Adding fiber to smoothies is a great way to make them more filling and can also help to balance out your blood sugar levels. It’s recommended that fiber be consumed throughout the day, instead of all at one time, so it’s important that your morning smoothie have fiber to start your day off right. Fiber is also great for keeping your digestion regular and can really help you feel satiated, which can ward off hunger.
You will likely be surprised that many of your favorite smoothie ingredients are packed full of fiber, and there are lots of simple pantry items you can add to your smoothie to increase that fiber even more.
How much fiber do you need?
Fiber needs vary between men and women, but generally its recommended that each adult get between 25 (women) and 38 grams (men) of a fiber per day. Unfortunately, most Americans do not eat the recommended amount of fiber each day, coming in at an average of 15-20 grams.
However, once you see the list of ways to add fiber to your smoothie, you will be able to quickly increase your daily fiber without changing the taste or texture of your smoothie.
Why is fiber important
Fiber is a nutrient that you can only get from plants and typically comes in two forms, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Fiber is very important for feeding your gut bacteria and also for adding bulk to your eliminations.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, creating a gel-like consistency in your intestines and helps to feed the good gut bacteria in your large intestine.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water like soluble fiber, instead it stays in tact and actually can absorb water as it’s moving through the digestive system. The main benefit of insoluble fiber is that is provides bulk to your stool, which can help to create better eliminations.
Learn more about the health benefits of soluble and insoluble fiber in this article from the Cleveland Clinic.
The Ultimate Guide to Adding Fiber to Smoothies
Adding fiber to smoothies is easier than you think. You may even be building high fiber smoothies now without even knowing it. Here are 17 ways to add fiber to smoothies:
Berries – strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are all great sources of fiber. 1 cup of berries provides about 4 grams of fiber and add flavor, vitamin C and other antioxidants and minerals. There are so many great ways to add berries to smoothies, they can be the main ingredient like my Blackberry Strawberry Banana Smoothie or they can just be a supporting flavor like in my Strawberry Peach Mango Smoothie.
Chia seeds – one of my favorite ways to add fiber to smoothies, chia seeds are easy to add and really help to thicken the smoothie when blending. 1 tablespoon of chia seeds add about 4g of insoluble fiber. If you aren’t sure about chia seeds, I recommend trying chia protein, which is ground up chia seeds (these won’t get stuck in your teeth). Chia seeds provide more dietary fiber than most other dried fruits, grains or nuts.
Ground flax – similar to chia seeds, ground flax is another great option when trying to add fiber to smoothies without changing the flavor or taste much. 1 tablespoon of ground flax provides about 3 grams of fiber.
Avocado – you may think that avocado is a good source of healthy fats, and you would be right, but avocado is also packed with fiber! Half of a Hass avocado provides about 4.6 grams of fiber as well as potassium, magnesium and Vitamin A. If you have never tried avocado in smoothies, you have to try this Avocado Peanut Butter Smoothie today, it taste just like a peanut butter cookie!
Pumpkin seeds – pumpkin seeds are surprisingly high in fiber, with 2 tablespoons providing about 2 grams of fiber. They are very neutral in flavor and are also a great way to get in some iron and potassium into your smoothie.
White beans or black beans – this is an unconventional smoothie ingredient, but I promise you that you won’t even notice the beans in your smoothie. Because beans are very neutral in flavor, they just blend into your smoothie. Be sure to buy canned beans with no added salt and to rinse and drain the beans well before adding to the smoothie. There are 8 grams of fiber in just 1/4 cup of black beans (white beans), as well as 10 grams of protein; both of which will help you feel fuller longer.
Cacao powder – cacao powder isn’t just for giving your smoothie that deep chocolate flavor your love, but also a great way to add some fiber to your smoothie. Just 1 tablespoon of cacao powder (or cocoa powder) provides about 2 grams of fiber. Cacao powder can easily turn your smoothie into something that tastes more like a milkshake, just like this Creamy Mango Chocolate Smoothie.
Banana – Bananas are a great way to naturally sweeten your smoothie and also provide about 2 grams of fiber per banana. You may already have your favorite smoothie with banana, but have you tried banana my Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie – its one of my favorites!
Medjool dates – dates can help to naturally sweeten your smoothie (giving it a naturally caramel flavor) and are my preferred way to add sweetness to a smoothie when I’m not using banana. 2 pitted medjool dates provide about 3 grams of fiber. If you love dates but haven’t added them to your smoothies yet, use them instead of maple syrup or honey to naturally sweeten your smoothie like in this Creamy Avocado Date Smoothie.
Frozen cauliflower – I love using frozen cauliflower or frozen cauliflower rice in smoothies. I recommend adding just enough to help thicken your smoothie but not enough to be able to pick up on the cauliflower flavor. I usually recommend about 1/2 cup of frozen cauliflower contains about 1.5 grams of fiber. If you aren’t quite sure about adding cauliflower to your smoothies, check out my favorite Pecan Pie Smoothie, I promise you won’t even taste the cauliflower.
Baby spinach – baby spinach will add some veggies to your smoothie and is relatively flavorless, making it perfect for smoothies. One cup of loosely packed baby spinach has about 1 gram of fiber. Check out some easy smoothie recipes that have baby spinach like this Pineapple Banana Spinach Smoothie or a Spinach Raspberry Smoothie in our green smoothie section.
Oats (rolled oats or quick cooking oats) – there is no need to cook the oats before adding them to your smoothie. Adding oats is a great way to thicken your smoothie and also make it more filling (thanks to all the fiber). A half cup of oats has 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Adding oats to smoothies can give them a oatmeal cookie flavor, like this Chocolate Banana Oat Smoothie.
Carrots – one large carrot (about 7-8 inches long) provides about 2 grams of fiber and will add a little sweetness to your smoothie (and also add a serving of veggies). Check out this Carrot Banana Smoothie for a yummy carrot smoothie to try today.
Hemp hearts – if you haven’t tried hemp hearts yet, they are a little nutty in flavor and a great source of protein and fiber. 3 tablespoons of hemp hearts have 3 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, making them perfect to add into smoothies or to use as a topping.
Cinnamon – you may not think fiber when you hear cinnamon, but adding cinnamon to your smoothie is a great way to add in more fiber. Just 1 teaspoon of cinnamon has 1.38 grams of fiber and 1 tablespoon has over 4 grams of fiber! You can also sprinkle cinnamon over your smoothie or smoothie bowl as a way to add flavor and fiber. If you love the idea of cinnamon in smoothies, try this Cinnamon Banana Smoothie.
Coconut Water – coconut water is a fun, surprising way to add fiber to your smoothies. Coconut water is great because not only is it a good source of fiber, 1 cup has 2.64 grams of fiber, but it’s also a good source of potassium, sodium and magnesium which are electrolytes that support hydration. If you haven’t tried coconut water in smoothies yet, simply replace some of the liquid listed in the recipe with coconut water or make something like this refreshing Watermelon Cherry Smoothie.
Peanut butter – peanut butter adds such a unique flavor to smoothies and provides about 2 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons serving. If you can’t have peanut butter, almond butter is also a great source of fiber (see below for more details on almond butter). If you love peanut butter as much as I do, you have to try this Peanut Butter Raspberry Smoothie.
Smoothie bowl toppings
Another great way to make your smoothie more filling is to make it into a smoothie bowl Typically most smoothies can be made into smoothie bowls by using less liquid or by adding in one or two of the items listed above to absorb some of the water (like chia seeds or rolled oats) to make the smoothie thicker, so it can support toppings.
Many people complain that smoothies are just not filling, because they didn’t have the experience of “eating” when drinking the smoothie. Smoothie bowls with some crunchy, filling toppings are a great way to easily make your smoothie into more of a “meal” experience.
You can add fiber to your smoothie bowl by choosing smart toppings. Here are some great high fiber topping ideas for your smoothie bowls:
Dried Goji Berries – these flavorful berries are the perfect topping for your smoothie and a great way to add more fiber. 5 tablespoons of goji berries provides 3.64 grams of fiber.
Almond butter – drizzling some almond butter over your smoothie bowl help to make it more filling and also a good way to add some fiber. 2 tablespoons of almond butter has about 3 grams of fiber.
Coconut flakes – coconut flakes add crunch, flavor and are a great source of fiber. There are about 2 grams of fiber in 1/4 cup (15g) of dried coconut flakes (unsweetened).
Granola – granola can be a fun way to add some fiber to your smoothie bowls. It’s crunchy, sweet and fun to eat! Each brand will have a different amount of fiber, but because granola is usually made with oats, it can be a great way to add more fiber. Purely Elizabeth Granola has about 2 grams of fiber per cup of granola.
Supplements that can add fiber to smoothies
If you want to take the easy button and add a supplement to your smoothie as a way to know you are getting in as much fiber as possible, there are a few supplements you can try that are easy to find and won’t change the flavor of your smoothie too much.
Fiber supplement – adding a fiber supplement may be the easiest way to add fiber to your smoothies. Simply scoop and viola – you have added fiber in your day! This Organic Naked Fiber supplement is great because it only has one ingredient and has 5 grams of fiber per scoop.
Greens powder – greens powder is usually dehydrated ground up green vegetables. Adding in a greens powder to your smoothie is an easy way to get in another serving of vegetables as well as a great way to get more fiber. This Greens Blend from Amazing Grass has 3 grams of fiber per serving and comes in three flavors (Berry, Chocolate and Original).
Reds powder – if you love the idea of greens powder but don’t love the flavor, try this Red’s Superfood Powder from Naked Nutrition. It’s made from fruits like apple, blueberries, strawberries and more and has 4 grams of fiber per serving.
High Fiber Smoothies
Because of the mix of ingredients, these smoothie are all high in fiber and all taste amazing! I hope you are able to try one or two or create your own high fiber smoothie using some of the ingredients listed above
- Blackberry Oat Smoothie – has blackberries, oats and chia seeds
- Blackberry Blueberry Smoothie – has blackberries, blueberries and almond butter
- Pineapple Matcha Smoothie – has spinach, chia seeds, cashews and medjool dates
- Cherry Kale Smoothie – has frozen kale/spinach, strawberries, chia seeds and almond butter
- Cookie Dough Smoothie Bowl – has frozen cauliflower, medjool dates, rolled oats and cashews.
- Strawberry Smoothie (no banana) – has strawberries, frozen cauliflower, medjool dates and tahini.