A nutritionist’s hot take: superfoods aren’t all they’re chalked up to be. (More on that below.) In a world of food trends and aesthetic marketing, the term continues to swirl around the health sphere. However, more often than not, those in pursuit of a healthier diet are left unsure of what to include on their grocery list. But despite the controversy, superfood smoothies are a great way to pack healthy ingredients into a filling breakfast, quick snack, or mid-day meal. Because while superfoods are no magical cure, blending up a few nutrient-rich foods into one delicious drink is a surefire way to energize your morning.
To get the (true) scoop on superfoods, we spoke to Nutrition Consultant Edie Horstman who shared the ins and outs of blending these powerhouse ingredients into tasty superfood smoothies. Keep reading for tips to help you up-level your go-to beverage and whip up superfood smoothies versatile enough to sip on at home or wherever your day takes you.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
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What makes certain foods “superfoods?”
As Horstman notes, nutritionally speaking, there aren’t actually superfoods. Instead, the word is used as a marketing term coined to influence food trends. To be clear: it is not a scientific classification. But that doesn’t mean these foods aren’t worth including in a healthy, well-rounded diet. The term refers to foods packed with a high concentration of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.).
While superfoods are not a cure-all, these nutrient-dense ingredients are generally considered to be an important part of a healthy diet.
She remarks that these foods “are often considered to have exceptional health benefits, and are thought to promote overall wellness and longevity.” They come in a variety of forms: including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains. So while superfoods are not a cure-all, these nutrient-dense ingredients are generally considered to be an important part of a healthy diet.
A Nutritionist’s Favorite Superfoods
Below, Horstman shares the superfoods she loves for boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, and promoting overall well-being. (Psst… these are the same heavy-hitting ingredients that’ll supercharge your superfood smoothies!)
- Blueberries. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, blueberries are great for brain health and the immune system.
- Kale. This green veggie is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, calcium, and antioxidants. It may help lower cholesterol and support bone health.
- Almonds. These nuts are high in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and magnesium. These are helpful for keeping blood sugar stable and reducing hunger.
- Avocado. Rich in healthy fats and fiber, avocado can lower cholesterol levels, improve heart health, and promote healthy skin.
- Sweet potatoes. These delicious root vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium. They’re a great source of lasting energy.
- Spinach. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and vitamin K, spinach can help prevent anemia and support bone health.
- Chia seeds. These tiny seeds are high in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. They may also help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Greek yogurt. A great source of protein, calcium, and probiotics, Greek yogurt can improve digestive health and support bone health.
The Tastiest Superfood Smoothies to Fuel Your Day
In addition to almonds’ many nutrition benefits, these tasty nuts also pair well with rich flavors like chocolate for healthy sweet tooth satisfaction. I’ve always been a lover of sweet smoothies with a bit of peanut butter as an added source of protein. This recipe takes a few of my favorite flavors (with healthier ingredients) to create a smoothie that is perfect to drink before the gym, or prior to anything that requires an extra bit of fuel.
Recipe: Chocolate Banana Almond Butter Smoothie
Avocados are a great kitchen staple to enjoy at any time of day. And good news—they go way beyond your favorite toast topping. This superfood smoothie is filled with so many sweet nutritious ingredients. Bonus: this recipe is dairy-free, vegan, and kid-friendly! (Just ask Camille—she swears it’s a family favorite.)
Recipe: Tropical Pineapple-Ginger Smoothie
I add spinach to just about every meal I make. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and vitamin K. And when it comes to this smoothie, don’t let the name deceive you. It includes a wide variety of healthy ingredients. This smoothie just might replace your traditional morning bev thanks to the added cold brewed coffee.
Recipe: Chocolate Green Smoothie
I love sneaking chia seeds into my oatmeal, sprinkled on top of sweet toast, and of course, incorporating them into my superfood smoothies. One of Horstman’s own recipes, this fall-flavored smoothie will keep your mornings balanced and your taste buds happy. While this recipe calls for flaxseed, chia seeds can be subbed in as a powerful superfood addition.
Recipe: Get Figgy With It Smoothie
Greek yogurt is an essential ingredient in many of my recipes. Its creamy texture and balancing flavor make it a great complement so a variety of flavors and cuisines. Along with their bloat-beating powers, these three smoothies use Greek yogurt to complement unique flavors. Choose from Tropical Turmeric, Matcha Plant Power, or Strawberries and Cream—there’s something for everyone here! So make your gut happy and start your morning with one of these delectable drinks.
Recipe: Three Smoothie Recipes to De-Bloat
If you find yourself fighting the afternoon energy crash, sweet potatoes are your answer. Rich in fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium, they’re a great source of lasting energy. And while this smoothie recipe calls for pumpkin purée, steamed sweet potatoes are an easy swap. With pumpkin pie spice and almond milk, you’ll still get the same warm and sweet flavors.
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Not only are blueberries an inexpensive and convenient superfood to have on hand, but they can also be purchased and used frozen or fresh. (When it comes to making superfood smoothies, we recommend opting for the latter. They’re oftentimes cheaper and just as good as fresh, if not better!) This recipe contains plenty of healthy fats and easy-to-digest ingredients that accompany several superfoods. Collagen powder helps create radiant skin, while protein powder gives you fuel to get through busy days. It’s hard to turn down a smoothie that brings so much to the table.
Recipe: Blueberry & Avocado Fascia-Boosting Smoothie
This smoothie is perfectly balanced with a delicate sweetness that complements the earthy flavors of kale and ginger. For an added element of creaminess (and an extra superfood), throw in a scoop of your favorite Greek yogurt.
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Double-certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant