Digestive Issues: Smoothies To The Rescue

Digestive Issues Smoothies To The RescueSmoothies made with ingredients that aid digestion can improve nutritional absorption and the health of the digestive system. For people with digestive disorders or inflammatory bowel diseases, digestion-friendly smoothies can be a godsend. The key is avoiding digestion-unfriendly foods and including digestion-friendly foods in your smoothies.

Did you know that more people take pharmaceutical drugs for digestive problems and diseases than any other health issue? Digestive issues are an epidemic, and come in many different forms such as constipation, indigestion, acid reflux, ulcers, Crohn’s, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), GERD, and Celiac disease. If you don’t like the idea of taking a drug (that usually comes with negative side effects) to alleviate your digestive problems, then smoothies may be the answer.

Below you’ll find tips and ideas for making digestion-friendly smoothies and three smoothie recipes crafted for optimal digestion.

Smoothies are the prefect solution to digestive issues because they allow you to get the vitamins and minerals your body desires in an assimilable form that doesn’t overly tax your digestive system. Health gurus often recommend one smoothie or liquid meal a day simply to give your digestive system a break.

Digestive Friendly Smoothie Tips

Eat smaller and more frequent meals. Smoothies are the perfect solution for digestion issues, because you can enjoy a nutritious and tasty “snack” that provides the foods and liquids that improve digestion and boost nutrition.

Use apple cider, not apple juice. Fresh organic cider is made from pressed apples and is usually pasteurized. It does not contain added sugar or other ingredients. Apple juice sold in the U.S. often comes from other countries and contains additional sugar and other additives – and sometimes harmful ingredients such as arsenic-based pesticide residue.

Watch out for protein powders. Many protein powders, especially those that are heavily whey-based, can disrupt digestion and irritate the stomach lining and intestines. Better sources of protein include kefir and yogurt, which are fermented dairy products containing live bacteria and the “food” the bacteria needs to grow and thrive.

Include kefir and yogurt. These are both dairy products made from cultured milk, but each contains different types of useful bacteria. Yogurt, especially acidophilus yogurt, includes bacteria that improve digestion and feed the friendly bacteria that live in the intestines. Kefir, though, is enzyme-rich and includes other strains of friendly bacteria that are not typically found in yogurt. These bacteria can actually colonize the intestines, and kefir includes yeast strains that can eliminate or control pathogenic yeasts in the digestive system. For many people, kefir is also easier to digest than yogurt.

Eat your avocados. Just one medium-size avocado contains about 15 grams of fiber, and avocados are easily digested. Many sources of “good fats” and oils are not easily digested, but avocados prove the exception.

Easy on the fresh fruits and vegetables. High-fiber foods, especially fresh vegetables and fruits, are the foundation of a healthy diet for most people. But these are the items – along with greasy foods and certain other triggers – that can disrupt digestion and exacerbate symptoms for people with digestive disorders and inflammatory bowel disease. Cooked or canned fruit is far easier to digest. Focusing on the “safe” fruits and vegetables will provide nutrition – and flavor – without causing digestion difficulties.

Focus on digestion-friendly ingredients. Nutritious foods that improve digestion include avocados, cucumbers, peppermint, ginger, lemon, and fennel.

  • Fennel seed is particularly helpful with digestion; crush a spoonful of the seeds and pour a cup of hot water over them. Let this steep till it’s cool, then strain it through a coffee filter. Stir in lemon or honey if you prefer, then add the fennel tea to a smoothie. It’s especially tasty with avocado or cucumber.
  • Fruits that are good for digestion include bananas, pears, melons, and berries. Pears and apples are both rich in pectin, which is soothing for the digestive system. Bananas are a nutritious addition to many smoothies, and they are easily digestible.
  • Red beets are loaded with potassium and magnesium – and good fiber. For maximum flavor and nutrition, buy small fresh red beets and steam them, unpeeled, with several inches of the tops left on. Remove the roots and tops and slip the peels off while the beets are still warm.

Consider acacia powder. Heather’s acacia powder is available at helpforibs.com and provides a safe, soluble fiber supplement that improves digestion and reduces symptoms for persons with IBS and inflammatory bowel disease.

Smoothie Recipes for Good Digestion

Chilled Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup cubed honeydew melon
  • 3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and cubed fresh cucumber
  • 1/2 cup plain acidophilus yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice and/or a dash of ground cloves (optional)

Pectin-Rich Fruit Smoothie

  • 1 cup fresh organic apple cider
  • 1 fresh pear, peeled and cored and cubed
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
  • A dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or ground mace (optional)

Mineral-Rich Red Beet Smoothie

  • 1 cup plain kefir
  • 1 cup steamed and peeled red beets, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • A dash of cinnamon

For each smoothie recipe above, add the ingredients into your high speed blender and blend until nice and smooth.

Additional Information on Digestion

One of the oldest and time tested remedies for treating digestion problems is the consumption of stocks and broths. For an article on the many health benefits of stocks and a short how to stock making video, see Traditional Stocks and Soups.

Many people have healed their gut and associated ailments by following the GAPS diet. Click here to learn about the GAPS diet.

Another excellent resource for healing your gut is Konstantin Monastyrsky’s site gutsense.org.

Fermented foods are great for digestion. Kefir and yogurt were mentioned above. Here’s a few others to consider: sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, tempeh, and pickled vegetables.

For those who suffer from heartburn or GERD, this article offers some great advice on alleviating the symptoms: Get rid of heartburn and GERD forever in three simple step.

Please leave a comment below if you have experience or advice dealing with digestive issues, or a good smoothie recipe for digestion.

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28 Responses to Digestive Issues: Smoothies To The Rescue

  1. Jeanie #

    May I get the free smoothie recipe book? Thanking you in advance!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Sure, Jeanie, check your email :)

  2. Debbie #

    Hi Ryan,

    I could not get the link to work. I even tried copying to the browser. I would love a smoothie recipe book, please. I read that Mango is a good fruit to include and also Papaya for digestive issues. Is this true? Thanks for your help.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Debbie,

      I sent you an email containing my smoothie eBook. Papaya promotes digestive health and intestinal cleansing and mango also supports healthy digestion, for most people. If your digestive track is severely compromised you may have to take it easy on these fruits.

      Cheers,
      Ryan

  3. jennifer mckee #

    Hi Ryan. My dad is having a gastoscopy tomorrow at 3pm. His surgeon said he could have a smoothie at 9am, as he is diabetic and quite ill at the moment with cancer. What is a good smoothie for him to drink that will digest quickly so that his stomach will essentionally be empty in time for the gastoscopy? He had an esophoagectomy 4 years ago (just to complicate things) so his stomach is not in the usual spot, and he has to be careful with fibre. If you can help with a suggestion, that would be great.

    Also, could I get your smoothie recipe book? I drink them all the time.
    Jennifer

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Jennifer,

      Fortunately, most smoothies digest and pass through your system pretty quickly. Here’s a basic recipe for your dad:

      1 cup water
      1/2 fresh or frozen banana or 1/2 avocado (for even less sugar)
      1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
      1 tablespoon coconut oil
      A dash of cinnamon

      Feel free to increase the amount of each ingredient if he’d like a larger serving.

      I just sent you an email to confirm your subscription to my free email newsletter and get instant access to my recipe eBook.

      A recent post of mine might be of interest:

      http://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/stomach-soothing-smoothies

      Good luck to you and your Dad.

      Best,
      Ryan

  4. Linda Donaldson #

    I have a quick question – I am allergic to bananas, what would be a good substitute in these recipes calling for bananas?? Thanks!!

    Linda

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Linda, that’s an easy one – avocado. Cheers, Ryan.

  5. Jacque Downing #

    I’ve been told that adding yogurt to a fruit smoothie impedes to effectiveness of the enzymes of the fruit, Is this really a factor that I need to consider?

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Jacque,

      In some food combining circles consuming yogurt with sour fruit is advised against. I would only avoid this if you personally notice sluggish digestion. Listen to your body.

      Best,
      Ryan

  6. sara #

    Hi
    I have been suffering from gerd for almost a year now and on medication
    what kind of smoothie would be good for my condition?

    thank you

  7. Sherry #

    Hi Ryan, I am excited to try your recipes. I was recently diagnosed with Gastroparesis, and fiber is a problem. I have found that some recommendations for IBS and other disorders are not appropriate for my condition.

    Will the acacia powder be okay for me?
    Are there any other modifications that I should make to your stomach-soothing smoothies?

    Also, please send the free recipe book. The link did not work for me.
    Thanks,
    ~s

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Sherry,

      It’s hard to say how you’d fare on the acacia powder. It’s dietary soluble fiber; not insoluble fiber, therefore it might not be appropriate for your condition. You could always reach out to helpforibs.com and ask them.

      I would try the Stomach Soothing Smoothie as is and see how you do. After that I would look at incorporating additional demulcents into your diet. The biggest thing is to listen to your body – it knows best.

      eBook on its way.

      Best,
      Ryan

  8. Div #

    Thanks Ryan, I experienced some really bad heart burn and digestive issues for last 3 weeks and this article is really helpful… Although I already started my day with the black berries, banana smoothie today with a small addition of 1 tsp organic flaxseeds..will see how the day goes by without hopefully any stomach issues….fingers crossed…any other suggestions are welcome

    Can you also please email me the free recipe book, I registered but could not get through the link

    • Ryan Carmody #

      You’re welcome, Div. I hope your day was free of any digestive discomfort. There is one thing I failed to mention in this blog post, which I’ll add shortly, the GAPS diet. Its helped many people heal digestive issues. For info on GAPS:

      http://www.gapsdiet.com/

      Free smoothie recipe eBook will arrive in your inbox shortly :)

      Best,
      Ryan

  9. patricia #

    I would like to have the free receipts book. Working at a hospital patients with its.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Patricia,

      I just signed you up for my newsletter to receive my recipes eBook.

      Cheers,
      Ryan

  10. Nancy #

    Just wondering I have bad burning in my tummy and my throat is so bad. I have tried many prescribed meds, but nothing is helping. Is there any type of smoothie or natural fruit or vegetables that could help me out. I am so desperate to eliviate this burning. It has been going on for about 20 now my tongue went numb and now that the feeling is back it feels like it has been burnt with some hot liquid. I have had this for several months with the tongue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Nancy,

      I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, it sounds like this is beyond the scope of my knowledge. A couple things do come to mind though, aloe vera and raw honey. Both can aid is soothing damaged or burnt skin. This article may be helpful too:

      http://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/stomach-soothing-smoothies

      It sounds like you should work with a qualified medical professional.

      Best,
      Ryan

  11. Myrna Knight #

    Hello Ryan I would like to try your drinks however I am concern because I have a problem with abdominal gas. I do not drink or eat dairy products.
    Could you please send me some recipe that would help my digestive system but would not give me gas and that I can include ginger. I was told ginger is very good for the digestion.
    Looking forward to hear from you.
    Myrna

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Myrna,

      I would start with the recipes above, although remove any dairy if that’s problematic. You could use a coconut water kefir or coconut based yogurt. See my post on stomach soothing smoothies for additional ideas:

      http://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/stomach-soothing-smoothies

      Ginger is great for digestion and can be incorporated into most smoothies. You’ll have to experiment with the ingredients above until you find a combination that works for you.

      Best,
      Ryan

  12. sarah #

    wow just want to say thanks great help!!

    • Ryan Carmody #

      You’re welcome, Sarah :)

  13. claudia vazquez #

    Hello. I have a question. I was told I have multiple stones in my gallbladder and also kidney. I am waiting for a surgery and want to take care of myself as much as I can. What smoothies could benefit me and also can I add coconut oil, coconut water and or coconut milk to my smoothies? Thank you in advance. I appreciate your answer.

    • Ryan Carmody #

      Hi Claudia,

      I’m really not in a position to give medical advice. However, if I was you I would consult an alternative health practitioner such as a homeopath or naturopath and try to avoid surgery. Check out my Detox smoothies, those may provide some relief. You may want to use coconut oil sparingly if your gallbladder is bothering you. Coconut water and milk are fair game.

      Best,
      Ryan

  14. Penny #

    Hi Ryan – I am in a Crohns flare and on massive amounts of steroids. I am surviving on smoothies that have kale, spinach, frozen fruit, milk, avocado and lots of water. I try solid food once a day – usually a home-made really thin flatbread with olive oil, spinach and cheese on top. Some yogurt every day. I pass gas, but only really soft stool about once every 8 days – on that day I am often in the washroom. Can you give me some smoothie advice please as well as the recipe book? I am on week two of not wanting to eat other than my smoothies…… Many thanks, Penny

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