While we’re sad that the season of cozy unicorn lattes and turmeric hot chocolate is coming to a close, supporting gut health this spring with delicious beverages is just as important. We’re always looking for new ways to get the nutrients our bodies need, and these gut healthy drinks are ideal for warmer weather.
We’ve talked a lot on our blog about how gut health is important, not just for supporting your digestive system and supporting a healthy weight, but also for promoting a healthy internal response, maintaining a healthy immune system, and supporting a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria.
The Importance of Gut Health
Your gut is home to trillions of tiny microorganisms (sometimes called intestinal bacteria or flora) that perform a number of functions, including the production of vitamins B and K and the breaking down and fermenting of fiber. These bacteria also work to protect from harmful microorganisms, and play a role in digestion and detoxification. They also work to support your immune system.
However, when the balance of our gut flora gets interrupted, it can cause negative health effects like heat, pain, redness, and swelling. This condition is known as inflammation, and it can cause discomfort not only in your gastrointestinal system, but throughout your body as well. While there are a number of factors that may cause inflammation, such as genetics or harmful bacteria, it may also be linked to the foods you eat.
Your Gut and Diet
According to some studies, eating certain foods can actually support or harm gut health. A 2010 study found links between gut health and a Mediterranean diet, stating that:
Available evidence indicates that consumption of magnesium, fiber, omega-3 PUFAs [polyunsaturated fatty acids], MUFAs [monounsaturated fatty acids], flavonoids, and carotenoids from food is associated with decreased levels of inflammatory markers in serum, whereas SFA [saturated fatty acids], TFA [trans fatty acids], high-glycemic index carbohydrates, and a high omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratio are associated with increased levels of inflammation.
Other studies support these findings, suggesting that while starchy foods or trans-fats may have negative effects on gut health, there are certain botanicals and herbs like turmeric that can support a healthy internal response.
If you’re looking to incorporate these nutrients into your diet, it can be as easy as turning on your blender! We’ve found some refreshing gut healthy drinks that may help you sip your way to health!
Gut Healthy Drinks for Spring
Before you start making these delicious recipes, it can be helpful to invest in a good quality blender. This will make your drink preparation quick and easy, and you can spend more time enjoying your gut healthy drinks!
Golden Milk Iced Latte
This pretty iced latte makes a perfect alternative to coffee, and is ideal for warmer months. The star of this drink is turmeric, a brightly colored spice that’s used not only in cooking, but also contains active ingredients to support your health. One of the potential benefits of turmeric is supporting a healthy internal response, so you can sip on this creamy, spicy drink and feel extra healthy!
- 2 cups milk (you can use almond, cashew, soy, or traditional dairy)
- 1-½ tsp. turmeric powder
- ½ + ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ground
- ¼ tsp. ginger, ground
- Pinch black pepper
- 2-4 tbsp. maple syrup (you can substitute honey)
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Ice cubes
Recipe: (Serves 2)
- Set a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat
- Whisk together milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper in the saucepan.
- Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in maple syrup and vanilla.
- Allow to cool in fridge, then serve over ice as desired.
Lemon Goji Switchel
Switchel, which is sometimes called Haymaker’s Punch, is a drink made from water, vinegar, ginger, and sweetener. It actually originated in the Caribbean, but became popular among the New England colonists in the late 17th century. In the 19th century, switchel was a popular drink to serve to thirsty farmers; in fact, Laura Ingalls Wilder in The Long Winter describes a similar drink that her mother brings Laura and her father during harvest. She writes, “She had sweetened the cool well-water with sugar, flavored it with vinegar, and put in plenty of ginger to warm their stomachs so they could drink till they were not thirsty.” This switchel has a tart, refreshing taste with a bit of spice that’s great for quenching your thirst on a warm day. It’s also packed with gut healthy ingredients like apple cider vinegar, lemon, and ginger.
- 1/3 cup unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½ oz. ginger root, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp. goji berries
- 1 tbsp. dark or blackstrap molasses
- 2 tbsp. raw honey
- 4 cups water
- Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender
- Pour into large glass container, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, pour through a strainer and serve over ice.
Soothing Beet & Cherry Smoothie
Although ingredients like turmeric, ginger, and apple cider vinegar work to support your health, some days you may not feel like a tart or spicy beverage. If you’re looking for something sweeter, but that still supports gut health, try this great tasting, pretty pink beet and cherry smoothie. This gut healthy drink is super easy to prepare, and it’s not only perfect for a quick, on-the-go breakfast— it also offers antioxidant support to protect your cells from free radical damage.
- 10 oz. (about 1 ¼ cup) vanilla almond milk or your milk of choice
- 1-2 small beets, peeled and cooked, and chopped into quarters
- ½ cup frozen pitted cherries (you can buy them fresh and freeze)
- ½ frozen banana
- 1 Tbsp. almond butter or raw almonds
Recipe: (Serves 1)
- Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Alkalizing Green Smoothie
What would the world of gut healthy drinks be without a green smoothie? Leafy green vegetables are sources of many vital nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K. calcium, iron, magnesium, and many, many more. While the color of these smoothies may be intimidating, they actually taste pretty great. This smoothie also includes ginger and turmeric, and cilantro and pineapple to support detoxification.
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ¼ of a fresh pineapple (core included)
- ¼ of an avocado
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1-2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
- 1-2 inches fresh turmeric (1 tsp. if using dried)
- Pinch black pepper
Recipe: (Serves 2)
- Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve
What are your favorite gut healthy drinks? We’d love to hear your recipes in the comments!