10 Superfood Boosters for Protein Shakes & Smoothies
Author: Margot Rutigliano
Protein shakes and smoothies are a wonderful way to get in a ton of nutrients in a quick, easy to take with you container. I use shakes and smoothies almost daily. They’re so easy to blend up, pour into a shake container and tote anywhere. Plus, you can add a ton of nutrition to one simple shake. Pack in your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) as well as your micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients). Often times, it’s much easier to drink all of this nutrition rather than having to eat it.
A great way to increase the nutrient density in shakes is to add superfood boosters like flax seed, chia seeds, super greens supplements, nuts, oils and more. You can add a bunch of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and healthy fats with boosters. My list of superfood boosters is below.
Now, shakes and smoothies aren’t a substitute for meals and certainly eating your food is more beneficial but they are perfect as a supplement. I love to incorporate shakes for breakfast and even a snack here and there depending on my schedule.
Structure Your Shakes & Smoothies
There is an “art” to structuring your shakes and smoothies. Ok really, it’s not that much of an art – it’s just important to make sure you get a good balance of macronutrients so that you’re balancing out your shakes and not overloading them with carbohydrates, fat or protein. Here’s my ratio for structuring shakes and smoothies:
- 1 Protein Source approx 15 -20g (whey, egg, pea, or your favorite protein powder)
- 1 Plant Source (big handful of spinach, kale, squash or cucumber)
- 1 Starchy or Fruity Source (1/2 c oatmeal, berries, banana, etc)
- 1 Fat Source (1 – 2 Tbsp nuts or 1 Tbsp nut butter or oil)
- 1 – 2 Superfood Boosters
10 Superfood Boosters
These mildly sweet, sun dried berries have been used in ancient Chinese medicine to support longevity for thousands of years. Goji berries contain Vitamin C, beta-carotene and iron. In addition they are a potent source of antioxidants and contain 140% DRV of vitamin A. USDA Organic, Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free
Flax seeds provide a rich, nutty flavor and are high in omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids. ALA is an Omega-3 essential fatty acid that may help support normal cardiovascular function and helps to maintain healthy hair, skin and nails. Flax is also delicious sprinkled on yogurt, cereals and salads.
Chia seeds add great texture in shakes. They are relatively tasteless (unlike flax seeds) and contain phosphorus, manganese, calcium, sodium and potassium. They are rich in omega 3’s as well as antioxidants and fiber.
Acai Berry Powder
This dark purple berry is organic, freeze-dried and powdered for maximum nutrition and ease of use. Acai berry powder are rich in antioxidants and contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They are fairly bold in flavor and are a great addition to a shake.
Amazing grass is a green superfood. Whether you’re getting enough veggies or not, this is a great addition to shakes and smoothies.
It contains 3 servings of greens, fruits and veggies. It is rich is alkalizing greens and antioxidants.
Maca Powder was used for endurance by the Inca warriors. It is a root long believed to support vitality and energy. It contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and sterols. It is also an adaptogen which can help to balance hormones and stress levels in the body.
Camu Powder has a tart cherry flavor and is great mixed with other berries in shake, smoothie or yogurt. It is antioxidant rich and contains 10x more vitamin C than an orange. It is a substantial source of potassium, calcium, amino acids and powerful phytochemicals.
Sweet and delicious, this dried pomegranate powder is cold pressed to protect flavor and nutrients. It is especially high in vitamin C and is great mixed in with your favorite shake ingredients.
Cacao powder is fantastic paired with rich berries, cherries, nut and nut butters. The Ancient Maya Feel-Good Food, made from organic, fair-trade certified cacao beans. A healthy alternative to conventional over-processed “cocoa,” this low temperature processed cacao is rich in antioxidants, iron and magnesium.
E3 Live Blue-Green Algae
E3Live™ is a specific species of fresh-frozen, fresh water liquid blue-green algae known as Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae (AFA for short) from Klamath Lake, Oregon. It is a wild-harvested nutrient-dense certified organic edible freshwater plant, considered by renowned natural health authorities. Nutritionally, E3Live™ provides 64 easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, and has more biologically active chlorophyll than any known food.