Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to enjoy fruits and vegetables along with other nutritious foods like nut butter, yogurt and seeds all in one shot. They also make getting fiber and other gut-friendly foods much easier. And filling up on these healthy foods first thing in the morning can help your overall gut health in a number of ways.
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High-fiber foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains can help keep you from feeling bloated — and some foods, especially those high in insoluble fiber, may help you poop or prevent you from becoming constipated. Some of these picks, including oats, asparagus, bananas, apples and flaxseed contain prebiotic fiber, which is a food source of probiotics.
The key to good digestion and keeping your gut in tip-top shape is, well, being able to effectively digest the foods you eat. Some foods, like pineapple, avocados, mango, kefir and papaya, naturally contain digestive enzymes, which help our bodies break down the food we eat and better absorb the nutrients in the food.
Plus, smoothies typically call for a cup or more of liquids — and staying hydrated is another way to help prevent constipation. Enjoy one of these six smoothie recipes that will give some extra support in the bathroom.
1. Oatmeal Smoothie
- Calories: 332
- Fiber: 5 grams
The fruits and whole grains in this recipe make this the perfect smoothie for constipation. Oats and pears add thickness to the smoothie, and they're also rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. Pears and apples contain fructose, a type of sugar that isn't well-absorbed and can act as a laxative. Plus, pears contain sorbitol, which may also help prevent getting backed up, according to a November 2015 study in Nutrition Today.
Get the Oatmeal Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Mochaccino Smoothie
- Calories: 471
- Fiber: 13 grams
If you're dealing with constipation, this Mochaccino Smoothie recipe made with cold-brew coffee could be your morning hero. Yes, coffee poops are real: While caffeine acts as a stimulant and can lead to a laxative effect, an older April 1990 study in the journal Gut found that decaf coffee also helps you go.
A banana rounds out this smoothie by adding sweetness, a creamy texture and gut-friendly prebiotics. We suggest using a frozen banana — it'll make your smoothie even thicker.
Get the Mochaccino Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Digestive Smoothie
- Calories: 321
- Fiber: 8 grams
This smoothie lives up to its name. The key ingredient? Prunes. Prunes are high in insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to your stool, and the type of soluble fiber in prunes pulls water into your colon which can help alleviate constipation.
In fact, a February 2019 study in Clinical Nutrition found that adding prunes and liquid (as this smoothie calls for) increases stool weight and frequency. You'll love this smoothie for constipation not only for the relief it provides but because it's sweet and creamy, too.
Get the Digestive Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Chia Mango Smoothie
- Calories: 161
- Fiber: 7 grams
If you've ever added chia seeds to your smoothie before, you know they create instant thickness. But they can also help with peristalsis, or the movement of the walls of your GI tract, which pushes food through your system, as explained in an April 2016 issue of the Journal of Food Science and Technology.
And, of course, it wouldn't be a Chia Mango Smoothie without the mango. This tropical fruit contains digestive enzymes that help your body break down parts of the food you eat.
Get the Chia Mango Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Kiwi, Zucchini and Apple Smoothie
- Calories: 174
- Fiber: 5 grams
Consider kiwi, apple and zucchini a constipation-relieving trio. Like mangoes and pineapple, kiwifruit contains digestive enzymes that help with digestion. Plus, they add bulk to your stool and pull water into your colon, which, in turn, helps to break up any blockages and soften stool overall.
Apples contain fructose, another compound that can help get things going. Zucchini is a source of insoluble fiber, too.
Get the Kiwi, Zucchini and Apple Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Energizing Sweet Potato Smoothie
- Calories: 176
- Fiber: 6 grams
This smoothie is on the sweeter side, thanks to the sweet potato and maple syrup, but it's well-balanced with the tartness from orange juice and a bit of spice from the cinnamon. We know sweet potatoes contain cellulose, a type of insoluble fiber. Cellulose can speed things up in your gut, reducing overall transit time, according to a May 2017 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Get the Energizing Sweet Potato Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
- Nutrition Today: "Systematic Review of Pears and Health"
- Gut: "Effect of Coffee on Distal Colon Function."
- Clinical Nutrition: "The Effect of Prunes on Stool Output, Gut Transit Time and Gastrointestinal Microbiota: A Randomised Controlled Trial"
- Journal of Food Science and Technology: "Nutritional and Therapeutic Perspectives of Chia (Salvia Hispanica L.): A Review"
- Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: "The Behavior of Dietary Fiber in the Gastrointestinal Tract Determines its Physiological Effect"