Green smoothies are super-nutritious on their own, but the health benefits can be boosted further with these ingredients:
Protein Powder – I Use This In Most Of My Green Smoothies
Protein powder boosts the protein content of your green smoothie while making the blend more filling and satisfying. While an optional ingredient, I prefer my green smoothies with a scoop of protein.
The most popular and readily available protein powders are soy and whey. You can also get egg-based, as well as several other plant-based protein powders made from rice, hemp, and sprouted foods. I prefer plant-based rice or hemp protein powders.
I have used a lot of different protein powders and my absolute favorite is from NutriBiotic. It’s a great value (more for your money than most brands) and high quality. It’s available in plain, vanilla (my favorite!), and chocolate. I order mine from Amazon.com.
Superfoods To Enhance Specific Benefits
There are a LOT of superfood products out there, but I don’t use them all. In fact, there are only a handful that I feel can provide real health benefits for most people based on my personal experience and the research I’ve looked at.
These smoothie boosting ingredients include:
I use raw cacao powder to give my green smoothies a healthy, chocolate flavor. It also helps me maintain focus and energy without the drawbacks of caffeinated coffee (jitters, dehydration, caffeine addiction).
When I need to be super productive (like when I’m writing a blog post or e-book), I’ll add 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder to my morning blend.
Browse green smoothies with cacao.
Loaded with healthy omega-3s, calcium, and fiber, chia seeds are a great boost to your green smoothies. I used them daily.
Read more about the health benefits of chia seeds and how to use them in a green smoothie.
Goji berries provide protein and energy without bulking up your green smoothie. They are my go-to smoothie booster for a pre/post-workout shake!
Read more about the health benefits of goji berries and how to use them.
Where to get it: Many grocery stores carry them, as well as health food stores. The best prices are found online via Amazon.com.
Maca Root Powder
Maca is a root vegetable that is a great smoothie booster if you want to boost energy, stamina, and libido. It has a distinctive butterscotch flavor that can be an bit of an acquired taste, but the benefits may we worth it.
Those with thyroid issues should be cautious with this supplement.
Read more about the benefits of maca and how to use it in a green smoothie.
Where to get it: Maca is only available at health food stores, or online (I’ve ordered mine from Amazon.com). Skip the supplements in pill form (dose is too low to be effective) and just get a bag of raw maca powder instead.
Matcha Green Tea Powder
Matcha is green tea powder from plants that have been grown and processed in a particular way to produce the rich flavor and health benefits of this smoothie booster.
Studies show that matcha may help improve focus, reduce stress, and support weight loss. Since it is green tea, it does contain caffeine.
Where to get it: Health food stores are your best bet, or order it online (I get mine from Amazon.com).
Moringa Leaf Powder
Moringa leaf powder is a great way to boost calcium and iron content of your green smoothies, and may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Where to get it: Health food stores are the best bet locally. I get mine from Amazon.com.
Hemp seeds add a slightly nutty flavor to my green smoothies while providing omega-3s and protein.
They also add texture, flavor, and nutritional support to soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, etc…
Where to get it: Health food stores are a likely source for hemp seeds. I’ve found that the best prices are online (I get mine off Amazon.com). Hemp seeds (and hemp products) may be regulated or banned in certain countries.
Turmeric is probably one of the most studied ingredients on this page, with a laundry list of research suggesting a variety of health benefits. Turmeric may help protect against certain cancers, has anti-inflammatory properties, and may reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. It may protect against cardiovscular disease, reduce fasting glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may have beneficial effects for those suffering from a host of common chronic diseases.
Read more about the health benefits and research on turmeric, as well as some delicious green smoothie recipes with turmeric.
Add a little fat (coconut, almond milk, avocado, or chia seeds) to your smoothie to boost turmeric absorption. It is also recommended to add a dash of black pepper, which has been documented to dramatically improve the absorption of curcumin – the active ingredient in turmeric.
Where to get it: Turmeric is probably the most readily available ingredients on this page since you can find it at most grocery stores. Fresh turmeric root can be grated into a green smoothie prior to blending. You can also use turmeric powder (check the spice aisle) – just be sure to pick a high-quality, preferably organic, product. You can order larger amounts of turmeric and save a bit of money by purchasing it online (Amazon.com sells both fresh and powdered.)
Nutritional Support & Supplements
Green smoothies are super-nutritious as-is, but I consider the following ingredients essential for raw foodists, vegans, and vegetarians. In fact, even some omnivores may benefit from them as well.
I use dulse flakes, a type of dried sea vegetable, in a lot of my green smoothies. I also add them to soups, rice dishes, and stir fry.
Dulse (and kelp) is an excellent source of iodine. If you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet, or you do not use iodized table salt, I HIGHLY recommend that you incorporate sea vegetables like dulse into your diet in order to support strong thyroid function.
It is critically important to be selective about where you get your sea vegetables from. Read the packaging and ensure that they have been tested for heavy metals and other contaminants that unfortunately affect our oceans. The brand I use and trust is Main Coast (pictured).
Where to get it: You can find dulse flakes (or pieces) at health food stores, or order them online (Maine Coast Certified Organic Dulse Flakes from Amazon.com)
Recommended Vitamin/Mineral Supplements For Vegans
If you are vegan or vegetarian, you will likely benefit from certain supplements. I’ve used and recommend the raw vitamin B12, vegan vitamin D3, and raw iron * supplements form Garden of Life’s Vitamin Code line of products. These capsules can be broken apart and the contents added to green smoothies.
* Note: Men should not take iron supplements unless under doctor’s orders/supervision.
Where to get it: You can find these at most health food stores or order them online.
Flavor boosters are mostly fun smoothie additives, although some (like acai) can also boost nutrition. Raw cacao powder can also be considered a flavor booster since it adds a dark chocolate flavor to most any blend.
Amafruits Acai Puree
I LOVE these frozen acai puree packets from Amafruits! The distinctive “red wine & chocolate” flavor works well in green smoothies, or use them for Acai bowls.
Frozen puree packets are far superior to powdered acai products, which are over-processed for my liking. Also, most concentrated acai juice supplements are more-or-less at placebo-level doses. Frozen 100-gram packets are closer to a whole food form and taste better.
Where to get it: The brand I prefer is Amafruits, which sells their Acai puree through Amazon.com I highly recommend getting unsweetened acai puree.
I use real vanilla beans in some of my green smoothie recipes (Here’s how to use them).
An alternative to using vanilla beans is to use vanilla extract (I recommend an alcohol-free variety).
Where to get it: Vanilla beans can be purchased in the spice or baking aisle at some grocery stores. Health food stores will also carry them. You may find that the best prices are online. I usually order mine via Amazon.com.
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