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!
I did a little bit of research on macca and I found reports that it can lead to thyroid problems, can increase your blood pressure, and can offset your menstrual cycle. I also read that it can lead to digestive problems such as bloating and reflux. Apparently it is not supposed to be consumed raw because it contains toxin that are harmful to people. In Peru where maca is commonly found it is always cooked. Have any of you experienced these symptoms of maca?
Thanks for bringing this up. We’re definitely going to look into this…
Glad you brought that up, Afia. Those are two different issues and here is some info that may help you out:
There are pluses and minuses to eating raw foods, aren’t there? And given that each person is different, his or her body may react differently to each state. In the case of maca, raw isn’t best. When you are buying maca, look for the words “royal”, “gelatanized” or “cooked”. That is the maca you want, and all three of those mean the same thing. Raw maca can irritate the stomach and cause digestive upsets. In Peru, they don’t eat it raw. In the states, people assume raw is always best, and fail to research it further. The cooking process removes elements that can irritate the digestive process. So, that’s some info for you as far as maca and digestion is concerned.
As far as it interfering with the thyroid, it is an adaptogenic root, which means it will ideally balance hormones, which is why it’s said to give you more energy, up your sexual drive, and increase fertility. Obviously this isn’t a one size fits all deal, so it can do the opposite for some. I have had great success with royal maca (by the way, you only need about 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp of royal maca, whereas with raw maca, the serving size is much higher. So, you save money in the end as well).
As far as it increasing blood pressure, it can certainly do that as it has stimulating effects. Again, this is something that should be tested by the individual, and of course consult your health oriented wellness professional as well. For the first two weeks of taking maca, everything is kind of out of balance for me….when that third week comes, it’s amazing, absolutely amazing! I have so much energy and feel so alert and productive. That has been MY experience, and I hope others research and experiment for themselves. Go you for doing your own research, asking questions, and not automatically assuming everything you read on the internet is truth 😉
Thanks for this response, Melissa! Definitely love hearing valuable and knowledgable input from our community!
I put a teaspoon in my smoothie, should i stop? I read its good for you and then i read this, i am confuzed know. What should i do? I don’t have a lot of energy, so adding this i thought it would give me some. Please help me with this.
You guys are great! Thank you for your honesty and transparency. I see you’ve made some changes to the list. Thank you for listening, researching, and providing us with alternatives.
Absolutely, Afia! We love learning from our community and growing in our healthy eating journey together.
I have just started adding royal maca which is gelatinised so does not cause me any stomach issues, it is highly potent only need 1/4 teaspoon to feel powerful affects. Raw macca is cheaper and not as potent so you need more. Increased energy, increases sex drive and wanting to connect with the world more, I drink hardly any coffee now. Also add to my green smoothies a rainbow blend of power berrie super foods and a green blend which has lots of barely grass in it, also all together add hemp seeds for omega oils.
Thanks you for all the powerful knowledge. You previously warned against using more the two out of the ten superfoods in one smoothie. Why shouldn’t you used more than two? What combinations do you suggest. I have all ten and have used more than two in my smoothies numerous times. Thanks you in advance.
Great question! First, we don’t recommend mixing them all together because that gets super expensive and can make your smoothie taste pretty funky. We are all about simplicity with our recipes. Second, we think it’s important not to over-superfood your body. These superfoods pack a high volume of their specific nutrients, and it’s not really necessary to consume a handful of different superfoods that are all packed with protein. We generally think it’s better to let one or two superfoods do what they’re supposed to, and then you can add different varieties the next day.
Hope this helps!
Hi! Is there any suggestion on using sesame seed? Btw, can’t wait to start the challenge n tq for your effort.keep it up!
We don’t really use it in green smoothies. We use it cooking sometimes 🙂 So glad you’re joining us for the challenge!
Hi there, I have a question, new to this juicing thing – i need it for weight loss and overall energy and health, (high cholesterol) – I need to know what to use – the hemp seeds, coconut oil or spirulina?? and how often, or all together?? help!! 😉
You can use one or two super foods in each smoothie. If you buy all of them at once, it might cost you quite a bit, so you might just want to grab one or two and see which ones you like then add more slowly over time. 🙂
I’m doing the 30 day challenge, and just received the 2nd list……….the super greens powder, what brand do u recommend?!? I was in GNC and saw their brand, and i went to Wagreens and saw Barleans brand; are those two acceptable?!?
What list are you referring to? Our last 30-day green smoothie challenge ended on January 30, and the next one starts on April 1. Just trying to figure out what list you’re talking about so we can help!
I’m a nanny for a 2 and 4 yo and they have recently developed a love of smoothies! while their pretty healthy eaters their mum and I thought it can’t hurt to give them a big of a boost! Is there any you would particularly recommend for kids or any we should avoid? And what qualities should we give them?
If you go to our recipe page, then you should see a button toward the top that says “kid-friendly.” Click on that and some kid-friendly green smoothies will be highlighted for you 🙂 This page may also help, too!
Im going to begin doing green smoothies and was wondering if using coconut oil capsules would be beneficial and if so how many per serving of one in a smoothie?
We have never used coconut oil capsules, and are a little “iffy” about using them. We prefer unrefined and cold-pressed coconut oil.
How much do I add when adding to any smoothie?
Depends on the superfood 🙂 1-2 tablespoons per serving is a good rule, though!
The 10 super foods – how do you incorporate them. Do I consume each of tem a day, all at once or 1 a day, a week?????
We usually just use one at a time… definitely don’t add them all at once! Sometimes we may add two of them, but usually just one 🙂
I can’t wait to try these dessert drinks . I’m always wanting something sweet , but regret it after.just bought some chia seeds been drinking them with water and lemon …live it !
Hope you enjoy drinking green smoothies, Yadira!
I have been feeling very tired and with low energy these past few months. Thanks to a co-worker I learned about the green smoothie challenge. looking for a good way to change my diet and trying a few of the super foods in my smoothies.
Now for my question: As for the flax seeds, I have read that flax seeds are more effective in powder form. should I buy the seeds and grind the seeds, or buy in powder form and store in the refrigerator?
So glad you found us!
As far as the flax seeds, it is always best to buy whole and grind your own as they spoil faster when they’re already ground. But, if you must buy ground, keep in fridge or freezer to extend their shelf life. 🙂
I have a question regarding the fiber content. Maca powder is said to be a good source of fiber, among other things. When I go to to the Nativa website, for example, the nutritional info the serving size says 1g of fiber. Is there something wrong?
Where did you hear that maca is filled with fiber? To our understanding, that isn’t one of it’s top nutrients.
Hi! I bought coconut butter, instead of oil. Are the benefits the same? What are the proportions?
That’s a good question that we’ll have to look into, Lor. I don’t believe they are the same, but not sure of all the differences.
I am a NEWBIE at smoothies green or otherwise, my question is, do you grind the chia seeds first or are they small enough to just blend with the other items?
Looking forward to making my first smoothie soon.
You can blend them up, sprinkle them on top, or even soak them for 15 minutes in water to help them gelatinize before blending!