A smoothie is an awesome way to get a shot of nutrition for breakfast, and can serve as a fully balanced meal that will boost your metabolism, give you tons of energy while keeping your blood sugar stable …IF you make it right.
It’s not calories that matter that much, but more the quality of ingredients and overall nutrients it's providing. Your smoothie should contain healthy protein, fats and fiber, tons of vitamins and minerals, and very little sugar (coming from fruit).
So, on top of making a smoothie low in sugar, high in fiber/healthy fats/protein, and with good quality ingredients,...WHAT CAN TOTALLY TRANSFORM YOUR SMOOTHIE into an amazing one-of-a-kind NUTRIENT-DENSE and HEALING meal?
Adding some of nature’s superfoods!
We are blessed with a ton of superfoods, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is by adding them to your smoothies. Use them to tailor your smoothie depending on what added nutrition you're currently in need of.
Here are 16 healthy additions for your morning smoothie (all of which I consider SUPERFOODS, and all of which I use on a regular basis), that will make your smoothie more anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, hormone balancing and gut-healing:
- Chia and flax seeds. Both Chia and Flax seeds are high in fiber, protein, magnesium, calcium, B-vitamins, and most importantly, omega-3s. They’re a great way to get your day started and will help keep you full all morning. I never make a smoothie without at least one of these seeds, usually both!
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon is wonderful for gut health, that will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and simultaneously crush your sugar cravings. I add cinnamon to every smoothie, and almost any homemade sweet breakfast or dessert (chia pudding, smoothie bowls, pancakes, granola, etc.)
- Ginger. This spice is amazing for soothing your stomach and gut, primarily given its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger will help smooth the lining of your gut and stomach to move things along, helping with digestion, absorption of nutrients, proper elimination (and much more!).
- Algae (Spirulina, chlorella, E3 live and/or Algae oil). These are awesome sources of vegan protein, B vitamins (especially B12), and have both enzymes and probiotics that can help enhance your immune and digestive system. Chlorella is one of the few vegan sources of B12 while spirulina contains more beta-carotene than carrots, more iron than spinach, and lots of extra protein.
- Maca. This Peruvian superfood has been known to increase energy, endurance and libido. It can also help balance your hormones and restore a regular period. Opt for “gelatinized maca”, which is easier to digest and has a more concentrated nutrient profile.
- Holy Basil (or Tulsi). Historically used as medicine due to its impressive healing power, Tulsi leaves are now regarded as “adaptogens” that help reduce stress and bring your body back into balance. It can be used as a natural remedy for anxiety, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, unbalanced blood sugar and even a home remedy for acne.
- Ashwaganda. One of the best proven adaptogens used to manage stress, providing numerous benefits for your body and brain, including reducing cortisol, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and fighting symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Coconut oil and MCT oil. MCTs - Medium Chain triglycerides – are an easy-to-digest healthy saturated fat, which are burned by the body for energy instead of being stored as fat. Coconut oil contains MCTs, as well as lauric acid, a potent immune system protector (a compound also found in breast milk). Adding these oils will help boost your metabolism, give you energy, and heal your gut. (In case you’re wondering, MCT oil is just a more concentrated source of MCTs than coconut oil).
- Goji Berries. Loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, and fiber, the goji berry—also known as a wolfberry—is a tiny but powerful red fruit. One of the world's richest sources of antioxidants, goji berries contain 18 amino acids. With their impressive nutrient profile, they can stimulate immune function, protect against chronic disease, and keep blood sugar stable.
- Cacao Nibs. This raw form of cacao is extremely healthy, and low in sugar and fat vs. other types of chocolate. Cacao is full of fiber, magnesium and antioxidants called flavonoids that can improve heart health (and more)!
- Hemp Seeds. Similar to chia and flax, these seeds are high in essential fatty acids and fiber, but contain more protein, as well as vitamin E, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Coconut yogurt. An awesome way to get your gut-healthy PROBIOTICS (which are essential for overall health, read more HERE), as well as some energy- and metabolism-boosting MCTs. Plus, its rich in fiber as well as calcium despite being dairy-free! Lastly, it’s DELICIOUS and creamy and can make your smoothie extra yummy and filling.
- Bee Pollen. This superfood has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties that can kick start the immune system, ease inflammation, and alleviate allergies.
- Lucuma. Like Maca (#5), this superfood comes from Peru, and is known for its sweet taste (so works as a sweetener to your smoothies) as well as its powerful antioxidants that help lower inflammation.
- Camu Camu. This is a super antioxidant-rich tropical fruit that is commonly sold as a powder, which boasts a vitamin C concentration up to 60 times greater than an orange! It's also rich in potassium, calcium, protein, and other phytochemicals. Just ¼ teaspoon of camu-camu powder can give you over 250% of the US Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C. So when I’m getting sick, I always add camu-camu (as well as bee pollen, see #13).
- Aloe Vera. Pure aloe vera gel (or juice) is amazing to treat skin burns, but it's also amazing for your smoothie! Aloe vera has been used for many years (primarily in traditional Indian medicine) to help treat digestive symptoms including constipation, parasites, infections, colic and even stomach ulcers. I primarily use it when i'm a little bit...backed up and it works wonders! Plus it's naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Read more about its benefits HERE.
For more tips on making an amazing green smoothie, check out my GREEN SMOOTHIE 101 GUIDE. Want some easy basic recipes to get started, try THESE and then experiment adding some of the above superfoods to these delicious healthy recipes!
What are YOUR favorite smoothie boosters??
Love and HEALTHY superfood smoothies,