by: Yuri Elkaim

Smoothie Add-Ins: 17 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Smoothies

We all know that I’m big on tossing some healthy ingredients into your blender and whipping up a cool and refreshing green smoothie.

Enjoying a breakfast that’s creamy, flavorful, and bursting with nutrition is a great way to start your day.

But after a while, it can get repetitive. You start to settle into a routine and you might find yourself blending up the same set of smoothies again and again.

Sure, adding some different greens and a new fruit or two might help add a little variety, but there are loads of healthy add-ins for smoothies that can take them to the next level. And not only are they healthy, they’re delicious.

So if you’re looking for things to put in smoothies besides fruit, I’ve got you covered.

From seeds to add to smoothies to berries and beyond, these 17 smoothie additions are the perfect way to mix it up.

17 Ways to Upgrade Your Smoothie

1. Maca

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Derived from a plant native to Peru, this ancient superfood is an adaptogen that strengthens your body’s ability to cope with stress and anxiety. Maca can also help balance your hormones, boost your sex drive, and maintain bone density.

Maca powder is available in both gelatinized and non-gelatinized forms. I recommend gelatinized maca, which is boiled and pressurized to eliminate the starch content, making it easier to digest with a more concentrated nutrient profile.

Just sprinkle between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of maca root powder into your smoothie and you’ll be seeing the benefits in no time. Pair with chocolate or cacao to really bring out the flavor of this tasty ingredient.

Try this Maca Madness Green Smoothie recipe from Dishing up the Dirt.

2. Greens Powder

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Adding a scoop of greens powder to your daily smoothie is one of the easiest ways to get in a few extra servings of veggies, alkalize your system, and boost energy levels.

Look for a mix that’s processed from the juice of the plant to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. Add a scoop or two to your next green smoothie and enjoy!

Check out these 11 Green Smoothie recipes from Yuri Elkaim.

3. Hemp Seeds

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Rich in essential fatty acids and bursting with high-quality protein, hemp seeds (or hemp hearts) make a great addition to any smoothie. They also promote digestion by providing fiber and contain a hefty chunk of vitamin E, potassium, and phosphorus.

Give them a try – add a tablespoon or two to the blender for a delicious crunch and some added nutrients.

Try this Banana, Pear, and Hempseed Smoothie recipe from The Full Helping.

4. Bee Pollen

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As one of nature’s most nourishing foods, bee pollen is an amazing ingredient that can benefit your entire body. This superfood has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties that can kick start the immune system, ease inflammation, and alleviate allergies.

After you’ve ensured that you’re able to tolerate bee pollen, 1 to 2 heaping teaspoons per day is a good place to start to see the most benefit.

Try this PBee & Banana Smoothie recipe from In My Bowl.

5. Mesquite Powder

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This tasty superfood is often used as a natural sweetener due to its low glycemic index, which helps keep blood sugar stable. It’s also pumped full of calcium and potassium to support healthy bones and blood pressure.

Mix in a tablespoon with your smoothie to add just a touch of sweetness and a little extra nutrition.

Try this Vanilla Banana Mesquite Smoothie from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen.

6. Lucuma Powder

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Besides satisfying your sweet tooth, lucuma brings a whole host of health benefits to the table. Produced from a fruit grown in Peru, lucuma powder has a sweet maple-like taste and contains powerful antioxidants that can prevent cellular damage and reduce inflammation.

A spoonful of lucuma is the perfect way to sweeten up a green smoothie without adding massive amounts of extra sugar or calories.

Try this Banana Nut Smoothie with Lucuma from Pralines and Greens.

7. Chaga

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Also known as the “King of Medicinal Mushrooms,” chaga is renowned for its healing properties. This mushroom has been used for centuries as a folk medicine to reduce inflammation, stimulate immunity, and protect the liver.

Available in powder form, one teaspoon a day will give any smoothie a nutritious upgrade.

Try this Superfood Smoothie from Chi Chaga.

8. Cacao Nibs

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Made from bits of cacao beans, this raw form of chocolate is actually good for you (and your tastebuds).

A 1-ounce serving knocks out 36 percent of your daily fiber needs, helping to improve your digestive health and keep you regular. It’s also brimming with polyphenols to inhibit blood clotting and damage to your cells.

Add one tablespoon to your smoothie to add a hint of chocolatey flavor and tons of nutrients.

Try this Superfood Mint Cacao Nib Green Smoothie from Ambitious Kitchen.

9. Spices

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Supplementing your smoothie with spices doesn’t just add flavor. It also can enhance the health benefits of your smoothie.

Turmeric, for example, can ease inflammation while cinnamon keeps blood sugar levels steady. Ginger adds a soothing element to your smoothie and a dash of chili powder delivers a hearty dose of antioxidants.

This is a great chance for you to experiment. Add a teaspoon of your favorite spices and find what works for you. Mix and match to create your own tasty creation.

Try this Carrot Ginger Turmeric Smoothie from Minimalist Baker.

10. Chia Seeds

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Tiny but powerful, chia seeds pretty much have it all. They’re rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and whole grains. They’re also loaded with fiber, plus lots of vitamins and minerals. Best of all, chia seeds bring a unique texture to any smoothie.

Stir in a few tablespoons of chia seeds into your smoothie and blend. Alternatively, add the seeds to your blended smoothie and let them soak a few minutes to create a thick, gel-like texture.

Try this Chocolate Chia Smoothie from Gimme Some Oven.

11. Flax seeds

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If you’re looking for an ingredient that will keep you feeling full without weighing you down, flax seed is the way to go. It’s packed with fiber that moves through your GI tract undigested, squashing those mid-morning cravings.

It’s also one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for supporting cardiovascular health.

Start with 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed daily and work your way up to 3 to 4 tablespoons per day to see the most beneficial effects.

Try this Green Smoothie with Spinach, Pear, and Ginger from The Kitchn.

12. Acai Powder

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Cultivated from the acai berry, acai is commonly found in powder form, making it perfect for adding to smoothies.

Acai is even higher in antioxidants than cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries. It’s especially high in anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant compound that can protect against chronic disease.

Acai typically comes in packets, usually about 100 grams per serving. This makes it especially convenient to add to your smoothie, blend, and enjoy.

Try this Blueberry Acai Green Smoothie via Root and Revel.

13. Algae

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Adding algae to your smoothie might sound a little odd, but it’s actually one of the best ways to bring some extra nutrients to your glass.

Chlorella and spirulina, in particular, are two types of algae that boast some serious health benefits. 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.

When getting started, sprinkle about a teaspoon of either algae variety into your smoothie. Add alongside other nutritious ingredients and drink up.

Try this Spirulina Smoothie from Carolyn’s Pantry.

14. Cacao Powder

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Good news for chocolate lovers: cacao is packed with health benefits, giving you the perfect excuse to enjoy this flavorful superfood in your smoothie. With loads of antioxidants plus essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron, this is one ingredient that you can feel good about whizzing into a smoothie.

Note that cacao is different than cocoa; cacao is raw chocolate while cocoa has been processed and doesn’t carry the same health benefits.

Most commonly found as a powder, an ounce or two of cacao is just enough to add some flavor and nutrients to your smoothie.

Try this Chock-Full Chocolate Surprise Smoothie from The Blender Girl.

15. Camu Camu

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Next time you start to get the sniffles and feel a cold coming on, this is the ingredient you’ll want to stock up on. It’s known for its immune-strengthening properties, antioxidant powers, and serious vitamin C content.

Camu camu powder makes it super easy to plop right into the blender and incorporate right into your smoothie, giving it an immune-boosting bump. It’s known for its sour flavor and works well with citrus fruits, like oranges.

Try this Orange Camu Camu Smoothie from Green Blender.

16. Chlorophyll-Rich Foods

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Known as the pigment that gives plants their vibrant green hue, chlorophyll can also fight off infections and act as a natural deodorant. It has even been shown to control hunger and speed up healing.

While chlorophyll is available in supplement form, it’s also plentiful in many foods. Adding dark leafy greens, fresh herbs, or seaweed to your smoothie can effectively increase its chlorophyll content.

Try this Spirulina Green Smoothie Machine from The Blender Girl.

17. Goji Berries

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These nutritious berries have long been a staple in traditional Chinese medicine. With their impressive nutrient profile, they can stimulate immune function, protect against chronic disease, and keep blood sugar stable.

Dried goji berries are readily available and can be used as is or soaked in water to rehydrate prior to adding to your smoothie. Combine with orange or ginger to really enhance the flavor and stick to about 1 tablespoon to avoid adding excess sugar to your smoothie.

Try this Persimmon and Goji Berry Smoothie from Fitnessista.

Smoothie Add-ins for the Win

Armed with this list of delicious and nutritious smoothie add ins, you’re all set to start mixing up a few batches of tasty smoothies. Incorporate just a few of these healthful ingredients into your weekly smoothie rotation and you can say sayonara to the smoothie monotony.

More Fun with Smoothies

Want to learn how to use all those delicious smoothie add-ins to create your own delicious, perfectly balanced recipes?

Download my FREE 1-page Perfect Green Smoothies printable infographic, which outlines the formula for creating an amazing smoothie every time.

You can get it right now by clicking the banner below!
Click here to get your How to Make a Perfect Green Smoothie printable for Free

Yuri Elkaim

Yuri Elkaim

Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.