10 Natural Smoothie Supplements to Kickstart Your Day
If you’re like me, then you love to start your day with an ultra-healthy morning smoothie. A metabolism booster that’s packed with nutrients, making a smoothie with the right ingredients can keep you full for hours and make sure that you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
We’ve suggested different smoothie recipes in the past such as these 7 smoothie ideas, but in this article, we’ll go through 10 different smoothie supplements that will take your smoothie game to the next level.
Let’s dive in!
Supplement #1 – Spirulina
A type of cyanobacteria, Spirulina is a single-celled organism that grows in both fresh and salt water. A supplement that has been recently touted as a “superfood,” spirulina has been consumed for thousands of years (most famously by the Aztecs), but when NASA surmised that Spirulina could be a great space supplement for astronauts, its popularity soared.
This green supplement packs a punch with nutritional value. A tablespoon of the stuff contains 4 grams of protein and significant sources of Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Additionally, spirulina has been shown to be a great source of antioxidants, and as such has anti-inflammatory properties.
When finding a good spirulina brand, consider the source. Unlike other supplements, spirulina is not regulated by the FDA, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a contaminant-free product.
Check out this article for more benefits of Spirulina!
Supplement #2 – Chia Seeds
The Mayan word for “strength,” Chia seeds are small black seeds that come from the Salvia hispanica plant. This food was incredibly important to both the Mayans and Aztecs and was as much of a significant source of energy then as they are now.
That said, like Spirulina, they’ve only recently been recognized as a modern-day superfood. A 28-gram serving of Chia seeds contains significant amounts of fiber, protein, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium.
Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to smoothies on this one — although the recommended serving of chia seeds is 1 tbsp, you can add them to breakfast bowls, bread batters, soups, and sauces.
Supplement #3 – Hemp Protein
If you’re looking for a great plant-based protein to add to your smoothies, then read on!
Hemp protein is made by grinding hemp seeds into a fine powder and has an earthy/grassy taste. A vegan option, hemp protein contains significant amounts of all nine amino acids, fiber, healthy fats, magnesium, calcium, iron, and copper.
Hemp protein can have a rather unique taste, but if you’re looking for a hearty protein that will keep you full for hours, then this is a great option.
Supplement #4 – Bee Pollen
A natural concoction of flower pollen, bee secretions, nectar, honey, and wax, bee pollen has hit the shelves in recent years in a variety of ways. While it’s most often found as a supplement, bee pollen can also be found in skin creams and face masks.
Bee pollen is loaded with enzymes, folic acid, niacin, biotin, polyphenols, and many other vitamins.
In researching bee pollen, I found a few discrepancies in the scientific community on just how wide-ranging the benefits of bee pollen are. While it’s certainly packed with the nutrients listed above, there is no scientific evidence that it helps with commonly-touted benefits such as improving acne or diminishing seasonal allergies. Scientists concur that it’s okay to take bee pollen as a short-term supplement, but it’s not a cure-all as some would suggest.
It also should be noted that if you have any sensitivities or allergies to bees, you should not take bee pollen. Additionally, if you’re on any kind of blood thinners, bee pollen should be avoided.
Supplement #5 – Nutritional Yeast
Not to be confused with the living yeast that you bake bread or brew beer with, the cells of nutritional yeast are killed during manufacturing and are made specifically as a food item.
Commonly used in cooking, fortified nutritional yeast has a cheesy/nutty flavor, and is often sold as flakes, powder, or granules. When added to a smoothie, it’ll add a bit of an earthy flavor as well as nutrients such as all nine essential amino acids, B vitamins, and protein.
Additionally, nutritional yeast can be consumed while on a variety of diets and is vegan, sugar-free, fat-free, and gluten-free.
Speaking of vegan options, check out this article on what to know when choosing a non-dairy milk alternative!
Supplement #6 – Matcha Powder
Another supplement that has soared in popularity in recent years, Matcha is derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant, the same plant from which we get green tea. However, unlike green tea, Matcha has a completely unique nutrient profile and can be used in a variety of ways.
Whether you want your matcha in shot, latte, dessert, or tea form, Matcha will give you a boost of nutrition including amino acids, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also notably high in antioxidants.
Studies have shown that matcha can help protect the liver, aid in weight loss, reduce inflammation, and even promote heart health.
Keep in mind though that because matcha uses the whole leaf (instead of just a derivation as with green tea), it is high in caffeine. Just to keep in mind if you’re keeping track of your caffeine intake.
Supplement #7 – Wheatgrass
Available in juice, powder, or supplement form, wheatgrass is loaded with 17 amino acids (8 of which are essential), vitamins A, E, and E, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It also contains a high level of important antioxidants, and as such has been shown to reduce inflammation and help prevent cell damage.
The young grass of the wheat plant, wheatgrass may taste like you put your lawn through your blender, but if you’re looking for a super-healthy supplement that will instantly green up any smoothie, then this is the way to go!
Supplement #8 – Cacao Nibs
Also known as “nature’s chocolate chips”, Cacao nibs are dried cacao beans that have been crumbled and cracked into small pieces. These nibs grow on the cacao tree and are native to countries such as Ecuador, Malaysia, Brazil, and Indonesia.
Cacao nibs are indeed what chocolate is made from so you can expect a rich chocolatey flavor, only without the added sugar. And, like chocolate, cacao nibs are well known to be high in antioxidants, which help fight against ailments such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer. Additionally, cacao is high in flavonoids, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
When looking for these in the store, you can get them both roasted and unroasted. Either way works as a smoothie additive.
Supplement #9 – Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re not at a point where you can stomach shooting back a dose of apple cider vinegar straight, then a smoothie makes a great vessel!
Apple cider vinegar has been used for ages in cooking in medicine, and it seems as if more research is coming out all the time on this pungent, but healthy, supplement. While it contains only trace amounts of vitamins and minerals (because of the vinegar), it is known for being a source of healthy bacteria, amino acids, and antioxidants.
When shopping for apple cider vinegar, you’re going to want to choose an unfiltered, organic option. It’s the unfiltered stuff that will have the “mother” — a murky substance at the bottom of the jar that contains enzymes, proteins, and good bacteria.
Supplement #10 – Cayenne Pepper
For an extra morning kick, add some Cayenne pepper to your smoothie! This powerful pepper has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine and cooking ingredient, and the science behind it is pretty clear.
Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper, and contain vitamins A, E, C, K, B6, as well as manganese and potassium. Capsaicin is what gives the peppers their hot taste, but is also responsible for benefits such as being a metabolism booster, can reduce hunger, aids digestive health, and can even lower blood pressure.
That’s it for my 10 supplements to add to your morning smoothies! I hope you have fun experimenting with the different flavors and nutritional profiles of these additives. Let us know your favorite smoothie recipes in the comments!