Like to make your own smoothie recipes and just want a long list of superfood ingredients to choose from? Here’s a master list of superfoods, updated regularly.
Did I miss any ingredients that you already use? Leave a comment and tell me about it so that I can research it and add it to the list! Bonus points if you include a link to a page that explains why it is a superfood.
Apples: Apples are a terrific way to sweeten your smoothie and mask the taste of many other ingredients that are healthy but don’t necessarily make for the tastiest smoothie. They are also extremely healthy anyway, so it’s win-win.
Apricots: Apricots are a terrific source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Fresh apricots are a better choice than dried apricots for adding to smoothies.
Bananas: I use a banana in just about every smoothie recipe because it makes a terrific base ingredient and also gives the smoothie a really good texture and mouth feel, improving the experience of drinking it.
Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe adds a lot of liquid to your smoothie, reducing the amount of water or yogurt that you might otherwise add to make it blend better. It is extremely high in vitamin C and vitamin A and has quite a few other health benefits.
Figs: Figs are available dried most of the year and fresh during the summer and fall. The sweet taste goes well in a smoothie. They are a good source of fiber, potassium, and manganese.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit has a strong and distinct flavor, so don’t overdo it with your smoothie unless you specifically want grapefruit to be the dominant taste. High in vitamin C, antioxidants, and lycopene.
Grapes: High in antioxidants, phytonutrients, manganese and vitamin K. Nice and sweet so that they add a terrific flavor to your smoothie that can hide other flavors, if you wish. If you have grapes that are about to go bad, freeze them and add them frozen to your smoothie later.
Honeydew melon: High in vitamin C. Makes a great smoothie base because of the high water content.
Kiwi: Extremely high in vitamin C and high in fiber. Makes a great flavor addition.
Lemon: The strong citrus flavor is best used in small quantities so that you don’t overpower the smoothie with a sour lemon taste.
Lime: As with lemons, the strong citrus flavor is best used in small quantities so that you don’t overpower the smoothie with a sour lime taste.
Nectarine: A perfectly refreshing summer addition, especially if they ripen faster than you expected! Rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, potassium, and dietary fiber.
Orange: Use for a burst of citrus flavor or as a smooth base due to its high water content. A good source of vitamin C, A, and B1, as well as potassium, folate, and calcium.
Papaya: Papaya will make for a creamy base and its sweet flavor will make up for blander ingredients. Vitamin rich in A, C, and E and high in dietary fiber.
Pomegranate: With a powerful blender and a bit of time, pomegranate seeds will blend fairly smoothly and add a vivid splash of red to your smoothie. High in antioxidants.
Peaches: A fan favorite with its creamy texture and mildly sweet juices. Peaches pack a punch of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Pear: Due to their mild flavor, pears blend well with most other ingredients. They’re high in fiber, folic acid, and vitamins A and C.
Pineapple: Provides the tender texture you’d expect from a pineapple and mixes well with leafy green ingredients. Provides vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Plum: Not the most popular ingredient, but blends well with banana and pineapples for an added touch of sweetness. Great potassium content, as well as fiber.
Watermelon: Combines well with a thicker base due to its high water content. High in lycopene and amino acids-and of course, vitamin C.
Asparagus: I haven’t tried asparagus, and I suspect that it might add a bad taste in anything other than a very small amount.
Avocados: Sounds weird, but you can add a banana-like texture to your smoothie with avocado, and the taste is mild so it doesn’t stand out if you have fruit.
Beets: I like to chop up raw beets in advance and keep them in a ziplock bag. I add the equivalent of half of a medium sized beet to my smoothie for the antioxidants and nitric oxide. In limited amounts, they give a lot of color but don’t hurt the taste. I include beets in almost every smoothie I make.
Bell peppers: Make sure to remove the seeds in this high-lycopene, high-fiber superveggie for a burst of nutrition with mild earthy flavor.
Broccoli: If you just use part of a single floret it does not affect the taste of the smoothie, but you get the super health power of a cruciferous vegetable.
Carrots: I like to add a single baby carrot to most of my smoothies. Get some beta carotine with almost no taste change to the smoothie.
Cauliflower: Like broccoli, this is a super healthy cruciferous vegetable that can be added in small amounts to a smoothie without adding a lot of taste change.
Cucumbers: Low in calories, high in water content, and rich in nutrition. Just a slice or two if you don’t want to change the taste.
Eggplant: High in fiber, antioxidants and manganese. Use only small quantities in a smoothie to avoid taste issues.
Summer squash: High in antioxidants, vitamin C and molybdenum. Mild in taste, so you can add several slices to your smoothie without causing a weird taste.
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes: I always have a bunch of grape tomatoes in the refrigerator, so I usually grab just one and add it to my smoothie for the lycopene and vitamins C, A and K. In small quantities, they don’t alter the taste of the smoothie.
Pumpkin: You can buy canned pumpkin most of the year. It makes a good base for your smoothie if you don’t like using a banana, although I personally prefer the mouth feel of a banana base to a pumpkin base. Pumpkin has very high levels of vitamin A and is high in antioxidants.
Watercress: Heralded as the most nutrient dense of all vegetables, Watercress is a great superfood. It’s a little bit peppery, so don’t overdo it in the smoothie unless you have something else to balance out the taste. You can even grow your own watercress.
Winter squash: Similar to summer squash in benefits, it is mild in taste, so you can add several slices to your smoothie without causing a weird taste.
Yams: Yams make a wonderfully textured mild base for smoothies. Yams are a great source of fiber, iron, and folate: a perfect smoothie ingredient for moms-to-be.
Bok Choy: Use only small amounts to prevent from giving a peppery kind of flavor to your smoothie. Nutrient dense.
Collard greens: A good choice for advanced smoothie makers who don’t mind a little bit of a green taste. These leafy greens are incredibly healthy.
Beet Greens: The tops of beets are also extremely nutritious and high in nitric oxide.
Kale: Commonly known as the healthiest leafy green for good reason! Lots of academic research has shown its benefits.
Rainbow chard: A variety of Swiss Chard for when you get tired of using the same basic version.
Spinach: One of the most common leafy greens that you see in many smoothie recipes because it is easy to find, inexpensive, and mild in taste. Also extremely healthy!
Swiss chard: Swiss chard has a nutrient density almost as high as kale, but the flavor is milder. Swiss chard is in the same family as beets and is also high in nitric oxide.
Turnip greens: Like the greens from the top of beets, greens from the tops of turnips are sometimes discarded when they shouldn’t be. Relatively mild and very nutritious.
Red Cabbage: If you are looking for the biggest superfood bang for your buck, red cabbage might be it. It’s extremely inexpensive and readily available almost anywhere and is also nutrient dense. Mild, so it doesn’t affect smoothie taste in limited amounts.
Acai Berry: My grocery store sells these in frozen “smoothie pack” form that you just throw right into the blender. You can also get them dried or powdered.
Amala / Amaliki / Amla / Indian Gooseberry: This is my secret smoothie ingredient that sends the antioxidant content of my smoothies off the chart. I buy it in organic powered form and add about a tea spoon to most smoothie recipes. It is a little bit sour tasting if you overdo it, so a little goes a long way.
Blueberry: A well-known superfood, blueberries also mask the taste of other ingredients, so they are a good way to keep your smoothie tasty and healthy at the same time. I always buy them frozen and use them that way.
Goji Berry: I buy these in dried form and add them in limited amounts to my smoothies sometimes.
Raspberry: Like other berries, it is great for masking the taste of other ingredients and high in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, but fairly low on the glycemic index. I always keep bags of frozen raspberries in my freezer as a regular ingredient in all my smoothies.
Strawberry: When they are in season, they are terrific to add fresh to your smoothie. If you have strawberries that are about to go bad, freeze them and use them frozen in your smoothies! I buy them organic and frozen and use them almost daily as a regular smoothie ingredient. Very good at overpowering other tastes if you want to combine with ingredients than might otherwise make your smoothie taste too “green” or healthy.
Cherry: Cherries are versatile smoothie fruits: you can create a smoothie that’s thick and gooey or thin and creamy. Only add a couple if you don’t prefer the tart taste of this low-cal, high-fiber food.
Cranberry: Cranberries contain the second-highest amounts of antioxidants in fruits next to blueberries. Like cherries, cranberries will provide a tartness to your smoothie, which blends well with stronger ingredients.
Nuts, Seeds and Grains:
Important note: unless you own a powerful high-speed blender like a Blendtec or a Vitamix, you probably won’t have good results adding nuts to your smoothie.
Almonds: Almonds are high in biotin (a vitamin of the B complex) and vitamin E. Blend unsalted almonds for a slightly crunchy texture without an overwhelming flavor.
Coconut Flakes / Coconut Milk: High in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6, but not always a low-fat food so use occasionally. Blends well with both tart and tropical fruits.
Coconut Oil: It’s a natural, all-plant source of healthy, saturated fat. Learn more about why it’s considered a superfood.
Flaxseed: For a mild, nutty flavor, add a tablespoon of these tiny seeds. Pairs well with fruits and provides unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids and protein with few added calories.
Brazil Nuts: Great with berries and bases like almond and coconut milk. Dense brazil nuts will supply mono-unsaturated fats and selenium, which is essential for reproduction and thyroid functions.
Pecans: Pecans provide at least 19 vitamins and minerals and have a rich flavor that simply resonates Southern style. Try blending with strawberries.
Pumpkin Seeds: Have your dessert and drink it too. High in manganese, phosphorous, copper, and magnesium. Relatively inexpensive, to boot.
Chia Seeds: High in protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, so great for post-workout hunger. Drink immediately after blending, as chia seeds will plump after awhile.
Sprouted Oats: Soak and add to green smoothies. Try some banana for added flavor. Sprouted oats are hearty and heart healthy.
Walnuts: Be conservative with this high-cal food, but appreciate its fiber, protein, and omega-3 content.
Most of these algae are available in powdered form that you can add to your smoothie. Be careful not to add too much or it will affect the taste.
Spirulina: Use just a teaspoon of spirulina to add anti-inflammatory properties and nutritional trace metals to tried-and-true smoothie flavors such as kiwi strawberry or banana.
Chlorella: Need to detox and want to even out your skin tone while you’re at it? Chlorella is a great additive commonly used by Hollywood celebs.
Bluegreen Algae: Another “pond scum” that offers incredible nutritional value, including 70% protein by weight! Buy yours at a health store to ensure you are drinking the non-toxic type.
Green tea: Brew some, cool it, and add it as your liquid base instead of water to your smoothie and increase your phytonutrients.
White tea: White tea is the least processed form of tea, which makes it very high in phytonutrients. Brew it, cool it, and add it as the additional liquid to your smoothie base. Mild in flavor with low levels of caffeine.
Matcha: This is green tea powder and very easy to add to your smoothie.
Hibiscus: Technically, it’s an herbal tea and not an actual tea. But it is caffeine-free and has an extremely high antioxidant level.
Cacao Powder: Just 1-2 teaspoons will give your green smoothie a rich flavoring. High in iron and heart healthy.
Maca Powder: Try with tart fruits like blueberries, cranberries, or cherries. Maca powder is used in many civilizations for reproductive health.
Hemp Powder: A natural sweetener that also provides high amounts of protein.
Wheatgrass Powder: Tastes similar to other leafy greens. Try juicing it first and adding the liquid to your smoothies. Nutritional value is similar to broccoli and carrots.