Not only are smoothies healthy and quick to make, with the right ingredients, high fiber smoothies provide a healthy boost of complex carbohydrates to help keep you feeling full and energized.
Smoothies are a great way for athletes to fuel up before a practice or game or replenish after a tough training or match. Often athletes drink a smoothie as a quick grab and go breakfast option or as a healthy snack in between games.
Why is fiber important
Fiber plays an important role in keeping your gut healthy. When it comes to athletic performance, fiber can help support a number of key functions in the body.
First, it helps slow down digestion and keeps your blood sugar levels steady. This is especially important for athletes who need to maintain their energy levels during long workouts or training sessions.
In addition, fiber promotes healthy gut bacteria. Studies show that athletes who consume a high fiber diet have a more diverse range of gut bacteria, which helps reduce inflammation, boost immunity and support healthy digestion. (1)
High fiber smoothies are a great way for athletes to incorporate more fiber into your diet, and they are also incredibly convenient. Make them ahead of time and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
What can I add to smoothie for extra fiber
One of the best ways to boost extra fiber in your smoothie is by adding high fiber ingredients like chia seeds, flaxseed, berries and leafy greens like kale and spinach.
These ingredients not only add a delicious flavor and texture to your smoothie, but they’re packed with vitamins and minerals that can help support your overall health, anti inflammatory benefits and sports performance.
Seeds to boost fiber in smoothies
Chia seeds are a great source of fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. When soaked in liquid, they become gelatinous and can add a creamy texture to your smoothie.
Flaxseed is also an excellent source of fiber, rich source of omega -3 fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Leafy greens for more fiber
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are a powerhouse of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also low in calories, making them a great addition to any smoothie.
Nuts and nut butter add extra fiber
Another great addition to high fiber smoothies is peanut butter or another nut butter. Not only does it add a delicious nutty flavor to your smoothie, but it also provides a good source of protein and healthy fats, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
High Fiber Smoothie Recipes
Need some inspiration for your high fiber smoothies? Here are some delicious recipes created by registered dietitian nutritionist:
For a quick breakfast in the morning, Dietitian Debbie created this “blueberry muffin in a glass.” By adding oats (make sure they’re quick so they blend easily) you’ll get the benefits of a bowl of oatmeal without all the work and a thick, creamy smoothie
Try out her flavor boosting ideas and maybe a little spinach to up the fiber.
Since some athletes may experience stomach upset before or during games, choosing a smoothie with low FODMAP ingredients may be helpful.
For all the berry lovers out there, try this recipe created by Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND at Menopause Better. She combines blackberries, raspberries and strawberries with omega 3 rich chia seeds for a boost of fiber and antioxidants.
Would you have thought to blend peas into your smoothie? Registered Dietitian, Veronica Rouse, MAN, RD, DE at The Heart Dietitian has done just that. Try her delicious fiber packed smoothie with peas, banana, spinach and chia seeds.
This smoothie has the added benefit of additional protein from the peas to help keep you feeling fuller longer. It’s a great healthy snack option.
With just four ingredients, this smoothie is a filling and fiber packed snack or meal on the go. According to Registered Dietitian, Leanne Ray, at Healthyish Appetite, you’ll get major peanut butter and jelly sandwich vibes, and it’s thick enough to eat with a spoon.
Calling all chocolate lovers. This rich chocolate smoothie created by Registered Dietitian Malina Malkani at Malina Malkani Nutrition satisfies a sweet craving. You wouldn’t guess that it’s loaded with kale, chia and flax.
For a smoothie packed tropical fruit goodness, check out this island green tropical smoothie recipe from Kristi Ruth, RD, CNSC, LDN at Carrots and Cookies. This smoothie is chock full of fiber with pineapple, avocado, spinach, orange and mango.
Plus you benefit from the anti inflammatory bromelain found in the pineapple.
High fiber smoothies are a delicious and convenient way for youth athletes to incorporate fiber into their diet. By choosing high fiber foods, athletes can support healthy digestion, promote a healthy gut microbiome and prevent injury.
So why not try adding some high fiber foods to your next smoothie or meal? Your body will thank you.
Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND has over 22 years of experience in public health and nutrition. As a performance registered dietitian nutritionist, Stephanie specializes in sports nutrition and provides simple and actionable information so that athletes can be well fueled for high performance on and off the field. Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.