Best Smoothie for Gut Health [Dietitian Approved]
Written by soon-to-be Registered Dietitian Olivia Luken. Edited by Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your gut health, your diet is the ideal place to start.
Incorporating foods into your diet that promote a healthy microbiome in your intestine is a quick and direct way to improve gut health. These foods increase the number of good gut bacteria and minimize the overgrowth of the bad kind. This type of bacteria can cause many unwanted digestive issues, such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
A healthy gut can even help with weight loss and managing menopause symptoms.
This smoothie recipe incorporates multiple foods that promote a happy, healthy gut. Here are a few reasons why these ingredients make up the best smoothie for gut health.
Because it has natural probiotic cultures from the fermenting process, yogurt is an obvious choice for a gut-healthy recipe.
Probiotics have grown increasingly popular in recent years because of their health benefits for the gut. Fermented foods like yogurt have been shown to increase good gut bacteria, improve digestion, and even aid in weight loss by improving satiety, increasing insulin sensitivity, and decreasing inflammation.
Incorporating fermented foods and probiotics into your diet can be especially helpful during menopause, as the changes in hormones that occur during this time can impact the gut and lead to constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. The probiotics in yogurt and other fermented food can combat these problems by balancing the ratio of good to bad bacteria in the gut microbiome.
Including bananas in your smoothies adds fiber and micronutrients with a little sweetness. Bananas are particularly good for improving gut health because they provide soluble fiber that can support the growth of good gut bacteria.
Ripe bananas are better for adding sweetness, but you will get more probiotics from less mature bananas.
Pro tip: using frozen bananas make smoothies more refreshing and tasty.
Like bananas, dates are a great addition to your diet because they provide prebiotics that feed the good gut bacteria. They are also important for diversifying and balancing your microbiome.
Dates are nutrient-dense and provide many important dietary elements, including potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and antioxidants, just to name a few.
The best thing about dates in smoothies? They are the perfect addition for extra sweetness!
Nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter, are a great source of healthy fats. They also contain some protein, so they’re ideal for a more filling and satiating meal or snack.
Healthy fats can also improve your gut health by increasing the good gut bacteria and supporting a diverse microbiome. Healthy fats that are high in omega-3s, such as those found in walnuts and flax seeds, are also great for lowering inflammation in the body.
What kind of yogurt is the best for gut health?
When choosing a yogurt, be sure to look for one that is low in sugar, as many yogurts have a lot of added sugar.
Dairy-free products are a great choice. Just be sure to check the added sugar content.
Greek yogurt is another great option because it’s typically higher in protein and lower in sugar.
Choosing low-fat yogurt can also be beneficial to avoid consuming a lot of the unhealthy saturated fat found in many full-fat yogurts.
What ingredients should be avoided for gut health?
While it’s good to know what foods to add to your diet for a healthy gut, it’s equally important to know what foods may be causing damage to your gut microbiome.
One ingredient that’s important to avoid to support better gut health is sugar. It’s easy to overeat sugar, and it always causes cravings for more. Consuming too much sugar results in inflammation and promotes an environment in which bad bacteria will thrive.
When choosing ingredients for your smoothies, opt for low-sugar plant-based milk alternatives rather than fruit juice, which can pack a lot of sugar without any of the fiber that you get from the actual whole fruit.
With other ingredients, such as yogurt or nut butters, choose one with little or no added sugar.
For more information on foods that damage your gut, check out my article, Lose Menopause Weight By Healing Your Gut.
Best Smoothie for Gut Health Recipe
This smoothie isn’t only a powerful ally in supporting good gut health, but it’s also delicious and easy to prepare. It’s so good that even kids love it!
- High power blender
- ½ cup almond yogurt or other plain plant based yogurt
- 1 banana fresh or frozen
- 2 dates pitted
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup almond milk
- Dash of cinnamon
- A handful of ice
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
The Bottom Line
Taking care of your gut is essential for overall good health in the long term, and it will also help combat many unpleasant digestive issues, including bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. It will even help you shed stubborn excess weight.
Taking care of your intestine microbiome and digestion can be especially helpful during menopause, as the hormone shifts that occur during this time can trigger many of these digestive problems.
This smoothie recipe is a perfect combination of gut-healthy ingredients, including fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, and healthy fat, to provide the best support for your microbiome.
It also avoids gut-damaging ingredients such as added sugar, avoiding the danger of overdoing it on sugar, which can disrupt the balance of bacteria and result in inflammation.
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Miami, FL. She is passionate about helping women over 40 live their best lives through healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Su-Nui is a doctor in clinical nutrition, able to translate complicated evidence-based science into practical advice. Su-Nui is the former spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.