If a food could be my BFF it would totally be a fresh fruity smoothie!
Smoothies are fast, easy to make, and leave little waste; they’re basically awesome!
I usually start my day with a freshly made smoothie and love using in-season produce to keep my delicious drinks budget friendly.
Another thing that I love is how I can mix in any number of nutrient dense superfoods. Extra nutrition points!
I was recently asked what I add to my smoothies to make them healthier, and the list was so long I thought I must share!
So here is my list of the top 25 smoothie add-ins or mix-ins that can kick your superfood smoothie up a notch.
Chia seeds offer a solid dose of omega 3’s & omega 6’s, great fiber, calcium and minerals galore (source). Chia seeds are also great for a boost of energy making them perfect for a breakfast smoothie.
Hemp seeds are another good source of omega 6’s, fiber, and protein. Hemp seeds are also an excellent source of all the amino acids, great for vegetarians or vegans. Plus these little seeds offer a ton of vitamins and minerals (source).
Flax seeds are similar to chia and hemp seeds in that they pack a powerful punch of fiber, protein, and Omega 3’s (ALA) plus an abundance of minerals and vitamins (source). I recommend adding one of these three nutrient dense seeds to every smoothie.
If you want to skip the fiber and focus on getting powerful lignans, high lignan flax oil might be the prefect the mix-in. This is the flax oil brand I buy.
What’s not to love about coconut oil? Seriously this stuff is antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and offers immune boosting medium chain fatty acids (source). Keep in mind coconut oil is solid at room temperature or cooler so if you’re using frozen produce you might save the oil for a cup of tea instead.
Omnomnom avocado arggghhhhhh! Oh yeah, I HEART my avocados! Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats (mostly oleic acid) and a ton of vitamin K, folate, potassium and vitamin E (source). Adding them to your smoothie produces a thick creamy mix, lovely with raw milk or nut milk based smoothies!
Camu is one of my favorite mix-ins. It’s LOADED with vitamin C and got top marks in my post about Great Sources of Vitamin C. It’s also packed with antioxidants. Overall an excellent daily add-in. Keep in mind camu is a bit tart, so it works best with sweeter berry-based smoothies. I love it in my mixed berry mango smoothie. This is the camu-camu powder I use.
Spirulina and chlorella are two of my favorite supplements for detoxifying. They are detoxification superstars, and I recommend folks use them together during a full detoxification protocol.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is packed with chlorophyll, iron, protein, and B vitamins (source).
That said make sure you buy your spirulina from a VERY reputable source that grows it in a pristine environment. This is because spirulina is so good at absorbing toxins. If spirulina is grown in a toxic environment you will be taking in those toxins absorbed by the spirulina.
Note: I used to use Nutrex Hawaii Spirulina but my concerns about ongoing radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have led me to abandon any Pacific Ocean cultivated products/fish/fish oils. This is solely my opinion and not based on any evidence against Nutrex or any other company. I’ll update when I do find an equally reputable spirulina that is not grown in the Pacific Ocean.
At the moment I’m using chlorella for detoxifying. Chlorella is very similar to spirulina but it is a single cell algae making it closer to a plant and even better for detoxifying. Its benefits extend beyond toxin reduction, according to Dr. Axe
Studies have shown that chlorella benefits the entire body by supporting healthy hormonal function, promoting cardiovascular health, helping to negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and aiding in the detoxification of our bodies.
Keep in mind chlorella taste like, well, pond scum, so add it to strongly flavored smoothies and start slow. Plus it’s so good at detoxifying that you should begin VERY slowly otherwise you might feel ill. This is the best I’ve found and the one I use.
Acai is a berry from the Amazon known for its high antioxidants (source). Its taste is kind of a chocolatey berry, so I find it pairs well with cocoa powder (and sangria but that’s for another post). So if you want an antioxidant boost for your smoothies give this berry powder a try. This is the kind I buy.
These berries, which are popular in Asia, are another great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (source). They are also another excellent vegetarian source of amino acids. Goji berries deliver a lot in a tiny package! This is the brand I buy.
This Peruvian superfood is best known as a fertility enhancer and hormone balancer (for both men and women) (source). Many athletes swear by it too. So if you and your partner are preparing for a baby, maca might be a good choice. Maca also has an abundance of amino acids and fatty acids. Because maca has so many benefits it is one of my favorite superfoods. This is the one I like.
If you want a super dose of nutrients, moringa is your mix-in superstar. This is another of my favorites and one that I often give my little one because it’s basically a natural multi-vitamin.
Moringa is LOADED with nutrition, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein…and more (source). So much so that it has been used to treat malnourished people for years. I highly recommend you include this in your rotation. This is my favorite.
Beets are packed with antioxidants, have a solid dose of minerals and are well-known for their blood pressure lowering effects. If fresh beets aren’t an option beet powder can be a good substitute. One warning, beet root powder can turn your urine pink…so don’t panic if you see pink in your urine. This is the one I like.From moringa to collagen, check out these 25 different superfood smoothie add-ins!Click To Tweet
So here’s my favorite add-in! No scrunchy nose, no icky taste, just rich dark notes of CHOCOLATE. Ok raw cacao powder isn’t quite chocolate, but it’s way better for you than the processed stuff and has a complex rich flavor that pairs well in banana and nut (pecans are my fav) smoothies. It’s also yummy in coffee!
According to Dr. Mercola (source)
Raw cacao powder has more than 300 phytochemicals and nearly four times the antioxidant power of regular dark chocolate, and contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, and sulfur.
So go ahead and enjoy! This is the tastiest I’ve found.
Green tea is an uh-mazing source of antioxidants as well as a well-studied source of cancer protective properties (source). With matcha the whole leaf is ground up into a powder meaning you consume the whole leaf rather than the water extracts you’d get from tea. Matcha powder adds a nice boost of antioxidants and a bit of caffeine for a mid-day pick me up smoothie.
Turmeric is basically good for everything! No really, from alzheimer’s to cancer protection turmeric is simply stunning in its ability to protect the body and maintain health. I suggest you look at the Greenmedinfo database to learn everything you can about this amazing plant.
That said I actually don’t like the taste. I personally take my turmeric in capsule form along with my coconut oil tea but if you don’t mind the strong savory-earthy flavor this would make an excellent inexpensive add-in.
Turmeric is one of those few supplements I recommend to almost everyone (unless you are on blood thinners, have a bleeding disorder, or are scheduled for surgery). No matter how you get your turmeric I do suggest you get your daily dose of this amazing life extending plant.
I really love the flavor of cinnamon, especially with a banana, a dash of vanilla, and a sprinkle of nutmeg, yumm! Ooh and in coffee, super yum! Beyond being a tasty superfood smoothie add-in, cinnamon is best known as a blood sugar stabilizer and often recommended to diabetics. Even if you aren’t a diabetic the benefits can be appreciated by everyone. So feel free to add a healthy dash of cinnamon to your next smoothie.
I recently started learning about this spectacular source of nutrition. Bee pollen is basically the food given to young bees, and it is packed full of nutrients including protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Bee pollen has also been used medicinally to treat allergies, boost fertility, improve blood composition, improve cholesterol, and even treat cancer (source). I highly recommend you take a look at adding bee pollen to your list of superfoods.
Another bee derived superfood is good old raw honey. While it is a sugar it’s also a great source of nutrients and also used to treat allergies (source). It also helps improve the microbiome. I actually used this as part of a microbiome rebuilding protocol after a necessary (but unwanted) round of antibiotics.
Do make sure your honey is raw since pasteurized honey loses so much of its nutritional value.
Raw Coconut Water
We haven’t covered liquids because most people know their options but this is one liquid add-in I do have to mention. Coconut water is especially good at rehydrating after a workout or on a hot day. My kid gets a lot of this during those long summer days when temps reach 110 degrees.
However I suggest sticking to pure raw coconut water either straight from the coconut or something like Harmless Harvest. Avoid the pasteurized dead sugar water on most store shelves.
Coconut Water Kefir or Raw Milk Kefir
If you need a probiotic boost add coconut water kefir or raw milk kefir to your superfood smoothie. The probiotics will boost your gut health and they are both tasty too. I highly recommend making your own, I buy these kefir cultures.
So far we’ve kept it vegetarian but true grass-fed whey protein is a valuable add-in to consider (albeit expensive).
Whey protein contains copious protein and amino acids that have been linked to a host of benefits including muscle repair, weight loss, improved glutathione production, and improved cognitive function (source).
That said homemade whey protein is always better than processed. Yes you can make it! This post will walk you through the steps. Also be careful not to consume too much protein, one thing I rarely hear mentioned is how detrimental excess protein consumption can be. Yes, you can get too much!
This is the kind I use on the rare occasion when I buy whey protein.
Another of my favorite add-ins is gelatin from grass fed cows.
Gelatin is amazing for our bones, joints, skin, and youthful beauty. I give it to my little one and take it myself too. I love making gelatin gummies, but for smoothies you want the kind that doesn’t gel. This is the one I buy but keep in mind you can’t make gummies with this one.
Always make sure your gelatin is from grass-fed cows raised without hormones or antibiotics.
Some advice for keeping it healthy
Here’s one last thing I want to share. Many people overdo the add-ins, they go crazy and add-in everything they can get their hands on. Don’t do this.
Remember more is not always better. Use sensible servings and don’t go crazy.
I also suggest adding one thing at a time and see how your body reacts. If you know your body doesn’t agree with something then skip it.
Finally don’t overdo green smoothies as they can be problematic for some folks since raw leafy greens have high amounts of oxolates.
Some folks (I’ve heard about 20% of the population) don’t process oxolates very well and this causes all sorts of damage. Save the greens for a salad (since you probably won’t eat as much greens as you would blended in a smoothie) and if you do toss them in a smoothie only use a modest amount and not on a daily basis. While most people won’t have an issue with oxolates if you have thyroid problems or kidney stones you may indeed have problems processing oxolates.
There you go! 25 amazing smoothie add-in for everything from boosted fertility to treating allergies to getting a youthful glow.
Smoothie add-ins are a great way to boost nutrition and a solid compliment to my Beginner’s Guide to Clean Eating.
I’ve shared my favorites but which ones are yours? Did I leave one out? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time beautiful families!
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