The word superfood gets tossed around pretty often these days. And while fancy-schmancy adaptogen powders and superfood smoothie add-ins are great and all, you can get many of the same benefits (and save a good deal of money in the process) by singling out their key ingredients and adding them individually to your smoothies, morning coffee, or breakfast juice.
When it comes to superfood powders, much of what you’re paying for is just a healthy-sounding product name and Instagram-worthy packaging. So to help you boost the nutritional value of your daily drink without breaking the bank, I’ve rounded up the best superfoods to add to smoothies. Most of these smoothie ingredients are surprisingly affordable and can be found on the shelves of your neighborhood grocery store. And when all else fails, there’s always Amazon.
But remember, when it comes to superfood smoothie add-ins, it’s best to start simple and work your way up. Because superfoods are packed with nutrients, a little goes a long way. Adding too many ingredients at once can leave your smoothie with a funky texture or flavor. Everyone’s taste buds are a bit different, so start with a small amount and increase until you find the right balance.
Boost Your Daily Nutrient Intake with These 8 Superfoods to Add to Smoothies
Add For: Stress Reduction
If you’ve never tried adding avocado to your smoothie, you’re missing out! Not only does avocado increase the nutritional value of your smoothie, but it also gives it a rich, creamy texture. A quarter or half of a ripe avocado is the perfect amount for a single serving smoothie. Trust me; once you start adding it to your morning mix, there’s no going back.
While avocados are best known for being a healthy source of “good fats,” they boast plenty of other essential nutrients like potassium, folate, and Vitamins A, B-6, C, E, and K. They’re also packed with fiber to help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, and keep you feeling full until lunchtime. But the real question is: if avocados are considered a superfood in smoothies, that makes gameday chips and guacamole a superfood too, right?
Add For: Stress Reduction
Though the cacao powder used as a smoothie add-in and cocoa powder used for baking are incredibly similar, they aren’t quite the same thing. Cacao powder is less processed than baking cocoa powder, so it contains higher levels of antioxidants, flavonoids, and nutrients found in unprocessed cacao nibs. Adding cacao to your smoothie helps support healthy digestion, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure.
Plus, it adds a yummy chocolatey taste that makes your morning smoothie feel a bit more like dessert. Stir in a teaspoonful for just a little hint or a heaping tablespoon for a rich chocolate flavor. Pair it with fruits that taste great dipped in chocolate like bananas, raspberries, and strawberries.
Add For: Energizing Mood Boost
Thanks to matcha’s growing popularity on social media, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the fancy green powder in latte form. But before matcha becomes that creamy, dreamy, $6 guilty pleasure, it’s a finely ground powder made from antioxidant-packed green tea leaves. Its natural caffeine and antioxidants help boost metabolism, increase energy levels, improve brain function, and fight cell damage and free radicals.
If matcha lattes aren’t your cup of tea (literally), try adding a half teaspoon or so of matcha powder into your smoothie instead. Even a small sprinkle can boost the nutritional value of your smoothie without making it taste too grassy. The earthy flavor works particularly well in green smoothies made with ingredients like spinach, kale, avocado, and banana.
Add For: Glowing, Healthy Skin
At first glance, collagen peptides may appear to be another one of those overpriced health foods you don’t really need. But I promise you; they’re the real deal! Collagen is an abundant protein in your body and a major component of your skin, muscles, and other connective tissues. Upping your collagen intake can help improve skin health and elasticity, relieve joint pain, and prevent bone loss. Our bodies naturally slow down collagen production as we age, so adding a supplemental scoop to your daily smoothie may offer anti-aging benefits too.
Collagen powders are packed with protein, so use them in place of protein powders (which are typically filled with artificial sweeteners and uber-processed ingredients anyways) in your smoothies. When you’re trying to lose weight or get toned, a collagen peptide smoothie add-in is a great way to increase your daily protein intake without adding unnecessary calories.
Add For: Better Brain Function
Hemp seeds (sometimes labeled as hemp hearts) fall into the same category as flax seeds and chia seeds. These nutritious seeds contain the perfect balance of protein, fat, and carbs— as well as an ample dose of amino acids and micronutrients. They’re the type of smoothie add-in where you can either toss a spoonful or two in before you blend or sprinkle them on top with some chopped fruit, coconut flakes, and granola.
Hemp seeds, in particular, contain a blend of essential fatty acids like Omega-3, Omega-6, and gamma-linolenic acid that may help boost your immune system, alleviate PMS symptoms, and improve skin health. Plus, they’re rich in vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
Add For: Anti-Aging Antioxidant Boost
Why go out for an overpriced acai bowl when you can customize your own at home for half the price? Once you’ve blended your smoothie, take the time to scoop it into a cute dish and decorate it neatly with toppings for a real acai bowl experience. Acai packets themselves can get pretty pricey, so mix in other fruits and berries to stretch your dollar without sacrificing any of the superfruit’s nutritional superpowers.
Acai berries are incredibly nutrient-dense, so even a small handful can provide major health benefits. The Amazonian fruit is packed with antioxidants that fight cell damage, lower bad cholesterol, and improve memory, alertness, and brain function. Plus, they contain fiber and healthy fat with only 2 grams of sugar and 2 net carbs.
Add For: Inflammation Reduction
Turmeric is a popular ingredient in Indian curries, superfood lattes, and fancy all-natural supplements alike, thanks to its vibrant orange color and powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It’s packed with curcumin, an antioxidant that helps fight chronic inflammation, neutralize free radicals, and prevent cell damage.
Plus, it gives those blah light pink tropical smoothies a much-needed dose of color. A little goes a long way, so stick to a small sprinkle to avoid overpowering the sweet, fruity flavors in your drink. Too much turmeric can lead to a bitter aftertaste you’d rather avoid.
Add For: Heart Healthy Omega-3s
Don’t let the size of these tiny seeds trick you! Calorie for calorie, chia seeds are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and B Vitamins, among other things. Plus, they offer a filling balance of fat, fiber, and protein.
These days, I always keep a jar of chia seeds handy in my fridge. Not only are they one of the best superfoods to add to smoothies, but they’re also great for baked goods, homemade granola, and chia pudding. Scoop a spoonful in before you blend or sprinkle them on top after with chopped fruit, coconut flakes, and a drizzle of honey.
Keep your eyes peeled and your blenders ready because I’ll be posting a few of my go-to superfood smoothie recipes in my Health and Wellness section soon!