This is the superfoods list for the best superfoods for smoothies. They can give you whatever boost you need whether it be extra protein, healthy fat, energy, minerals and more. Superfoods for smoothies are nutritious ingredients you can toss in any smoothie recipe to supercharge it. Checkout this superfood smoothie for a great example of how to add them.
A superfood is defined as a food rich in nutrients and minerals commonly viewed as beneficial for one’s health. I don’t know about you but I’m all for eating foods that work extra hard to give my body what it needs to thrive.
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Top 10 Superfoods for Smoothies
Superfood is a buzzword that you’ve most likely heard, but may not fully understand. It’s flashy, trendy and makes me feel healthier just buying them if I’m being honest. Yet are these foods really that super?
Yes! These 10 superfoods for smoothies are definitely worth the hype. This superfoods list gives you ten smoothie-boosting ideas, along with recipes to help you use them.
Smoothies are wonderful with just greens, fruit and water. If I need more energy, a quick full meal, an immune boost or better skin/nails/hair, I add superfoods to help me out.
Seeds top my superfoods list for many reasons. These small but mighty warriors contain healthy fats, quality protein and fiber. Find superfood seeds at almost any American grocery store (Trader Joe’s, Target, even Marshalls!) as well as multiple places online. I pick up all three ingredients at my local Costco in bulk.
- Hemp hearts have no psychoactive properties yet do have gamma-linolenic acid, a great and necessary fatty acid.
- Chia seeds contain healthy fatty acids, which make them a powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial boost in any smoothie.
- Flaxseed provides the body with necessary fiber and healthy fats and makes my chocolate chip cookies freakin’ delicious with a crispy and chewy shell.
Fun fact: I love hemp, chia and flax so much that I used them exclusively in my own plant-based protein powder, homemade protein powder.
Superfoods Green Powder: Green Tea
I am def #teamcoffee all day every day, yet I also appreciate a good cup of green tea. It makes an excellent liquid base for smoothies. Naturally caffeinated green tea gives an energy boost without the coffee jitters.
- Green tea boosts the metabolism to help burn fat, contains polyphenols and antioxidants to fight cancer and inflammation as well as cell damage and helps the brain function more efficiently.
- Matcha is an earthy-tasting green tea powder that can lower your chances of chronic illness and boost your antioxidant levels.
Green tea is fairly mild in flavor, so feel free to use it as a base on any smoothie you next create. Or bonus recipe, swap out your next coffee for a matcha tea latte.
Fermented Superfoods for Gut Health
I have a deep and lasting love for fermented food. I love pickling things, making and eating sauerkraut and brewing my own kombucha. Gut health is super important and is linked to mood and mental health, your immune system, skin and more. If your gut’s not healthy, ain’t nobody healthy.
- Kombucha is a tea-based beverage. When tea is fermented the polyphenols are multiplied which helps them fight even more inflammation. My favorite brand is Health-Ade!
- Yogurt that contains live bacteria, or probiotics, can give your immune system a boost. You can even make vegan yogurt with probiotics in it if dairy is something you try to avoid.
- Sauerkraut is basically fermented cabbage. It’s great for digestion and the reason it makes this superfood list is the probiotics found inside.
Fueling your body and gut with pre and probiotic foods can help keep your digestive system balanced. I actually have a whole challenge inside Rawk the Year (my meal planner) that teaches you how to make and use these three foods for the happiest gut around.
95% of the body’s serotonin production happens in the intestine. Your body will thank you for keeping your gut happy.
Next up on my superfoods list is power berries. Do you realize just how incredible berries are? They aren’t just here to be a sweet treat. These gorgeous fruits are great superfoods for smoothies since they act as fruit and a power boost.
- Wild blueberries (think tiny!) are higher in antioxidants. I love Wyman’s brand.
- Cranberries are a UTI-fighting, immune-boosting berry. Since they are really only found in winter, binge on them during this season!
- Pomegranate contains punicalagin that have triple the antioxidant power of red wine and green tea. If this fruit is a bit daunting to you then check out this video on the easiest way to remove pomegranate seeds.
- Açaí powder contains anthocyanin which can lower oxidative stress, inflammation and the risk of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Obviously, there are dozens of berries not on this list that are also deliciously beneficial. Berries are an easy superfood win in a smoothie!
You can also make antioxidant smoothie cubes and toss them into your next smoothie for some extra antioxidant love.
Yeah, I’m talking about the stuff from the ocean. Hear me out! I didn’t add this category to my superfoods list for the shock factor. These ingredients pack some serious power and you should try them.
- Sea moss is a type of seaweed that can help the thyroid, heart, gut and fertility. Be sure to buy this ingredient from a reputable source since the nutritional profile can vary greatly from brand to brand. I get mine from Herbal Vineyards.
- Spirulina is rich in both protein and antioxidants. It seems most food is super if it can fight inflammation, and spirulina is a part of that category. If you’re new to this unique ingredient then try some from Spirakind.
Algae is a unique ingredient and an acquired taste for many. Start with a small amount and work your way up to more depending on your taste preferences.
Cacao Powder and Cacao Nibs
Cacao powder and cacao nibs are seriously healthy and delicious. Unprocessed and unheated contain the most nutrients. Turn your next smoothie into a chocolatey drink by adding either of these ingredients to it and enjoy the flavor and the benefits.
- Cacao powder has large amounts of flavonols which are both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Cacao nibs = crushed cacao beans. They’ve got healthy fat, manganese and fiber and the same healthy properties as cacao powder.
Toss 2-4 tablespoons of cacao powder or nibs in your next smoothie and enjoy a warm and rich chocolate shake! This superfood list can be equally tasty and beneficial, right?
Pro tip: Look for cacao or cocoa that is unsweetened. There’s no need for extra ingredients in the powder as you are adding them to a smoothie that is naturally sweetened.
If you struggle with inflammation then this section is for you! Chronic inflammatory diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Many Americans struggle with chronic inflammation, so chances are your body could benefit from greater consumption of natural inflammation-fighting food like fresh ginger and turmeric.
- Ginger has been used in medicine for centuries. It feels a bit like a cure-all ingredient since it can help with nausea, inflammation, diabetes, cancer, blood sugar and more.
- Turmeric’s superpower comes from curcumin. This active ingredient in turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties. This is a fat-soluble compound, so make sure to pair it with healthy fats when consuming.
Adding 1/2 to 1 inch of fresh ginger or turmeric is a great smoothie booster. Just make sure you peel and cut your turmeric on a cutting board because it stains easily!
Herbs are my jam. They’re easy to add to smoothies and meals and make this superfoods list due to their nutrient-dense nutritional profiles.
- Cilantro contains antioxidants that can help ease arthritis.
- Parsley has 383% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K which promotes bone health.
- Mint is a good source of vitamin A and can help your body rid itself of oxidative stress.
- Basil helps ease nausea, stress, cholesterol and dental decay.
If you ever get the urge to start your own garden then I recommend starting with herbs! They are beautiful, easy to grow, can be grown in or outside and make it easy to grab and use in a variety of recipes. These superfoods boost smoothies quickly as well as add great flavor!
Feel free to experiment with the herbs in your garden or at your local farm stand. Surprise yourself with some fun combinations!
Adaptogens have long been studied for their superfood powers. They make this superfoods list because you can easily add them to smoothies or other beverages to enjoy better focus, less stress and less fatigue.
- Ashwagandha is found in India, Africa and the Middle East. It is a medicinal herb with potent anti-stress properties (who couldn’t use a little more zen in their lives?)
- Ginseng root is an ancient root used in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cordyceps is a fungus that can help with oxygen efficiency while exercising as well as properties that are anti-aging and anti-tumor growth.
My friends at Four Sigmatic use the power of mushrooms in many of their delicious mixes to create coffee without crashing as well as beverages that heighten focus or help relax the body.
Immune Boosting Superfoods
There are many supplements on the market today that promote an immunity boost. Yet I love getting the ultimate boost from natural ingredients, so here are my favorite ways to help my body stay healthy:
- Elderberry has been used for centuries by people throughout North America, Europe, northern Africa and parts of Asia to relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling. This isn’t a new remedy. Raw elderberries are poisonous, so make sure they‘re properly cooked before consuming.
- Goji berries are a superfood used in ancient medicine all over Tibet, India, Mongolia, and regions of China. They contain polyphenols which stimulate the detoxification of blood, and also the elimination of carcinogens in the body.
- Oranges are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, thiamine, folate and antioxidants.
Use any of these superfoods for smoothies to give your body the best nutrition this cold and flu season.
Honestly, different superfoods have different super powers. Don’t just try one! My list includes seeds, green tea, fermented food, power berries, algae, cacao, anti-inflammatory roots, fresh herbs, adaptogens and immune boosting foods.
You can add many superfoods to almost any smoothie, no need for a special shake! Yet start with these recipes: honey turmeric smoothie, yogurt smoothie, probiotic smoothie, sauerkraut juice smoothie, cilantro smoothie, chocolate protein shake, orange superfood smoothie.
A little goes a long way… I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of chia, flax, or hemp to 1 serving of smoothie. Most other superfood ingredients will recommend a serving size, so read the label! And you can always start out small then work your way up to a full serving.
Non-Smoothie Uses for Superfood
Superfoods make excellent smoothie ingredients plus, easily add them to a variety of dishes! Here are a few non-smoothie recipes using the ingredients listed above:
- Elderberry popsicles
- Herb pestos
- Ginger switchel
- Hemp heart sauce
- Pumpkin chia pudding
- Chia fresca
- Fudgy brownies
- Carrot ginger soup
What are your go-to superfoods to use in cooking, baking and smoothies? I’d love you to leave a comment and tell me what you love and how you use it!
New to smoothies and I really can’t wait, but I HATE the smell and taste of coconut. My mom used to make me eat coconut oil and now I can’t stand anything with that texture. I gag every time. Are there good alternatives to coconut oil? Or do you at least not taste the coconut flavor as much? Thanks!
Hmm… Coconut oil is pretty unique as far as texture goes, so not many things would replace it in a smoothie. You could always try leaving it out for the smoothies that ask for it, or just replacing it with something completely different 🙂
Heating the coconut oil to a liquid prior to adding it to a smoothing completely dilutes any texture and mixes in very well.
I been doing these smoothies since Jan. because I was sick and need to boost my immune system. I use a nutruBullet. It is a food extrater. It breaks down the food so you don’t have to digest it, which makes the nutrition go right in to you. Now I am health and don’t get sick. I feel great!
That’s awesome! Where did you get that nutribullet? Congrats on your new health!
I’ve been using hemp seeds– there’s no storage instructions, where, how & how long should they be kept?
Hi Tina! It is best to keep them in the fridge for about 8-12 weeks 🙂
Love the challenge, how many superfoods do we use per smoothie
Using just one per smoothie will help out, Andrea 🙂 Some people are pretty ambitious and go for two or three, but make sure you scale down the amounts that you put into your smoothie if you are using more than one superfood. For example, if you are using chia and flax seeds then use just 1 Tbsp of each to equal the normal 2 Tbsp used for one superfood. Hope this makes sense!
I am so happy to be reading all these wonderful tips and recipes for my green smoothies. I am new to this but I have been doing well so far. Two weeks worth! I’m learning so much from reading books and from this website. I’m so excited to start this new and refreshing eating life style and I hope to stay focused and determined.
Thank you for all the super foods information… I’m just having a challenge finding the acai, and cocoa nibs… I’m going to look for camu powder… Other than that I’ve included all the other in to my diet since the beginning of the new year… Thanks to your smoothie challenge.
Where would I find cacao and coconut oil?
Hi Kelly 🙂 There are links to buying these items up above in the article. Your local grocery stores may have them, too.
You can find them in most grocery stores now in their organic sections. That is where I find them and I am in no way near a city – lol (in Maine)
I have been having green smoothies for breakfast now for almost a year and I love the new ideas you give me. I love the photos too showing amounts to use. My smoothies I have the most are Kale, celery, or spinach, hemp seeds, chi seeds, gr. flax seeds, banana, blueberries, and lemon. Sometimes I add a piece of fresh ginger and even a raw egg for added protein. I have my own chickens or else I wouldn’t add eggs. I love the new ideas to use green tea as a liquid too! Great site!
I’ve been trying to add in a few tablespoons of different super foods to my smoothies lately. We have ground flax, cacao, chia seeds, and I bought a huge 72oz tub of coconut oil from Costco that I’ve also enjoyed cooking with and using as lotion. I think my favorite of these is chia seeds because I can also combine it with some almond milk and cacao and create a chocolate pudding of sorts which is so yummy. My local Costco is selling hemp hearts for $10, I think ill have to buy those next. Oh & acai sorbet in Brasil is just amazing 😉
Sounds like you have had some super experience with superfoods!
Where are the responses to the question? Can I add the coconut oil in the blender?
Thank for the response. I would love some meal ideas if anyone would care to share.
I have tried flax seeds, cacao nibs (my favorite), maca powder, and goji berries. All of these are wonderful additions to smoothies. I think that I will branch out and try the coconut oil and spirulina next!
I just brought cacoa powder and love it!!! I’m going to buy maca powder tomorrow hope it’s taste good. Loving this green smoothie challange
Candace, one of my favorite recipes with cacao is a tasty treat to me!! I don’t really measure (go by taste):
Spinach, Banana, Cacao Nibs, and Almond Milk (I sometimes add a splenda pack or a couple of drops of honey)!
I started the 30 Day Challenge last week and I am so glad that I did. Thank you for the list of super foods, but I need clarity about the use of flax seeds. Is it beneficial to add whole seeds to a smoothie or should they be ground?
We prefer the powder just because it is easier to blend and drink. Unground seeds are not bad, though 🙂
I’m looking forward to trying some of these other superfoods out! For my morning smoothie, I put in a tablespoon of milled flax seed, spirulina, and chia seeds. I’ve never felt better in my life! Also, I received my Vitamix 7500 yesterday and I am looking forward to seeing what new ingredients I can start adding in.
I’ve been on the road for work and haven’t had my green smoothe since Sunday…and I feel awful! Can’t wait to get home to my blender! Lol. I’ve been trying to just eat more salad to make up for it but there is certainly a difference.