Did you know that it is essential for our health to poop each and every day? With millions of Americans annually experiencing some level of constipation, and hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on habit-forming laxatives each year, it is clear that we must look at more natural remedies for this equation. Although your diet and lifestyle habits may need to be adjusted, this papaya smoothie will provide you with some relief as you work on the other changes; and the fact that it is sweet, creamy, and delicious is simply icing on the cake!
Papaya is one of the best remedies for combating digestion and elimination issues, as it contains the digestive enzyme known as papain. This enzyme is specific for breaking down proteins, and therefore will be a great dietary complement if you consume high amounts of protein on a regular basis. Papaya contains a hefty amount of fiber that is beneficial for encouraging a healthy colon and regular bowels. As an added bonus, papaya is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and anti-aging antioxidants.
But this smoothie recipe goes beyond the poop-promoting benefits of papaya. Here are some of the complementary ingredients and why they have been chosen for this smooth-move smoothie:
Triphala is one of the most common Ayurvedic herbal formulas for relieving constipation issues. It is made up of the three Indian fruits, Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki, which carry mild laxative properties. Triphala is often taken for its cleansing effects; however, due to the immense amount of vitamin C available in this formula, it is a powerful immune booster and rejuvenator too!
Soaked Chia Seeds
Soaked chia seeds are another effective remedy for constipation due to the demulcent, gel-like consistency that is created after the soaking process. This unique property will encourage lubrication in the colon, which is great for allowing stools to pass effortlessly. They also contain a large amount of soluble fiber which is a must for a healthy colon.
Important Note: As great as chia seeds are when they are soaked, they can actually become constipating if they are taken dry or in too large of dosages (bigger is not always better). This is because they are like a sponge and will absorb any liquid in the colon, causing dryness, roughness, and hard-to-pass stools.
Although dry fruit is not recommended when experiencing constipation (or any other Vata issue), soaking the fruit adequately before consumption will turn these tasty fiber-rich treats into poop-promoting remedies. For the best results, try to find dried apricots that are not too hard. Also avoid any that uses dyes or preservatives (please read your ingredient label!).
Soaked Goji Berries
Goji berries are another fiber-rich dried fruit that, when soaked, will help to get things moving. They are stimulating to the liver, and with improved liver functioning comes improved digestion and elimination. Goji berries are high in vitamins A, B2, and C, along with minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, and potassium. Surprisingly, this little red berry contains a hearty amount of protein and is considered a “complete protein” source. These nutritious berries help to sweeten up the smoothie, making healthy eating more pleasurable!
It is no secret that healthy elimination starts with healthy digestion. Ginger is great for encouraging blood flow to the abdominal region and stimulating the vital digestive organs. This warming root will boost a sluggish digestive fire (Agni) and flush out any toxins (ama) that may be obstructing the GI tract.
Coconut is high in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which have been shown to soften the stool and produce a mild laxative effect. Adding healthy fat to a smoothie encourages better digestion of the raw ingredients that may be hard-to-digest for some individuals. As an added bonus, coconut butter is absolutely delicious (in my opinion) and adds a decadent, creamy texture to the smoothie.
Due to its acidic nature, fresh lime juice is known to stimulate the release of digestive enzymes, flush out the GI tract, and promote bowel movements. In Ayurveda, the sour taste is said to increase the Agni (digestive fire), boost the metabolism, and energize the body and mind.
Papaya “Poop” Smoothie Recipe
- Doshic Effect: Vata ↓, Pitta ↑, Kapha ↓
- Makes: 2 cups
- Soak Time: Overnight (ideally) or at least 3 hours
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cutting board and knife
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons goji berries
- 5 dried apricots (or 2 to 3 well-ripened fresh apricots)
- 1 teaspoon Triphala Churna
- 1 cup water
- 1½ cups cubed papaya (seeded and peeled)
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter (substitute with 2 tablespoons shredded coconut, plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- ½ lime, juiced
1. Add the chia seeds, dried apricots, goji berries, and Triphala Churna to 1 cup of water. Stir well and soak overnight. If time does not permit, soak the ingredients for a minimum of 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
2. Add the soaked ingredients and soaking water to a blender.
3. Add the papaya, coconut butter, minced ginger, and lime juice to the blender.
4. Blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until the smoothie is completely puréed.
5. Pour into your favorite smoothie drinking glass and enjoy!
A few words to the wise, please read!
Did you know that fruit should NEVER be eaten with any other food types? This common habit is one of the most important improper food combinations to avoid and will be sure to add to your digestion and elimination woes. Therefore, the best way to eat this smoothie will be for breakfast (on its own), before any other food (or dairy) has been taken. After eating the smoothie, please wait at least 1 to 2 hours before eating any other food.
- 11 Ayurvedic Remedies for Constipation (that really work!)
- Ask Ayurveda: How do you Treat Chronic Constipation?