3 Detoxifying Smoothie Ingredients You Should Be Adding For Better Gut Health

- Smoothies are great for your health and wellness for many reasons— from their on-the-go convenience to them being easily-customizable. 

These drinks (that often double as protein-packed meals) can also be great for your gut health with the right ingredients, so we reached out to health experts for 3 go-to suggestions. 

Read on for healthier smoothie tips and gut health insight from Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet and Jay Cowin, NNCP, RNT, RNC, CHN, CSNA, registered nutritionist and Director of Formulations at ASYSTEM.

1. Chia Seeds

To instantly add protein, and a high-fiber ingredient to your smoothie, Richards says chia seeds are the way to go. 

These seeds, she explains, offer many gut-healthy benefits, including the improving of your gut bacteria. 

"My go-to smoothie would include chia seeds, ground preferably," she says. Chia is an "often overlooked, but exceptionally healthy ingredient to add to your smoothie to make it healthier and provide you with more benefits than just a meal replacement," she adds. This superfood, she notes, is "versatile and packs a lot of nutrition into a small package."

Chia seeds are "full of plant-based protein and healthy omega fatty acids," which Richards says makes them ideal for those on a plant-based diet. 

Even if you aren't on this diet, the omega-3 fatty acids within chia seeds have been "shown to improve immune health," she continues, especially when "needed to bring balance to someone's omega-6 fatty acid intake." 

Omega-6 fatty acids are "pro-inflammatory and must be met with similar balance with omega-3" to prevent damaging inflammation from occurring," she says. 

2. Coconut Milk

As many might feel bloated or face indigestion after drinking a smoothie with regular milk or dairy ingredients, Richards suggests coconut milk instead. 

"Coconut milk is the primary ingredient responsible for the age and disease fighting antioxidants," she explains, as she suggests avoiding oat milk if you were thinking of making a plant-based smoothie.

"I would rather not add oat milk or other high fat milk alternatives because they are often a source of unnecessary calories," she explains. 

Most of the time, she says, they add "little in the way of taste or texture but easily add calories to an otherwise healthy smoothie." Ultimately, she stresses, "I'd rather save those for nutrient dense ingredients like fruit."

3. Berries

For even more gut-healthy fiber and anti-inflammatory additions to your smoothie, Cowin recommends berries (blueberries and strawberries to be exact). "Berry protein smoothies are a great way to help reduce inflammation," he says. 

The antioxidants in the berries, he continues, help to "neutralize the free radicals that cause inflammation, while the protein helps to rebuild the tissues that have been damaged."

Berries also contain "fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients" that can help with weight loss, Cowin adds. 

In general, "fresh fruit is low in calories and high in nutritional value, making it the perfect and best snack for people who are trying to lose weight," he says. 

Plus, when you add fresh fruit to your smoothie, Cowin points out, "you can satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging."

Author: Marissa Matozzo

S: shefinds.com

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