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!
What’s the difference between Cacao powder and regular, unsweetened cocoa powder? Many websites say they are the same thing; just retailers jack the prices up on the cacao because they market it as healthy. What do you think?
The taste is very similar Danielle, but the benefits are much higher in cacao… which is raw and unprocessed. There are more antioxidants in the raw, pure form, which we just love.
I started eliminating simple sugar from my diet a week ago and only eating fruits and vegetables with the above super foods. I have lost five pounds in one week. I will now began my new interval weight training and see if I can get enough protein to build some muscle.
I’m just starting to use the green smoothie program. I found this blog on the super foods to be extremely helpful and informative. You have answered so many questions that have been rolling around in my mind as I studied the procedure. I’m concerned about weight gain though in drinking the smoothies. I have been on Weight Watchers and am trying to figure out how to count points for the ingredients in the Smoothies. I may just have to adjust it and count points for the rest of the day and make my green smoothie my breakfast. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping to lose weight while drinking green smoothies?
One of the things to keep in mind when going for weight loss is to not ADD green smoothies to your current eating habits, but to SUBSTITUTE them. Drink one for breakfast instead of what you normally eat. Or drink one for lunch or dinner. If you add it then you are adding more nutrients that your body definitely needs, but also may be adding too many calories, carbs, etc.–we don’t spend any time counting numbers in a diet. Our main goal is get whole, natural, great tasting food into our bodies so we can be healthy and happy!
Great advice here! I find that a blend in the morning gets you through to lunch. Have a good healthy filling lunch similar to what you would eat for dinner which keeps me going till dinner when I blend again.
I suffer from epilepsy and at the moment are going through an uncontrolled phase which my specialist is trying to stop. Would any of these superfoods help to control these fits etc? I’m afraid though I don’t like smoothies, any other form of taking them. Thanks
Hi Mandy— You would have to consult a doctor. We cannot give medical advice— we are just here to share what benefits green smoothies offer and some supplements that work well in them and why. I wish the best for you and your health and hope you can find some superfoods and natural remedies to help with the seizures.
How does Wheat Grass compare to your list of super foods? Is it just as beneficial health wise, or is it not as much? I add it occasionally to my green smoothies, because I enjoy the plant-taste it adds. Should I switch it up for something different, or keep it up?
I also add hemp to them as well, delicious!
Wheatgrass is great! Just takes more time and tools than we are really into. We like to keep it simple with our smoothies— and these 10 superfoods are a quick addition. But definitely go for wheatgrass if you have a juicer and the fresh wheatgrass around. 🙂
Hi! How do you get the chia seeds NOT to gelatinize your smoothie? I added just a tablespoon and my entire smoothie tastes and looks like green pudding! I can’t stand the tapioca-like consistency. Is there any prep work I can do that will make the chia seeds just stay seed-like?
Thanks in advance!
I start my chia seeds in the blender and make them into a powder before I begin the smoothie. It will still help thicken the smoothie, but you wont have green tapioca!
You should just sprinkle them on top after you have blended 🙂
Thank you Jadah, Jen and Tonya! Will try that this evening 🙂
I need help. What kind of things can I add to my smoothie to ensure I have some protein in it? Thanks so much!
Any of the above that talk about protein 🙂
I am new to this whole healthy way of eating, is this all ok to do? I mean I have chocolate whey protein powder… would I be able to add a bit to my green smoothie? just to add a bit of protein? and will that be ok?
Hi Brittany! You can do whatever you think is best 🙂 Our personal favorites are the superfoods listed above, but if you like whey protein powder for your body then go for it 🙂
cool… thanks for the tip
I’ve heard that maca powder should not be consumed raw, and is only digestible if it’s been “gelatinized.” Would love to know more about this (if it’s true or not)!
Hmm… That is interesting, Yvonne. We haven’t read anything about that, and the type of Maca that we suggest says that it is ok to use gelatinized or raw. Here is a link to the Maca that we prefer:
If I soak almonds overnight how long can I keep them in the fridge for?
All of our sources seem to say that if you put your raw almonds in a bowl over night and soak them, then you should drain and rinse them and they can be stored in the fridge for about a week. Hope this helps 🙂
Hi Jen and Jada: I absolutely love the Simple Green Smoothies site and the comments from so many. I really appreciated your TOP 10 SUPERFOODS also; however, after doing additional research about each of the SUPERFOODS, Coconut Oil (as well as Coconut Milk) reviews from health and medical websites ALL seem to strongly discourage the consumption because of its EXTREMELY high saturated fat content. I have read many of the articles that debate the pros and cons, but the overwhelming majority of medical and science research community seem to discourage its use. Can you please give me some feedback on your thoughts and why you guys chose to air on the side of a proponent of the Coconut Oil stating: “If you are exercising for weight loss then coconut oil will be an important ingredient for you. The fatty acids in this superfood fight body fat by converting into energy that boosts metabolism as opposed to saturated fats that add body fat.” I cannot seem to satisfactorily reconcile these extremely opposing views. PLEASE HELP! BTW I am trying to lose weight and target my belly fat.
Hi Barry! I’m sorry for all the confusion. As you probably know, there are many opposing views on all sorts of nutritional claims. First, let us clear up a little confusion from the phrase that you quoted in your comment, because the way we worded it is probably a little confusing. We do recognize that coconut oil contains saturated fat, but unlike many other foods that contain saturated fat coconut oil actual works to boost your metabolism and increase weight loss. It isn’t a miracle food, but using small doses can help if you are eating healthy and living an active lifestyle. We also wrote an article on coconut oil on our family webpage. Check it out here 🙂
Thanks for your enthusiasm girls been doing the smoothies for a few months now mainly for brekkie after training . Feel clear headed and focused in the mornings now …you have answered so many questions I have had. I prefer to be careful of how much fruit I blend up at once cos of the sugar ! I cut out fruit from my diet and felt so much better so not to keen on the extra fruit. Ideas on how to add a little sweetness?
Do you use carrots or beets in your smoothie? We don’t have any recipes with beets right now, but lots of people love them! They will have more sugar than other veggies, though. Usually sweetness comes from natural sugar, and we highly recommend NOT using sugar substitutes (things like Equal, Sweet-n-Low, etc.). These can be pretty harmful to your body. From this superfoods list you could try goji berries or acai 🙂
I started smoothies and my blood sugar went nuts so now I have stopped to see if smoothies is the problem. I used spinach, frozen blueberries, flax, carrots, and bananas every morning for three weeks, Blood sugar is cumming down slowly. Do you have any suggestions I am type two diabetic also I am not a big veggie eater that’s why I started smoothies.
Hi William! Thanks for the question 🙂 We do recommend talking to a doctor or nutritionist about this because they would know your situation better than we do. The only thing we can suggest at this point is to not use bananas or carrots. They have lots of natural sugar. So, even though it may not be as bad as eating refined sugar it will still make your blood levels go higher. Hope this helps!
I love adding cinammon (good for mental clarity) and fresh mint (natural diuretic) to smoothies.
Can i add all of these 10 superfoods to one smoothie or will they not mix well together?
I know sometimes certain minerals/powders/vitamins etc are best taken by themselves in order for you to feel the full benefit from them…
We recommend using 2, or maybe 3, superfoods tops! If you use multiple superfoods we would suggest cutting the recommended amounts for each superfood in half. Hope this makes sense!