Drinking smoothies is a great way to get out the door in a hurry in the morning, but there’s way more to love about them than the quickness with which you can drink one down.
According to U.S. News & World Report, green smoothies made with leafy green vegetables and nut milks are whole food marvels, along with healthy green juices (though arguably so is any vegetable juice, like this healthy V8-style tomato juice). And when superfoods become part of the mix, they pack an even more powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, and phytonutrients.
Vegans, vegetarians, gym devotees, and whole-foodies, these add-ins are for you. But first, let’s get the rundown on exactly what we’re talking about.
- What Are Superfoods?
- And Essential Fatty Acids?
- What About Phytochemicals?
- 1. Acai Berries
- 2. Aloe Vera
- 3. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4. Avocado
- 5. Bee Pollen
- 6. Cacao Nibs
- 7. Cayenne
- 8. Chia Seeds
- 9. Cinnamon
- 10. Coconut Oil
- 11. Flax Seeds
- 12. Goji Berries
- 13. Hemp Seeds
- 14. Maca Powder
- 15. Nutritional Yeast
- 16. Spirulina
- 17. Turmeric
- 18. Walnuts
- 19. Wheatgrass
- Get Your Game On
- Make Smoothies A Nutritional Powerhouse
- 5 Supplements That Will Make Your Smoothies A Nutritional Powerhouse
- 8 Best Protein Powders for Smoothies
- Garden of Life Raw Meal
- Vega One Natural
- Nutiva Organic Hemp
- Jarrow Brown Rice
- Source Organic Whey
- Naked Whey
- Paleo Protein Egg White
- Sun Warrior Blend Natural
- Top 10 Superfoods for Smoothies (that actually taste good)
- SMOOTHIE MISTAKES TO AVOID
- How to blend the best smoothie
- Healthy Smoothie Recipes
- WHAT A NUTRITIONIST WANTS YOU TO KNOW
- Smoothie Add-Ins: 17 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Smoothies
- 17 Ways to Upgrade Your Smoothie
- Smoothie Add-ins for the Win
- 22 Ways to Supercharge Your Smoothie for Weight Loss
- Chia Seeds
- Clean Protein Powder
- Vegan Protein Powder
- Nut Butter
- Almond Milk
- Frozen Banana
- Greek Yogurt
- Raw Cocoa Powder
- Coconut Oil
- FEEL THE BUZZ WITH BEE POLLEN
- MOVE MORE WITH MACA
- POWDER TO POWER RECOVERY
- SUPERFRUIT FOR SUPERWOMEN
- BEAUTIFULLY BARE SKIN
- 10 Smoothies for All-Day Energy
- High Energy Boosting Smoothie Superfood Ingredients
- Spotlight on Maca
- Where to Buy Maca and Other Superfood Ingredients Used in the Energy Boosting Smoothie Recipe
What Are Superfoods?
A superfood is a nutrient-dense ingredient that’s loaded with essential health-enhancing, disease-fighting properties. These are also referred to as functional foods.
When combined with a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables, the ingredients described here act as an extra power boost.
And Essential Fatty Acids?
You will see omega-3 fatty acids mentioned as a component of many of these nutrition boosters, so keep this information in mind.
First, these are referred to as “essential” because they’re needed for health, but the body can’t make them on its own.
Alpha-linoleic acid (an omega-3) and linoleic acid (an omega-6) are fatty acids. EPA and DHA are also types of omega-3s. These contribute to a variety of effects in the body, including skin and nerve health, brain health, blood pressure, and blood clotting.
What’s important to keep in mind here is that omega-3s and omega-6s need to be consumed in a proper ratio for optimal health. Today, many people get too many omega-6s in their diets, so consuming foods high in omega-3s can help to regain this crucial balance.
Nutrition & You (3rd Edition)
Many foods containing essential fatty acids spoil quickly. Be sure to keep them in the refrigerator and consume them quickly.
For more information about essential fatty acids, and nutrition in general, check out Nutrition and You by Joan Salge Blake, available on Amazon.
What About Phytochemicals?
As for these often mentioned but not always fully understood components of diet, phytochemicals are the many natural compounds in plants, often those that give them their smells and colors, that are considered beneficial to those who eat them and that have been shown to lower the risk of certain diseases.
In other words, certain natural foods are endowed with unique beneficial properties, and it’s a wise smoothie-maker who incorporates them into his or her daily routine.
Animal-based foods also contain health-promoting compounds that go beyond basic nutritional benefit. These are known as zoochemicals. When obtained from animal-based products, omega-3s are an example of a zoochemical.
Crazy Sexy Juice: 100+ Simple Juice, Smoothie & Nut Milk Recipes to Supercharge Your Health
Be sure to try new foods in moderation, using nutritious recipes like you’ll find in Crazy Sexy Juice by Kris Carr, available on Amazon, as a guide.
And so without further ado, let’s get to our list of popular ingredients and their amazing potential health benefits as true superfoods!
1. Acai Berries
One of the most antioxidant-rich berries, acais come from the acai palm of South America.
When you shop, look for unsweetened acai puree to combine with blueberries and pomegranate, two other vitamin C-rich antioxidants, for a boost to your immune system.
Though frozen typically isn’t best when it comes to fresh berries, you’ll probably have to go with a frozen puree if you live outside South America, since acai doesn’t ship well.
2. Aloe Vera
The juice of this succulent plant, native to northern Africa, is widely respected for its phytochemical content, particularly saponins that cleanse the blood and improve the immune system, lignins that aid in absorption, and anti-inflammatory salicylic acid.
A comforting remedy for digestive discomfort, purchase it in juice form to combine with other anti-inflammatories like cucumber, honeydew, and pear.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The probiotic properties of this superfood make it a worthy complement to any juice blend. It also offers anti-inflammatory properties, may restore a healthy pH balance to the stomach, and has been said to provide some relief from acid reflux symptoms.
Try incorporating apple cider vinegar into any recipe that includes pears, apples, and cucumbers.
Unfortunately most apple cider vinegar found in most groceries stores has been pasteurized removing any probiotic properties.
Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
We like Bragg’s Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar because it contains live active bacterial cultures that are beneficial for your digestive track. It’s pretty hard to source in most grocery stores but you can find it on Amazon.
Avocados contain the beneficial omega-3 known as alpha-linolenic acid. They are also high in another very important nutrient, oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat.
Avocados are a versatile superfood that helps in the battle against heart disease and cancer. With a thick consistency and unique, almost nutty flavor, avocados are the perfect fruit for drinks, blending beautifully with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
5. Bee Pollen
Bee pollen is a nutritional wonder that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
That being said…
With its sweet flowery taste, bee pollen is great in nut-milk-based green pick-me-ups as well as fruit juice blends, and is especially delicious in combinations that include cinnamon, like this fresh papaya and ginger smoothie.
Foodal recommends YS ECO’s Bee Pollen Whole Granulars
The opinions of juice connoisseurs vary on how to properly enhance a drink with bee pollen. Some blend while others sprinkle it on the finished beverage, reminiscent the queen bee atop her throne.
6. Cacao Nibs
From Mexico, Central America, and South America, these raw chocolate bits have a bitter chocolatey taste.
They’re rich in antioxidants, minerals, flavonoids, and monounsaturated fat, not to mention protein, for a nutrient-rich supplement to your favorite blended beverage.
Foodal recommends Viva Lab’s “Best” Tasting Organic Raw Cacao Nibs
Whole nibs can be ground at home with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Or you can buy raw cacao powder for smooth blending with nut milks, bananas, berries, or whatever is your pleasure.
This is a hot one, so use it sparingly until you’re familiar with its heat! As a capsaicin-containing anti-inflammatory, this beverage-booster is intense.
Feeling a little under the weather? Cayenne may boost your immune system and even help to decongest your sinuses.
Give a kick to your kale with a nutritious green smoothie, like the one I make with my NutriBullet blender. Experiment with your favorite fruits and veggies!
8. Chia Seeds
Remember chia pets? Yup, these are the same seeds.
Perhaps the most popular of the superfood supplements described here, chia seeds come from the same plant family as mint. They’re an annual herb that produces very pretty flowers that would look lovely in your garden if you live in the correct climate. This plant is native to the southern and central parts of Mexico.
Chia seeds are relatively inexpensive, so buy a big bag – and make sure to use a high-speed blender for a smooth smoothie!
Foodal recommends Viva Labs Organic Chia Seeds 2 Pound Bag
Chia seeds are high in fiber, as well as protein and omega-3s. They’re hydrophilic, meaning they attract and absorb water. Combining them with juice and waiting about half an hour will form a jelly-like substance.
Chia seeds go great in green mixtures, lending a hint of nuttiness to the overall flavor.
This spice is an excellent beverage enhancer, as it aids in the management of blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Cinnamon contains cinnamic acid, an antioxidant that helps to keep essential omega-3 fatty acids from oxidizing.
With a high-speed blender, you can add cinnamon in stick form directly to your juice. Freshly grated or ground cinnamon are also good options.
How about a blend of nut milk, apples, bananas, blueberries, honey, cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne for a spicy pick-me-up?
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of the mature coconut, which is harvested from the coconut palm.
It helps to balance blood sugar and may aid thyroid function. It’s also anti-fungal, anti-viral, and full of antioxidants.
Be sure to use a high-speed blender or melt the oil first, for a smooth consistency. When chilled, it forms beads that some people really like, whereas others aren’t fans of the texture.
It will impart a sweet, mild coconut flavor to your drink, and is great with tropical fruits like mango.
11. Flax Seeds
Flax (a.k.a. linseed) is a fiber crop that is cultivated in cooler areas of the world. Flax seeds are not only highly nutritious, but linen fabric is also made from cellulose fibers found in the stalks of the same plant!
Just mix a tablespoon into your mixture, blend with your high-speed blender, and reap the benefits of this nutty, slightly grassy superfood.
12. Goji Berries
Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, goji berries contain carotenoids, color pigments that may be effective in fighting cancer.
These little nuggets of nutrition are on the tough side, so consider soaking them ahead of use.
Foodal recommends Healthworks Raw Organic Goji Berries
Their bitter taste creates a flavorful counterpoint to the sweetness of coconut and mango, as well as a savory base for green drinks rich in kale.
13. Hemp Seeds
Chock full of omega-3s and omega-6s, hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein. Blending them into your drinks will take you a long way toward a healthy heart.
Buy shelled seeds called “hemp hearts” that can be tossed directly into your beverage.
Foodal recommends Nutiva Organic Shelled Hempseed
Mildly nutty, hemp seeds blend quietly into any smoothie or juice blend, imparting nutrition without changing the flavor. Try a few tablespoons in our recipe for tahini banana smoothies.
14. Maca Powder
Maca is an herb that is native to and grows in the high Andes of Peru. Its nutritional value is concentrated in the root.
Dried maca can be stored for several years, and is usually used in powdered form for mixing into liquids.
Maca has a nutty flavor, which you may immediately love or otherwise may acquire a taste for. It is known for increasing energy and endurance, and some experts claim it can help to balance hormones.
Foodal recommends Soul Organic’s Maca Powder
As with all superfood ingredients, start slowly with maca to gauge your digestive tolerance for it.
Try blending maca, flaxseeds, and a banana to your next healthy beverage concoction!
15. Nutritional Yeast
Known also as brewer’s yeast, the kind that’s used in making beer, this superfood is dense in protein, B vitamins, and minerals. As a beverage supplement, you’ll want to use either flakes or powder.
Don’t confuse nutritional yeast with the kind of yeast cakes or packets that you use for baking. They are not the same.
Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family
Also, nutritional yeast is bitter, so use it sparingly at first with the guidance of recipes, like some of my favorites in Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family, available on Amazon.
It’s got a nutty/cheesy essence that imparts a unique savory flavor layer to blends of fruits and veggies like carrots, spinach, apples, and oranges.
Spirulina is made from an aquatic plant, and its superstar components are protein and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as phytonutrients that act as powerful antioxidants.
Powdered spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, and moringa.
Spirulina may also contribute to dental health, and it binds with heavy metals, thus helping to remove them from the body. It can help to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, and may aid in fighting cancer as well.
Best enjoyed in green smoothies (or why not a green juice, like spinach and apple; or a pinch in some green carrot juice?), you may find the taste of spirulina to be unpleasant at first. The taste can also vary depending on the origins of the spirulina that you buy.
You don’t have to hide it only in green juices and smoothies. Add a pinch of it to this apple beet carrot juice, for instance.
Foodal recommends Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Original
Experiment with combinations of fruits and vegetables until you become more accustomed to its flavor (or a pro at masking it!).
Turmeric is an Indian root looks a bit like ginger. Known for its antioxidant properties, it promotes the healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, and may offer benefits to sufferers of digestive and inflammatory issues. It may also offer cancer-fighting benefits.
Peel and grate turmeric to blend into a variety of beverages. Its piquant flavor is great in green smoothies, as well as juice combos that include carrot or pineapple. Try it on our recipe for a dairy-free pineapple coconut smoothie.
Walnuts, and nuts in general, are great sources of protein. Shelled walnuts resemble the lobes of the brain, and it is actually said that eating them contributes to optimal brain function.
The walnut is rich in monounsaturated fats and omega-3s. It contains biotin, a B-complex vitamin that helps process fatty acids, and contributes to strong nails, hair, and skin. It may also be helpful in managing cholesterol.
Soak shelled walnuts before blending for a smoother texture, and enjoy them with bananas and blueberries.
Packed with powerful antioxidants, wheatgrass is an ingredient you’re probably going to need some time to get used to. Its grassy taste isn’t everyone’s favorite, but the value of its anti-inflammatory, immune-building properties far outweighs what it lacks in flavor.
You can buy wheatgrass juice, but for the most nutritional benefit you’re going to want to juice it yourself. If you choose to make your own, keep in mind that it’s very tough. You’ll need something heavy duty like a masticating juicer to squeeze out its essence.
Once it’s juiced, you can add a shot of wheatgrass to fruits like pineapple and banana with either a coconut water or nut milk base, for a refreshing energizer.
Dr. Berg’s Raw Organic Wheat Grass Juice Powder
For those that don’t have the time to grow their own, you can also buy powdered versions. Although they all aren’t made the same. A lot of supplements are massed produced in China with questionable production methods.
We highly recommend Dr. Berg’s Raw Organic Wheat Grass Juice Powder. It’s made in Utah on a ancient lake bed where it has the ability to pick up all sorts of trace minerals and is processed in a method that better retains all of the nutrients.
You can find it on Amazon.
Get Your Game On
The rest is up to you. Learning about nutrition is one thing, but putting that knowledge to use in fabulous, nutrient-packed smoothies and juices (and even a delicious mango lassi, for a uniquely refreshing treat) is something else altogether!
Make each day a healthy one, and let these superfoods keep you at the top of your nutritional game.
What’s your favorite add-in? Let me know in the comments!
A Note of Caution
The health information in this article is not intended to assess, diagnose, prescribe, or promise cure. Consult with your health care professional before considering any plant-based remedies for your health and wellness.
Photo credits: .
Revised and expanded from a post originally written by Lori Jo Hendrix. With additional editing and writing contributed by Allison Sidhu.
About Nan Schiller
Nan Schiller is a writer from southeastern Pennsylvania. When she’s not in the garden, she’s in the kitchen preparing imaginative gluten- and dairy-free meals. With a background in business, writing, editing, and photography, Nan writes humorous and informative articles on gardening, food, parenting, and real estate topics. Having celiac disease has only served to inspire her to continue to explore creative ways to provide her family with nutritious locally-sourced food.
Smoothies can be as healthy as you want them to be. And now there’s a simple hack to create an even more nutritious shake: Add a plant or fruit powder. Found on juice-bar menus and in health-food stores, these extracts are made from foods with intense concentrations of nutrients. “Add a scoop of one and you elevate a normal smoothie to superfood status without spending a fortune on exotic, hard-to-find ingredients,” says New York City nutritionist Lisa Hayim. “And they pack in nutrients and minerals that you may not otherwise be getting.” You can add any powder to any kind of smoothie, but the health perks depend on which extract you choose. We help you game them below. These benefits aren’t new age voodoo; they’re all backed by rigorous research. Note, though, that doubling or tripling up on powders in one smoothie would be not only expensive (the extracts can run as high as $25 for 3.5 ounces) but also unwise — your body can absorb only so many nutrients. And because a powder’s benefits come with regular consumption, it’s best to pick a lane and stay in it. Buyer’s tip: If camu camu hasn’t hit your neighborhood grocery yet, check online retailers like Thrive Market or Vitacost.
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!
If you are looking to sneak nutrition into your kid’s smoothies or want to supercharge them, then this 5 Supplements That Will Make Your Smoothies A Nutritional Powerhouse post has all the information you need.
Make Smoothies A Nutritional Powerhouse
If you have kids at home, you are probably constantly worry about them eating nutritious foods. It is common for some kids to be picky eaters, and therefore refuse to eat fruits and vegetables. But don’t worry because you can offer a delicious and nutrient dense smoothie and sneak in all the goodness! Smoothies have the perfect nutrition for growing brains and bodies, and with added supplements, they transform into a nutritional powerhouse.
A super clever idea that is perfect for breakfast, on an empty stomach for better absorption. Just blend, serve, and you are ready to go. Great to start the day full of energy eating real food. My kids love their breakfast smoothies. If you are interested in more nutritional ideas, please see my healthy breakfast recipes HERE.
Wait! What about turning your fruit and veggies smoothies into snacks? Get creative and freeze them in molds to make ice pops. I do not know a single child who is not crazy about an ice pop, they simply love them. Now your snacks are supercharged with lots of nutrients. Please see my post Great Snack Idea: Ice Pops for more information and super fun ideas for making your own pops.
Smoothies are great, but here comes the best part. Incorporate supplements that have extraordinary health benefits, and have them ready in just a few minutes. You have no idea how good I feel when I see my kids eating ice pops or drinking smoothies made with pure goodness. Interested in smoothie recipes your kids will love? Check out my How To Make Perfect Green Smoothies For Kids Tutorial.
How to make green smoothies for kids
Starting with spinach is a great idea because it has a very mild taste. Add 1/2 cup to your blend and see your kid will happily approve. You can then experiment with beets, cucumbers and kale. If you want more green smoothie ideas please see my Green Smoothie Recipe.
A high speed blender makes super smooth smoothies, and you will be able to blend fruits, veggies, and supplement with awesome results. My Vitamix
is one of the best investments I made for my family’s health. Put it on your birthday or holiday wish list!
Liquid base for smoothies
Try coconut water, kefir, milk (dairy or non dairy), or just water. I love using coconut water because of the amazing health benefits and because it also makes my smoothies naturally sweet. If you use water, milk, or plain kefir, adding a tablespoon of raw honey
or maple syrup will sweeten them enough.
How to serve smoothies
It is always better to drink your smoothies fresh as soon as you make them. Use fun molds and make ice pops with the leftovers! I love serving smoothies in mason jars
with colorful paper straws. You can always store leftover smoothies for a couple of days in the fridge. The mason jars are perfect for storage.
5 Supplements That Will Make Your Smoothies A Nutritional Powerhouse
Go ahead and give these supplements a try. You will feel great about giving your children important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. All in just one blended glass of smoothie goodness the entire family can enjoy.
#1 Want more protein? Add Hydrolyzed Collagen
Hydrolyzed Collagen can support joint health, improve gut function and digestion, keep excess inflammation in check, build and restore muscle, support a healthy metabolism, promote healthy brain function, and promote a deeper sleep. Hydrolyzed Collagen allows you to easily get the nutrients of collagen via an all natural, pasture raised and grass-fed source. This type of collagen dissolves in cold liquids, so just add one 11 gram serving to your smoothie and instantly get over 10 grams of protein and no sugar, fat or carbs.
#2 Want more healthy fats? Add Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is great for adding natural flavor, sweetness, and essential fatty acids to your smoothies. Fats like coconut oil help children create hormones and help absorb vitamins from foods. Kids can also benefit from coconut oil’s antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. I recommend Coconut Oil made with pure, extra-virgin, cold pressed and organic coconuts. Kids need good fats for their optimal health and development.
#3 Want a boost of fiber, omega 3 & 6? Add Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an easy and enjoyable way to add dietary fiber and healthy omega’s 3 and 6 to your diet. Chia seeds are also an excellent source of easily digestible plant based protein. They promote healthy blood sugar levels, digestive health, brain health, and will make your kid’s bones stronger! I recommend chia seeds that are sustainably grown and harvested on organic farms in the United States.
#4 Want antioxidant power? Add Acai Powder
Acai is one of the highest rated antioxidant fruits in the world and has been named the #1 super-food. This wonderful supplement can supply your kids of essential amino acids, high dietary fiber, antioxidants to counter free radicals, and essential fatty acids that are good for brain and eyesight development. I recommend Acai Powder that contains 100% pure, USDA Organic, freeze dried Acai Berry. Give your smoothies an all natural antioxidant boost.
#5 Want to boost the immune system? Add Probiotics
Probiotics are micro-organisms, specific bacteria, fungi, and yeasts that are natural, necessary component of the digestive tract. They are beneficial to the body and an integral part of our immune system. When the biodiversity of these beneficial organisms is in balance, they help with digestion, nutrient absorption, and form the front line of our immune defense. A good probiotic is essential. Did you know that an estimated 70% of your immune system resides in your gut? Restores your body with the healthful benefits of probiotics. My son suffered from reflux and frequent respiratory infections. Adding probiotics to his diet helped tremendously, and he no longer shows any signs of symptoms. I buy Garden of Life RAW Organic Probiotics
for my two kids.
Delicious and kid friendly way to sneak in nutrition. Ready in minutes. Add 1 TB raw honey, maple syrup or a few dates to sweeten *optional.
- 2 cups whole milk (dairy or non-dairy), kefir, water or coconut water
- 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit (for adults use 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup spinach (for adults use 1 cup of veggies like cucumber, beets, kale, carrots, etc)
- 1 tablespoon collagen *for protein boost
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil *for healthy fat boost
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds *for fiber and omega 3 & 6
- 1 tablespoon acai powder *for antioxidant boost
- 1/2 teaspoon of probiotics *or recommended dose according to age for immune system boost
- Just blend everything together in a high speed blender.
- For adults, the rule of thumb is to use one fruit and two vegetables. I love adding cucumber, kale, carrots, beets, and celery to my green smoothies. Usually my fruit of choice is apple or orange.
- For kids, I recommend using banana or mango to keep them on the sweet side.
- Category: Smoothie
- Method: Blend
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This information should not replace professional advice by a qualified medical or herbal practitioner.
5 Supplements That Will Make Your Smoothies A Nutritional Powerhouse post contains affiliate links. The products linked are the products I use and recommend. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Creative Healthy Family will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.
8 Best Protein Powders for Smoothies
Rewarding yourself with a post-workout protein shake is a satisfying way to help your body recover from your sweat sesh and build lean muscle mass. And they’re not just for hard HIIT days or jacked bodybuilding bros; since this essential macro nutrient has been proven to help people lose weight lose weight, protein powders are a great way to supplement your diet as a filling meal replacement.
But not all protein powders are created equal. Some are gritty, chalky, and don’t blend well with other ingredients, while others are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients. Since a smoothie wouldn’t be a smoothie without the fruit, you’re already ingesting a lot of sugar at one time, especially if you use high-sugar fruits like bananas, mangoes, or cherries. The editors at Eat This, Not That! searched high and low, and found the best protein powders to dump into your blender along with your favorite produce and nut milk. From protein-packed whey and casein to vegan-friendly brown rice and hemp, there’s a perfect powder for any smoothie. And to discover even more stomach-slimming tips, check out these 55 Best Ways to Boost Your Metabolism!
Garden of Life Raw Meal
This organic protein blend is derived from belly-blasting brown rice, quinoa and beans, plus tea and cinnamon extract. With 20 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per serving with a reasonable 120 calories, having one of these for lunch before a workout will keep you feeling full and energized while preserving muscle.
Buy now at Amazon
Vega One Natural
Vega One comes complete with six servings of greens, probiotics, antioxidants, and half your day’s serving of vitamins and minerals, so it’s pretty great all on its own with less than one gram of sugar and a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving. But throw in some nutrient-rich spinach, half a banana and a handful of berries, and you have one of the cleanest, healthiest smoothies possible. Plus, its super smooth texture blends perfectly with your favorite ingredients without a gritty or chalky taste. The natural version makes a nice base for more veggie-packed smoothies, but opt for the delicious French Vanilla or Chocolate for a more dessert-like consistency.
Buy now at Amazon.com
Nutiva Organic Hemp
This protein powder won’t give you the munchies — on the contrary, it will curb those junk food cravings — and you don’t even need a license to enjoy it. Hemp protein (made with the less-fun parts of the plant) offers not only a decent amount of protein at 15 grams a serving, but also a healthy dose of fiber at 8 grams to keep you fuller, longer. With no artificial colors or ingredients and just 1 gram of natural sugar per serving, this powder is a clean option. But by itself, it isn’t the most palatable. That’s where smoothies come in; mix this powder with fresh fruit, your favorite leafy green, and some unsweetened almond milk for a rich, filling meal.
Buy now at Amazon.com
Jarrow Brown Rice
Another vegan-friendly option, Jarrow’s Brown Rice Protein Concentrate has a surprising few amount of carbs (3 grams) and 0 grams of sugar per serving, so it’s an excellent option for people looking to lose weight. With just 11 grams of protein, however, it might need to be supplemented with more protein-rich ingredients: raw almonds, nut butters, or plain lowfat Greek yogurt. The vanilla flavor makes a tasty base for bananas and berries, or blended with almond butter, cocoa powder and unsweetened vanilla almond milk for a more decadent-tasting treat.
Buy now at Amazon.com
Source Organic Whey
Whey protein is one of the most popular form of protein powders; the dairy derivative lines shelf after shelf in health food stores and supplement shops. That’s because it’s a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids, and will stimulate protein synthesis after a workout. Although it’s a great option for fitness fanatics, the type and quality of whey varies drastically. If you can stomach whey (some dairy-sensitive people might not be able to), this non-GMO and organic option comes from grass-fed cows, delivering the highest nutrition of whey possible. With 21 grams of protein per serving and just 1 gram of naturally-occurring sugar, it doesn’t need much dressing up in the form of a smoothie, but some fresh (or frozen!) fruit and nut milk might make it go down easier.
Buy now at Amazon.com
The name says it all; the only ingredient in Naked Whey is whey protein concentrate from grass-fed cows. With 25 grams of protein per serving and just 3 grams of carbs, it’s another great option for gym rats and those looking to drop a couple pounds. The unflavored version is as blank of a canvas as you can get for your favorite smoothie ingredients; it has a smooth, creamy texture that blends nicely with fruit, veggies, nut milks, and more.
Buy now at Amazon.com
Paleo Protein Egg White
Another animal-based protein powder, egg white protein is smart choice for people wanting to build lean muscle mass with 25 grams of protein a serving, and just 1 gram of sugar and 1 gram of carbs. It instantly dissolves in water and is completely flavorless, so it’s the perfect base for more green-heavy smoothies and other lower-calorie options made with water instead of milk or yogurt. Since it doesn’t leave a gritty texture, you’ll barely realize it’s even in your smoothie; except for the filling serving of protein.
Buy now at Amazon.com
Sun Warrior Blend Natural
Sunwarrior gets its protein from raw organic pea, cranberry, and hemp seed protein. And we love sticking with the natural flavor because it makes the best base for all your favorite smoothie fixin’s; add in raw cocoa powder, a ripe banana and unsweetened vanilla almond milk for a chocolaty taste, or keep it strictly fruity with a combo of berries, bananas, or tropical fruits. But if a more pronounced flavor is what you’re looking for for the basis of your smoothies, Sun Warrior also comes in berry, chocolate, mocha, and vanilla.
Buy now at Amazon.com
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Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
Top 10 Superfoods for Smoothies (that actually taste good)
June 27th, 2017 at 6:36 pm
We live in the Philippines and are fortunate to have found a great area to live abounding in natures fruits many of which I had never seen before and we are able to get some greens from a neighbouring organic farm but everything is different and we are still trying to understand the tropical greens. is there a good book on the subject?
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
June 27th, 2017 at 9:46 pm
Interested in learning more about leafy greens? Make sure + check out our post here…
We go over our favorites + they’re all great additions to your green smoothie!
October 16th, 2017 at 3:12 pm
To what extent do you recommend mixing these? I currently have chia seeds, maca root , goji berries, and camu camu powder in the pantry but scared to mix them.
I have had issues with the camu camu before too…. mouth sores? Have you heard of this?
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
October 18th, 2017 at 9:58 am
How you mix and match superfoods is really up to you. Chia seeds, maca root, goji berries, + camu camu all offer your body different health benefits, so it’s totally ok to blend them together. I usually try not to repeat superfoods that give the same benefit. For example blending chia seeds, and spirulina all together as they all offer your body protein. Variety is the spice of life after all!
Unfortunately I haven’t heard of mouth sores from camu camu, it’s actually suppose to help heal them. I’d suggest avoiding the superfood until reaching out to your local physical or nutritionist.
- Pam P
December 6th, 2017 at 12:10 pm
I mix chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, açaí and goji berry powder along with spirulina- all together in my plain Green yogurt and then add to my smoothie. Too much?
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
December 8th, 2017 at 10:38 am
That all sounds good! It’s all about finding the right mix for you + your body!
January 1st, 2018 at 7:48 pm
I add sesame seeds! They’re very healthy. Can’t taste them. Also I recently heard this top but haven’t tried it yet: mashed, cooked sweet potato. Also add peanut butter if you need more calories.
January 1st, 2018 at 7:51 pm
Also, aloe if you can find it in the health food store.
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
January 4th, 2018 at 8:13 pm
Thanks for sharing, Natalie! We always love hearing about how our community fuels their bodies!
January 16th, 2018 at 1:12 pm
I have many plants. Can I scrape a teaspoonful fresh and use it ?
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
January 17th, 2018 at 11:41 am
What plants do you have on hand? We love changing up our leafy greens! You can learn more about our favorites here…
- Mark Wieder
January 30th, 2018 at 1:48 pm
My wife was concerned about rotating greens. We understand that part. But what about the other ingredients like spirulina, chlorella, mocha, maca powder, moringa, chia, flax, caoco nibs, etc. I saw you mentioned. Maybe not add Chia seeds with spirulina. What about other ingredients. Sometimes I don’t follow a certain recipe, I just dump these in a mixer and chug it. But is there guidelines to follow for the non-veggie non-fruit ingredients?
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
February 9th, 2018 at 10:12 am
There’s no exact guideline, but I always follow the thought “variety is the spice of life”. You body loves receiving a variety of ingredients + nutrients – so change it up! 🙂
- Sue Martell
February 5th, 2018 at 9:56 pm
Can you use flaxseed, chia seed, ginger powder, moingaleaf powder, Ceylon cinnamon powder and almond milk . With fresh fruits together in a smoothie
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
February 9th, 2018 at 10:13 am
Everyone can benefit from different superfoods. Just take a peek at the benefits + see what your body needs. I usually try to fuel my body with a variety of superfoods.
May 29th, 2018 at 9:50 pm
hello! I have just recently started making green smoothies.
I have bought a protein (vega one) and have been putting different veggies and fruits together.
is okay to use protein in the shake with chia and maca root? or is this too much of one thing?
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
June 4th, 2018 at 9:27 pm
I love using a variety of superfoods in my green smoothie. Variety is the spice of life after all. I just try to take a peek at each benefit to ensure I’m not repeating a benefit too much.
- Michele Lewis
May 31st, 2018 at 9:27 am
I grow my own greens indoors which is fun and convenient 🙂 I use the raw cacao every day. The problem I have with some of the other suggestions (like goji) is that it adds a significant number of calories. You can power up your smoothie to the point that it has 600 calories!
- Donna A
June 1st, 2018 at 12:42 pm
Hi Jen, Currently, my superfoods are whatever your recipes call for! I’m not one who will experiment, but I am one that will follow a recipe to the inth degree. Right now my superfoods are Hempseeds, Avocados, and Coconut Oil. I have to ask, is there such a thing as too many superfoods in one smoothie? How does one decide which superfood to use? Do too many superfoods, too often have any negative affects? Keep up the good work! Since starting and completing the 7-Day challenge and on my 3rd day of Thrive-Summer Cleanse, I am on a mission to get rid of my high cholesterol and acid reflux meds.
- SGS Rawkstar Amanda
June 4th, 2018 at 9:30 pm
I love using a variety of superfoods in my green smoothies. Concerned about using too many? Usually – I try to stick with 1-3 superfoods per smoothie and I take a look at each one’s benefits, as I don’t want to repeat them. So if I’m looking for a healthy fat + protein boost, I’ll reach for chia seeds + hemp hearts. Hope that helps!
- iris thomson
October 17th, 2018 at 7:51 am
I find the taste is very bad not at all pleasent.. is there a way to make it taste better.
- SGS Rawkstar Carissa
October 17th, 2018 at 1:59 pm
I am sorry that you had a bad experience! Have you tried switching up your greens and the super foods to make the best tasty option?! Trying a variety is really great to find what fits your specific needs and your taste buds 🙂
- Geraldine Watts
November 26th, 2018 at 2:27 pm
Hi Jen! I tried this but it was way too thick I had to eat it with a spoon. And even then it tasted very bad and I felt sick after. If this happens, should I add more coconut oil and avocado? Those seemed to be the only “wet” ingredients in this recipe. Thanks! -Geraldine
- Melanie Astin
November 30th, 2018 at 10:59 am
It sounds like you blended a smoothie out of all the ingredients listed in the article. You should actually add only one or two of these extras typically to a regular smoothie that’s based on whole fruit, greens, water or nut milk for liquid, etc. At the bottom of the blurb about the ingredient is a link to a suggested recipe to add the ingredient to. A note about chia seeds- they do thicken liquids a lot so start with a tablespoon to see how you feel about the consistency. Also whole flax seeds are only good for fiber- the seed coat is not digestible to humans so to get the omega 3 benefits, they must be ground. I hope your next smoothie is yummy so that good nutrition is enjoyable for you!
- SGS Rawkstar Carissa
December 3rd, 2018 at 1:38 pm
Thank you Melanie! You were exactly correct with helping Geraldine. The list here are suggestions to add to your smoothie you already drink so that you can get even more benefits out of it!
Let us know how your next smoothie turns out 🙂
- Md. Shazzadur Rahman
January 30th, 2019 at 12:12 am
what a great site!! thank you #john
- SGS Rawkstar Carissa
January 30th, 2019 at 1:55 pm
Hey thank you for that awesome feedback! We are so excited to have you a part of our rawkstar community!
- Md. Shazzadur Rahman
January 30th, 2019 at 12:14 am
the smoothie world #simple green thank you #SGS RAWKSTAR AMANDA
- SGS Rawkstar Carissa
January 30th, 2019 at 1:55 pm
You are welcome!!!
January 5th, 2020 at 2:03 am
I just learned that the chia seeds I have been using in the simple green smoothie 10 day challenge is considered a super food. Therefore they are my favorite – there really is no taste, they are inexpensive and super good for you!
January 5th, 2020 at 7:26 am
EXCELLENT INFORMATION THANK YOU SO MUCH! ADDING HEMP SEEDS TO MY SMOOTHIES HAS REALLY HELPED ME WITH A LOT OF HEALTH ISSUES!
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If you’re turning to smoothies as part of your strategy to lose weight or take your healthy eating up a notch, your menu may need a little attention. Done right, smoothies can make nutritious sense, packing satisfying ingredients along with fiber, vitamins, minerals and other health-protecting substances. But even some of the most healthful smoothie ingredients can add up to a lot of calories and therefore, interfere with your weight loss goals — or worse, lead to unintentional weight gain. Read on to find out if you’re making some common smoothie mistakes, discover how to build the best smoothie and find nutritionist-approved recipes to get your smoothie-making up to speed.
SMOOTHIE MISTAKES TO AVOID
Whether blending a smoothie or smoothie bowl, here are some common traps you’ll want to avoid.
- You sip your smoothie with breakfast. If your smoothie contains protein powder, Greek yogurt, nut butters, and the like, there’s a good chance it contains enough calories to replace your meal rather than accompany it. If you enjoy a smoothie alongside your morning eats, you may want to reconsider your smoothie recipe to lighten your breakfast calorie load.
- You add too much fruit. Though fruit is a healthy smoothie ingredient, you can get too much of a good thing —i n the form of calories and carbs. A general rule of thumb is to stick to around 1 cup of fruit per smoothie. That’s about a serving. Putting a few different fruits in your blender can easily add up to much more so if you’re mixing fruits, keep an eye on the total amount.
- You’re not keeping tabs on added sweeteners. Be it maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut sugar, or any other form of added sugar, too much sweetener is where many smoothies go astray. Other added sugars may come in the form of plant-based milks (sometimes even in original varieties) and flavored yogurts. Since fruit is naturally sweet, see if you can get by with just a hint of added sugar, if any.
- You’re adding too many “boosters.” Nut butters, chia seeds, and protein powders can all be great smoothie additions, but like other smoothie ingredients, it’s possible to go overboard. A tablespoon of either peanut or almond butter has about 100 calories; protein powders often start in the 100-calorie range; and chia, flax, or hemp seeds get you to the 100-calorie mark in two or three tablespoons. If you aren’t careful with your add-ins, the calories can add up quickly.
How to blend the best smoothie
Though calorie needs vary depending on age, weight, hormones, activity levels, and more, as a rule of thumb, most of us do well with snacks that contain fewer than 200 calories; a 300- to 450-calorie breakfast would cover most adults’ needs. Here’s how to get the most nutrition without driving the calories sky high.
- Fruit. Start with 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit. Some great fruit bases include strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, bananas, pineapple, cherries and peaches.
- Veggie. If you don’t mind the green color, adding a handful of spinach or kale is a good way to bring more antioxidants to your drink. These greens also give your smoothie more body, but the flavor from the small serving is virtually undetectable when paired with fruit.
- Protein. I usually go for about ½ to 1 cup plain, Greek yogurt, which has up to 24 g of this hunger-busting nutrient. You could also use cottage cheese, silken tofu, or legumes, like chickpeas. Another way to go is to use protein powder. If you’re going this route, keep an eye on the labels and watch out for added or artificial sweeteners. You’ll also want to take note of the protein source, especially if you’re following certain dietary restrictions (like avoiding dairy or soy). Popular options include whey protein and pea protein, but you can also find almond protein, peanut protein, hemp protein, egg white protein, soy protein, brown rice protein, and others. When it comes to powders, simple ingredient lists are best. For example, Naked Nutrition’s Naked Whey lists just one ingredient: Whey Protein Concentrate.
- Plant-based fat. Nut butters, seeds (like chia, hemp or ground flax seeds), and avocados can make your smoothie extra filling, and depending on which one you choose, may bring heart-protecting omega-3 fatty acids or monounsaturated fats. But these additions also drive the calories up. Stick to about a tablespoon of seeds or nut butters or about a quarter of an avocado to avoid this issue.
- Liquid: Your choices include milk, non-dairy milk, coconut water, iced coffee or tea, and juice. If you want to punch up the protein, go for milk or pea protein milk, which contain 8 to 10 grams per cup. If you’re getting ample protein from another source, coconut water or almond milk are lighter ways to go. A splash of juice is a great way to add sweetness to your smoothie, but if you’re going this route, be mindful of other sweeteners.
- Flavor boosters: Flavorful sprinkles include cocoa powder, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and unsweetened matcha powder. These bring more complexity to your smoothie and can also bring other health benefits.
- Grains. Some people like the addition of oats or other fiber-rich grains in their smoothies. In addition to providing more body, you’ll get all the benefits of whole grains when you add them to your smoothie mixture or bowl.
- Ice. I like to toss a handful of ice cubes in the blender because ice adds more volume (read: bigger smoothie), which makes my sips last longer. The cold sips also take more time to drink. The more you linger over your smoothie (or any other meal or snack), the more memorable, satisfying, and enjoyable it will be.
Healthy Smoothie Recipes
If you don’t want to use the above formula to guide your smoothie-making, try some of these recipes. Note that the serving sizes vary so you’ll want to keep an eye on that and adjust accordingly, depending on whether your smoothie is a snack, a meal or a side sip.
Blackberry Banana Lime SmoothieDanae Halliday, reciperunner.com
Blackberry Banana Lime Smoothie
Blackberry and lime make a refreshing and antioxidant-rich combo, while banana (a smoothie staple) keeps it full-bodied. The mixture of protein and milk bring a satisfying dose of protein to this AM meal.
Get the better newsletter. Peach Protein Smoothie BowlKathryn Rudy, Foodiegirlchicago.com
Peach Protein Smoothie Bowl
Sometimes it’s satisfying to eat with a spoon, which is where smoothie bowls come into play. Plus, crunchy toppings bring another appetizing dimension.
Green Avocado Peach SmoothieAmber Ketchum, MS, RD, Homemadenutrition.com
Green Avocado Peach Smoothie
You can use fresh or frozen peaches in this delectable smoothie, which gets its creaminess from the avocado. This treat would be a great between-meal tide-me-over that’s rich in fruits and veggies to help you meet your daily needs.
Orange Mango Ginger SmoothieJenna Braddock, RDN at makehealthyeasy.com
Orange Mango Ginger Smoothie
This smoothie recipe has loads of flavor from fresh ginger and ground turmeric, along with the mango, orange, cucumber, and celery. Since it’s light on protein, you may want to consider this a snack or experiment with your protein of choice.
Strawberry Cheesecake SmoothieKaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, author of livelytable.com
Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie
Strawberry cheesecake? Yes, please! This decadent smoothie has just 5 good-for-you ingredients to get your day off to a great start.
Orange Strawberry Squash SmoothieLindsey Janeiro, RDN, CLT, nutritiontofit.com
Orange Strawberry Squash Smoothie
This two-serving sipper is a delicious way to help you reach your daily fruit and veggie requirements. Like many smoothies, you could blend it into a drink or a smoothie bowl. If you want to make more of a meal out of it, add protein-rich enhancers, like protein powder or Greek yogurt.
Toasted Coconut Wild Blueberry Smoothie BowlLauren PIncus, MS, RD, Nutritionstarringyou.com
Toasted Coconut Wild Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
This smoothie bowl packs 27 g of protein to power you through a long morning. Plus, wild blueberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber.
Gut Healthy Berry SmoothieAngie Asche MS, RD of Eleat Sports Nutrition
Gut-Healthy Berry Smoothie
If a non-dairy smoothie is more your style, this one, with plant-based protein powder, makes a delicious and filling meal.
Stacked Blueberry SmoothieStacked Blueberry Smoothie / Jodi Danen, RDN Family Nutrition Expert Create Kids Club
Stacked Blueberry Smoothie
Cottage cheese provides the protein in this layered drink. It’s made parfait-style so the smoothie and cottage cheese are kept separate—perfect for days when you want to dig in with a spoon.
Creamy Strawberry MilkKatie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
Creamy Strawberry Milk
For the kids, or the kid in you, why not whirl up a little strawberry milk? Unlike the one you may have grown up on, this snack gets its pink color and juicy flavors from actual strawberries.
WHAT A NUTRITIONIST WANTS YOU TO KNOW
- Bad nutrition advice dietitians want you to forget
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- What you need to know about going vegan
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- The healthier pick: a hot dog or a hamburger?
Want more tips like these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Smoothie Add-Ins: 17 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Smoothies
by: Yuri Elkaim
We all know that I’m big on tossing some healthy ingredients into your blender and whipping up a cool and refreshing green smoothie.
Enjoying a breakfast that’s creamy, flavorful, and bursting with nutrition is a great way to start your day.
But after a while, it can get repetitive. You start to settle into a routine and you might find yourself blending up the same set of smoothies again and again.
Sure, adding some different greens and a new fruit or two might help add a little variety, but there are loads of healthy add-ins for smoothies that can take them to the next level. And not only are they healthy, they’re delicious.
So if you’re looking for things to put in smoothies besides fruit, I’ve got you covered.
From seeds to add to smoothies to berries and beyond, these 17 smoothie additions are the perfect way to mix it up.
17 Ways to Upgrade Your Smoothie
Derived from a plant native to Peru, this ancient superfood is an adaptogen that strengthens your body’s ability to cope with stress and anxiety. Maca can also help balance your hormones, boost your sex drive, and maintain bone density.
Maca powder is available in both gelatinized and non-gelatinized forms. I recommend gelatinized maca, which is boiled and pressurized to eliminate the starch content, making it easier to digest with a more concentrated nutrient profile.
Just sprinkle between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of maca root powder into your smoothie and you’ll be seeing the benefits in no time. Pair with chocolate or cacao to really bring out the flavor of this tasty ingredient.
Try this Maca Madness Green Smoothie recipe from Dishing up the Dirt.
2. Greens Powder
Adding a scoop of greens powder to your daily smoothie is one of the easiest ways to get in a few extra servings of veggies, alkalize your system, and boost energy levels.
Look for a mix that’s processed from the juice of the plant to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. Add a scoop or two to your next green smoothie and enjoy!
Check out these 11 Green Smoothie recipes from Yuri Elkaim.
3. Hemp Seeds
Rich in essential fatty acids and bursting with high-quality protein, hemp seeds (or hemp hearts) make a great addition to any smoothie. They also promote digestion by providing fiber and contain a hefty chunk of vitamin E, potassium, and phosphorus.
Give them a try – add a tablespoon or two to the blender for a delicious crunch and some added nutrients.
Try this Banana, Pear, and Hempseed Smoothie recipe from The Full Helping.
4. Bee Pollen
As one of nature’s most nourishing foods, bee pollen is an amazing ingredient that can benefit your entire body. This superfood has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties that can kick start the immune system, ease inflammation, and alleviate allergies.
After you’ve ensured that you’re able to tolerate bee pollen, 1 to 2 heaping teaspoons per day is a good place to start to see the most benefit.
Try this PBee & Banana Smoothie recipe from In My Bowl.
5. Mesquite Powder
This tasty superfood is often used as a natural sweetener due to its low glycemic index, which helps keep blood sugar stable. It’s also pumped full of calcium and potassium to support healthy bones and blood pressure.
Mix in a tablespoon with your smoothie to add just a touch of sweetness and a little extra nutrition.
Try this Vanilla Banana Mesquite Smoothie from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen.
6. Lucuma Powder
Besides satisfying your sweet tooth, lucuma brings a whole host of health benefits to the table. Produced from a fruit grown in Peru, lucuma powder has a sweet maple-like taste and contains powerful antioxidants that can prevent cellular damage and reduce inflammation.
A spoonful of lucuma is the perfect way to sweeten up a green smoothie without adding massive amounts of extra sugar or calories.
Try this Banana Nut Smoothie with Lucuma from Pralines and Greens.
Also known as the “King of Medicinal Mushrooms,” chaga is renowned for its healing properties. This mushroom has been used for centuries as a folk medicine to reduce inflammation, stimulate immunity, and protect the liver.
Available in powder form, one teaspoon a day will give any smoothie a nutritious upgrade.
Try this Superfood Smoothie from Chi Chaga.
8. Cacao Nibs
Made from bits of cacao beans, this raw form of chocolate is actually good for you (and your tastebuds).
A 1-ounce serving knocks out 36 percent of your daily fiber needs, helping to improve your digestive health and keep you regular. It’s also brimming with polyphenols to inhibit blood clotting and damage to your cells.
Add one tablespoon to your smoothie to add a hint of chocolatey flavor and tons of nutrients.
Try this Superfood Mint Cacao Nib Green Smoothie from Ambitious Kitchen.
Supplementing your smoothie with spices doesn’t just add flavor. It also can enhance the health benefits of your smoothie.
Turmeric, for example, can ease inflammation while cinnamon keeps blood sugar levels steady. Ginger adds a soothing element to your smoothie and a dash of chili powder delivers a hearty dose of antioxidants.
This is a great chance for you to experiment. Add a teaspoon of your favorite spices and find what works for you. Mix and match to create your own tasty creation.
Try this Carrot Ginger Turmeric Smoothie from Minimalist Baker.
10. Chia Seeds
Tiny but powerful, chia seeds pretty much have it all. They’re rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and whole grains. They’re also loaded with fiber, plus lots of vitamins and minerals. Best of all, chia seeds bring a unique texture to any smoothie.
Stir in a few tablespoons of chia seeds into your smoothie and blend. Alternatively, add the seeds to your blended smoothie and let them soak a few minutes to create a thick, gel-like texture.
Try this Chocolate Chia Smoothie from Gimme Some Oven.
11. Flax seeds
If you’re looking for an ingredient that will keep you feeling full without weighing you down, flax seed is the way to go. It’s packed with fiber that moves through your GI tract undigested, squashing those mid-morning cravings.
It’s also one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for supporting cardiovascular health.
Start with 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed daily and work your way up to 3 to 4 tablespoons per day to see the most beneficial effects.
Try this Green Smoothie with Spinach, Pear, and Ginger from The Kitchn.
12. Acai Powder
Cultivated from the acai berry, acai is commonly found in powder form, making it perfect for adding to smoothies.
Acai is even higher in antioxidants than cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries. It’s especially high in anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant compound that can protect against chronic disease.
Acai typically comes in packets, usually about 100 grams per serving. This makes it especially convenient to add to your smoothie, blend, and enjoy.
Try this Blueberry Acai Green Smoothie via Root and Revel.
Adding algae to your smoothie might sound a little odd, but it’s actually one of the best ways to bring some extra nutrients to your glass.
Chlorella and spirulina, in particular, are two types of algae that boast some serious health benefits. Chlorella is one of the few vegan sources of B12 while spirulina contains more beta-carotene than carrots, more iron than spinach, and lots of extra protein.
When getting started, sprinkle about a teaspoon of either algae variety into your smoothie. Add alongside other nutritious ingredients and drink up.
Try this Spirulina Smoothie from Carolyn’s Pantry.
14. Cacao Powder
Good news for chocolate lovers: cacao is packed with health benefits, giving you the perfect excuse to enjoy this flavorful superfood in your smoothie. With loads of antioxidants plus essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron, this is one ingredient that you can feel good about whizzing into a smoothie.
Note that cacao is different than cocoa; cacao is raw chocolate while cocoa has been processed and doesn’t carry the same health benefits.
Most commonly found as a powder, an ounce or two of cacao is just enough to add some flavor and nutrients to your smoothie.
Try this Chock-Full Chocolate Surprise Smoothie from The Blender Girl.
15. Camu Camu
Next time you start to get the sniffles and feel a cold coming on, this is the ingredient you’ll want to stock up on. It’s known for its immune-strengthening properties, antioxidant powers, and serious vitamin C content.
Camu camu powder makes it super easy to plop right into the blender and incorporate right into your smoothie, giving it an immune-boosting bump. It’s known for its sour flavor and works well with citrus fruits, like oranges.
Try this Orange Camu Camu Smoothie from Green Blender.
16. Chlorophyll-Rich Foods
Known as the pigment that gives plants their vibrant green hue, chlorophyll can also fight off infections and act as a natural deodorant. It has even been shown to control hunger and speed up healing.
While chlorophyll is available in supplement form, it’s also plentiful in many foods. Adding dark leafy greens, fresh herbs, or seaweed to your smoothie can effectively increase its chlorophyll content.
Try this Spirulina Green Smoothie Machine from The Blender Girl.
17. Goji Berries
These nutritious berries have long been a staple in traditional Chinese medicine. With their impressive nutrient profile, they can stimulate immune function, protect against chronic disease, and keep blood sugar stable.
Dried goji berries are readily available and can be used as is or soaked in water to rehydrate prior to adding to your smoothie. Combine with orange or ginger to really enhance the flavor and stick to about 1 tablespoon to avoid adding excess sugar to your smoothie.
Try this Persimmon and Goji Berry Smoothie from Fitnessista.
Smoothie Add-ins for the Win
Armed with this list of delicious and nutritious smoothie add ins, you’re all set to start mixing up a few batches of tasty smoothies. Incorporate just a few of these healthful ingredients into your weekly smoothie rotation and you can say sayonara to the smoothie monotony.
More Fun with Smoothies
Want to learn how to use all those delicious smoothie add-ins to create your own delicious, perfectly balanced recipes?
Download my FREE 1-page Perfect Green Smoothies printable infographic, which outlines the formula for creating an amazing smoothie every time.
You can get it right now by clicking the banner below!
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.
22 Ways to Supercharge Your Smoothie for Weight Loss
Smoothies have the ability to fast track nutrients into your body and fill you up in just a matter of sips. By opting for nutrient-dense, protein-packed, fiber-rich, and low-calorie ingredients, you’ll be able to fortify your body with the fuel it needs to burn fat, build muscle and control wacky cravings.
So, dust off your blender, skip the local smoothie joint, and start whipping up your own belly busting drinks by adding these powerhouse ingredients to your shopping list. And to lose even more weight—up to 16 pounds in 14 days!—click here to discover The Best Weight-Loss Smoothie Ever!
Native to Peru, Maca has been touted as a superfood credited with enhancing energy, stamina, memory, and fertility. While maca isn’t calorie free, it could be your ticket to more efficient workouts. “I would recommend starting out with about half of a teaspoon and work up to about a tablespoon. People find that it gives them a nice buzz without having any caffeine content. Because it’s great for energy and stamina I use it a lot with athletes as a pre-workout,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. The more energy have and the longer you last at the gym, the more calories you’re going to burn overall.
Energy levels dictate more than just your mood, they also heavily influence your food choices throughout the day and your ability to actually make it to the gym. “If someone is looking for a boost of energy I might recommend a matcha powder. There’s more caffeine in it than regular green tea because it’s the whole leaf ground up, but it’s also a great source of antioxidants and is virtually calorie-free,” says Smith. Match is also one of our favorite ingredients around here at Eat This, Not That! because of its weight loss super powers. It’s one of the most popular teas in Kelly Choi’s bestselling book, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse—which is why test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in one week!
You don’t have to wait for Fall to reap the waist-whittling benefits of this super squash. “Pumpkin contains some fiber and is a good source of beta-carotene and potassium, which is an electrolyte . Remember that pumpkin is not a “free food”, but you can think of it as making up half of your fruit portion in your smoothie,” says Smith. Stick with unsweetened canned pumpkin and blend with a third of a banana for starters. From there try adding things like cinnamon and greek yogurt for a tasty, filling and diet-friendly shake.
These unassuming seeds boast high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, are a rich source of antioxidants called lignans and also serve up a nice dose of fiber. What’s more? A Harvard University study linked the consumption of flaxseed to a 37 percent increase in weight loss. Keep a bag of ground flaxseed in your fridge and add a spoonful to shakes to help melt away the pounds. Why ground? Because you get more nutrition from them that way; learn more amazing tips like that with our exclusive report on How to Prepare Food to Get the Most Nutrition!
When you want to lose weight it would benefit you greatly to turn to fiber-rich foods because they fill you up and help kill off junk food cravings. These small seeds pack a hefty 11 grams in a quaint two tablespoons. Chia is also what’s called a hydrophilic food, which means they soak up water—and a lot of it, too! Chia seeds expand to 10 times their size when emerged in liquid, so adding them to your shake will keep your belly full, your appetite squashed, and your silhouette svelte.
Clean Protein Powder
Supplementing with a clean protein powder, free of any artificial additives is a good way to pump up the fullness factor of your shake—just be weary of how much you’re using. “Smoothies can be an awesome way to get nutrients, but they can also be a heavy hitter for calories. It’s especially important to understand how to order a smoothie out. I suggest that you follow the same rules and regulations that you do when you’re making it at home,” says Smith. So when you head to the juice bar for your post-workout recovery shake, don’t be afraid to ask to see the container the protein comes in or to ask about specific proportions.
Vegan Protein Powder
“Always include one protein or one healthy fat in your smoothies. For protein try a plant-based protein powder or a very clean whey protein—Greek yogurt counts as well,” says Smith. Not only will protein contribute to satiety, but it will also assist in muscle growth and repair and encourage greater calorie burning as a result. Plant-based protein powders are a good option if you have a more sensitive stomach. Whether you want the best plant-based or best animal-based protein powders, make our Best and Worst Protein Powders your guide to shopping for what’s right for you!
“Some superfoods can be calorie laden and some can contain none at all, . Some of my favorite calorie free choices are things like cinnamon or turmeric—both which are very anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants which are very healthy for you,” says Smith. Cinnamon helps boost the flavor and nutritional profile of your smoothie, without any added calories or sugar, making it easy for your to stay on track with your diet.
You may be used to spooning ooey-gooey oatmeal in your mouth for breakfast, but start making this fiber-rich staple a regular in your blending routine. No need to cook them up—dump rolled oats straight into your blender with the rest of your ingredients for a thick shake that will keep you full and energy steady thanks to the fiber found in oats. For non-smoothie oats inspo, try any of these 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes!
“Turmeric is the active ingredient in curry but it’s virtually flavorless, so you can mix it with anything. It’s great for your joints and can help regulate blood sugar,” says Smith. When you’re blood sugar is stable you won’t experience drastic highs and lows in energy, and as a result, will make healthier, more waist-friendly food choices, so don’t shy away from this brightly hued spice.
Whether you have a thing for almond, peanut, walnut or cashew butter it doesn’t matter, they all offer a boost of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. According to a study from the University of South Australia, a diet rich in omega-3 fats combined with regular exercise can help you lose more weight than just exercise alone. Just don’t go overboard with your scoops. Smith advises a maximum two tablespoons of nuts or nut butters in your drinks because they are considered a calorie-dense food. Check out these 20 Healthy Fats to Make You Thin for more helpful advice about nut butters, avocado, oils, and more!
By now it should be clear that if you want to rid yourself of unwanted pounds you’ve got to rid your diet of unnecessary sugar and calories, and when it comes to smoothies using juice as a liquid base is a big no-no. That’s why it’s best to stick to liquids like water or low-sugar almond milk when blending. “You want to buy unsweetened almond or coconut milk, and also bear in mind that if you make your own almond milk the calories will be higher because the process is different from how they manufacture it,” says Smith.
When you’re looking for simple ways to lose weight, you can never have too many veggies—they’re low in calories and high in nutrients that help your body function at its highest level. “Always try to add a vegetable or two to smoothies. There’s no limit on how many veggies you can put in,” says Smith. Spinach is one of the best green options for smoothies because its flavor is less pronounced than other veggies, and it also blends up nicely in shakes so you won’t be sipping any green chunks through your straw.
Ginger may be the ultimate upset stomach remedy, but thanks to its soothing powers it also can enhance your weight loss efforts. Adding fresh ginger into smoothies not only will give your drink a kick and disguise any bitter greens, but it will help your body digest the foods you’re gulping down. By aiding digestion, ginger helps your body absorb more nutrients and makes your healthy efforts more pleasant overall. It’s also a low-calorie way to really enhance the taste of your drink and is especially nice when paired with lemon juice.
Bananas are a smoothie mainstay, but frozen bananas specifically can take your smoothie game to the next level. When blended frozen, bananas turn your shake into a super creamy and thick indulgent shake—and when something tastes great you’re more likely to continue eating it. Just be sure to stick to one banana or less to keep calories and sugar under wraps. “I always tell clients to stick with one serving of fruit and when you’re ordering out find out how much of that item is in there. For example, I ordered a smoothie out that was very delicious but later I found out that there were three bananas in there and it was nowhere on the label,” says Smith. Love bananas? Then you’ll love finding out these 21 Amazing Things Bananas Do To Your Body!
Smith emphasizes the importance of fat and fiber to encourage greater satiety, and avocados are rich in both. Avocado is a particularly great source of monounsaturated fats, and a study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that a diet rich in these types of fats may actually help spot reduce belly fat by regulating the expression of certain fat genes. Smith suggests sticking to one-third of an avocado in shakes to keep calories under control while still getting those filling nutrients.
It may seem underwhelming, but using water as your liquid base in smoothies can help you cut down on serious calories and sugar in place of popular juices or milk. It will also kick up the hydration factor of your blend, too. Don’t worry about a watered-down flavor either, because if you’re adding in all the good stuff—fruits, veggies and creamy nut butters—you won’t even notice the substitution.
If you’re not one for powdered protein, then turn to this creamy, protein-packed, probiotic powerhouse to get your fill of the nutrient. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those following a low-calorie diet richer in protein gained more muscle and lost more fat than those consuming a low-calorie diet low in protein. Thanks to its creamy, thick texture, Greek yogurt will also transform your shakes into more of an indulgence .
Popular in traditional Chinese medicine due to its high antioxidant content, goji berries have found their way into modern day kitchens of the health-conscious. Though they’ve been touted as an immunity-booster and as a kind of “fountain of youth” for aging skin, goji berries are a perfect smoothie add-in because they are lower in sugar and a good source of fiber. Spring for goji powder or soak up the berries in water first, then blend. The tang will satisfy your sweet tooth and the fiber will help fill you up and keep you regular. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that consuming goji berry juice regularly can increase general feelings of well-being and happiness.
Acai is another favorite superfood among the svelte and weight-conscious because it’s naturally lower in sugar than other fruits and has a taste that’s reminiscent of red wine mixed with notes of chocolate. Acai can easily be found in the frozen section sold in small portioned out packets, which are easy to tear open and toss in the blender. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that acai is easily absorbed by the body when consumed as a juice or pulp, which means that you will effectively retain more of the nutrients from the antioxidant-rich fruit. Find out the 15 Most Antioxidant-Packed Fruits & Veggies—Ranked!
Raw Cocoa Powder
Chocolate may actually help you lose weight—yes, help you!—and there’s research to prove it. Minimally processed cocoa is low in sugar and loaded with antioxidants and a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the flavanols in chocolate may help reduce body fat. “When choosing a raw cocoa powder you want to look at the label and check how processed it is. The more processed it is, the more ingredients it will have. It will say raw if it hasn’t been heated, which is what you want so you get more benefits of the cocoa bean,” says Smith
Introducing oils into your diet can be tricky because not all are created equal nor are they by any means low in calories, however, it would benefit your waist to keep coconut oil stocked at all times. “I use a teaspoon of coconut oil in my smoothies. It’s kind of sweet and not super strong, and there is some fairly good research on coconut oil being beneficial to thyroid health in small amounts. It also counts as a fat, so it can help keep blood sugar more steady,” says Smith. A healthy thyroid and steady blood sugar can both assist greatly in weight loss efforts. Don’t know a ton about coconut oil? Find out Why Everyone is Obsessed with Coconut Oil!
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Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!
Pimp your daily juices and smoothies with these energising, nutrient rich and health enhancing powders to add a kick to your favourite blended drink and maximise your fitness and wellbeing.
FEEL THE BUZZ WITH BEE POLLEN
Known as nature’s energy booster and used by athletes to enhance endurance and resistance, sprinkling a little bee pollen into your morning smoothie is a surefire way to get you buzzing for the day.
This feisty little superfood is rich in B vitamins and iron, which reduce tiredness and even boost brain performance according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It’s high fibre boosts metabolism and will leave you feeling fuller for longer – goodbye mid-morning sugar cravings!
Try Raw Living Organic Bee Pollen, £12.25, planetorganic.com
MOVE MORE WITH MACA
High in carbohydrates, protein and fibre, Maca is a 100% natural workout fuel. Its abundance of iron, magnesium and calcium promote strong bones, healthy muscle tissue and fight fatigue.
A root vegetable with a nutty like flavour found only in the high altitudes of South America. Native Incan warriors consumed Maca to increase strength and stamina during battle. This powder packs a punch to ensure your body works to its full potential.
Try Naturya Organic Maca Powder, £19.99, goodnessdirect.co.uk
POWDER TO POWER RECOVERY
Recharge au naturel post workout with a green blend high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. The real food ingredients of green powders are carefully mixed at low temperatures to ensure essential nutrients are not damaged, promoting a faster recovery.
Try Vital Greens Green Powder, £19.95, martinandpleasance.co.uk
Omega 3 fatty acids found in some powders have anti-inflammatory properties to help muscles recover faster, preventing soreness post workout. These fatty acids also help to promote lean definition and increase muscle mass getting you one step closer to that summer body.
Try Purition Wholefood Coconut Shake, £22.95, purition.co.uk
SUPERFRUIT FOR SUPERWOMEN
Low immune system getting you down? With one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit, the South African Baobab fruit is bursting with vitamin C, calcium, potassium, B6 and thiamin.
Vitamin C creates and maintains collagen, the main component of connective tissue, keeping muscles strong and skin healthy. It also pumps up your immune system to full capacity and fights off fatigue and the common cold, giving your health a kick in the right direction when you need a pick me up.
Try Aduna Baobab Superfruit Powder, £8.25, planetorganic.com
BEAUTIFULLY BARE SKIN
Fight off the years and strive for a flawless complexion with a superfood blend packed with antioxidants like Acai berries, Rosehip, Camu Camu, Goji and Lacuma.
High in vitamin C, Rosehip and Camu Camu help to eliminate free radicals and minimise tissue damage. Anti-ageing Goji powder is bursting with 21 trace minerals including selenium, zinc and geranium – all known to maintain good skin and a healthy immune system.
Try Love Raw Skin Food, £18.99, eatloveraw.com
So whatever the smoothie or the occasion, with so many added health benefits crammed into these wondrous powders, what are you waiting for? – Get juicing!
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10 Smoothies for All-Day Energy
One of the most common questions I get as a semi-committed raw foodist is, Aren’t you starving with just fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds? Aren’t you tired all the time? The answer is a resounding no. I have far more energy when I’m eating raw vegan — well, vegan except for honey — and I feel satisfied after my meals, but in a lighter way. I don’t get “food babies” or that post-meal exhaustion from the body’s struggle to digest a heavy meal. The trick is knowing the foods and the combinations of foods that give you the right nutrients to keep you going all day long: greens, berries, citrus, nuts, oats, honey, coconut milk, and bananas are my go-to ingredients.
10 Smoothies for All-Day Energy (Slideshow)
Honey appears in almost all of these smoothies, and not only for taste. Honey has been a trusted energy-boosting athletic supplement for centuries and across many cultures.
I also like to have some fancy secret weapons in my energy arsenal like matcha (a green tea powder full of antioxidants), powdered macca root (a superfood known for its energizing qualities), lucuma (another superfood that tastes amazingly like ice cream), and guarana powder (known for its powerful caffeine kick). If you don’t have them on hand, that’s completely fine.
The following recipes are still delicious and energizing without these additional boosts. You probably have ingredients in your kitchen cabinet to give your drink an energy boost, too.For instance, some raw foodies find that a pinch of cayenne or chili powder gives them a lift, warms up the body (especially during the cooler months), and supports the immune system all year round.
It also boosts your metabolism, improves circulation, reduces pain, and is a powerful source of vitamins and minerals. Nothing gets you going like a little kick of cayenne.
As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so every morning I start the day off with a delicious smoothie. They’re so easy to make and clean up after — just pour in a cup, rinse out your blender, and go.
Mulberry, Lavender, and Kale Smoothie
This smoothie features an all-star cast of superfood sensations. Bananas are good sources of fiber, slow-burning carbohydrates to balance energy throughout the day, and heart-healthy sterols. They are surprisingly nutritious, containing vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, biotin, copper and pectins. They also contain fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) which are a source of food for the friendly bacteria in the human digestive system, and a well-functioning system keeps your energy in-balance.
Mulberries are a respectable source of antioxidants and polyphenols, not to mention vitamin A, B6, B12, C, E, K, riboflavin, folate, calcium and other nutrients that keep your body ticking.
Oats are an excellent source of B vitamins and magnesium. And both oats and cashews are loaded with protein and fiber which keeps your energy up and your digestive system in check. Cashews are also good source of antioxidants and dietary trace minerals such as manganese and copper.
Banana, Almond Milk, and Matcha Energizing Smoothie
Romaine is not the boring ingredient many salad naysayers make it out to be. It contains many vitamins and nutrients including folate, which plays a role in energy and mood regulation.
Honey is a source of complex carbohydrates, fructose, glucose, and small amounts of sucrose, vitamins and minerals.
Almonds are highly nutritious, containing vitamins and essential minerals. They are also a rich source of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help to sustain energy throughout the day.
Read more about 10 Smoothies for All-Day Energy
Jessica Reidy is a Pushcart-nominated writer from New Hampshire. he loves making beautiful and healthy creations in the kitchen inspired by her Gypsy and Italian heritage, and her raw vegan streak, especially when there are flowers involved. Follow her on Twitter @JSReidy
Do you feel as though you always have all the energy you need to get through each day with plenty of zip, pep and go? If not, rest assured you are not alone. This energy boosting smoothie recipe with Maca is easy to make, easy to digest and will absolutely boost endurance (for fitness and life!), stamina and pep. Most importantly, it supplies necessary nutrients that provide your body with REAL energy rather than the artificial energy you might typically rely on from caffeinated beverages. Real energy means no caffeine jitters, no crashing and no negative consequences.
High Energy Boosting Smoothie Superfood Ingredients
Every single ingredient in the smoothie recipe is a superfood and serves an energy-boosting purpose. There isn’t one single “wasted” or “empty” calorie added.
In addition, because each plant-based ingredient is easy to digest and easy to absorb, your body won’t be expending extra energy to break down and digest your food. By eliminating the excess workload of digestion, you will reap more energy by drinking this smoothie than if you were to consume the same amount of calories from a smoothie made from difficult-to-digest animal foods (such as dairy) or refined and denatured protein powders.
The energy boosting smoothie is even more energizing than eating starchy carbohydrates because the carbohydrate source in this recipe comes from whole fruits and vegetables, which are incredibly easy for your body to burn. Anything that is easy for your body to burn means more “leftover” energy for you!
Spotlight on Maca
Often referred to as a natural source of testosterone, maca is a superfood that can benefit both men and women. While we often associate testosterone with men, women have testosterone too. Testosterone is a hormone that plays a critical role in maintaining energy, building metabolically active muscle mass and maintaining bone density. Whether you are male or female, if you are low on testosterone you will experience decreased energy and persistent fatigue along with a reduced sex drive and decreased sense of well-being. Maca can help balance hormones in both men and women and it is an important ingredient in the energy smoothie recipe.
Well known for its invigorating and energizing properties, maca is also incredibly nourishing to the adrenal glands. A root vegetable related to the turnip, maca powder is marketed as a dietary supplement, but it is really a superfood. By supporting the adrenal glands, maca combats the energy-draining effects of modern day life and helps provide a steady and non-jittery form of energy. Vega Maca (see photo above) is a super high-quality powdered source of this superfood.
It is important to note that although the energy smoothie recipe will absolutely boost energy in the short term, if you want to really see results (especially from the maca), you will want to drink it daily for about 4 to 6 weeks.
Where to Buy Maca and Other Superfood Ingredients Used in the Energy Boosting Smoothie Recipe
Most of the ingredients in the energy boosting smoothie recipe can be purchased at your typical grocery store (such as the spinach, blueberries, dates, frozen cranberries, banana and even flaxseeds). However, the maca powder, camu camu powder and hemp seeds are often only sold at natural foods stores or places like Whole Foods Market. You can also easily purchase them online at Amazon or at one of my favorite online discount healthy living shopping destinations, VitaCost.
- 2 cups cold filtered water
- 1 frozen banana (cut into chunks)
- 1 large handful organic spinach
- 1/3 cup frozen cranberries (Note: be sure they are unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
- 2 teaspoons camu camu powder (such as Navitas Naturals)
- 2 teaspoons gelatinized maca powder (such as Vega Maca)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 5 medjool dates (pitted)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of unrefined sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups ice
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and process until smooth and creamy. Drink cold.
This high energy smoothie recipe can be made in advance and will keep for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.