nutribullet.
- High-Speed Blender
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- 2 Cups Baby Spinach fresh or frozen
- 1.5 Cups Nut Milk
- 1 Cup Blueberries frozen
- 1/2 Medium Banana frozen
- 2 Scoops Vanilla Plant Protein
- 1/4 Medium Avocado
- Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender, in order listed
- Blend until smooth.
- Add more or less almond milk, if needed, to reach desired consistency
- Pour and enjoy!
Smoothies are a great way to pack a ton of nutrients into one meal and they can also be nutritionally therapeutic. The flavor combinations are endless so let your creative juices flow and find your favorite recipe. Cheers to gut healing smoothie making! Be sure to post a picture of your gut healing smoothie on Instagram and tag me @angelaangelalagonutrition-com.
The purpose of this information is to inform and empower the reader to make positive lifestyle changes. The intent is not to replace medical advice or instructions given by your doctor or healthcare provider.
Angela Lewis Lago MS, RDN, LDN is a Registered Dietitian. She specialized in Clinical Nutrition Management , Malnutrition, Gut Health and Mental Wellness. Angela holds a Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.