Learn how to put together the perfect balanced smoothie with a smoothie ingredients list from a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Smoothies and smoothie bowls are becoming increasingly popular in the health and wellness industry, and they are often advertised as a health food.
Smoothies are great because they are customizable to any taste or dietary restriction, and they are convenient to take on-the-go. Smoothies are easy enough to make at home yourself, but they are also available bottled in stores or freshly made at smoothie cafes.
While some smoothies are packed with veggies and fruit, others are loaded with sugar and other less nutritious ingredients. While there is nothing wrong with sugar in moderation, it’s best to start your day with a healthy balanced breakfast.
Keep reading to learn more about healthy smoothie recipes, potential health benefits, plus a smoothie ingredients list and tips for making the perfect smoothie at home.
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Smoothies are often consumed as a morning meal or an afternoon snack. They can be a great way to increase your intake of nutritious foods.
Smoothies that are made with frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables can help increase your intake of these foods. Fruits and vegetables provide a wide variety of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
When consumed in adequate amounts, these nutrients may reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and lower your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and age-related mental decline.
Most adults should eat about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Many people do not meet this requirement. If you’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables daily, a smoothie can be an easy way to add 2-3 more servings.
Fiber is an important nutrient that supports healthy digestion by reducing constipation and fostering the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. A healthy gut microbiome can help reduce inflammation, promote healthy immune function, and support mental health.
Getting enough fiber can also help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Women need at least 25 grams of fiber daily, so if you aren’t getting enough, a healthy smoothie is a great place to add in some extra fiber.
The perfect smoothie contains a balance of carbohydrates, fat, protein, fruits and vegetables.
The body’s preferred source of fuel is carbohydrates, particularly your brain, so skipping out on carbs does not give your body the energy it needs.
Fat helps support brain health, regulate hormones, and increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K).
Protein is necessary for building and repairing tissues. Amino acids, also known as the building blocks of protein, play an important role in metabolism and many of the processes that occur in the human body.
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that provide health promoting benefits.
To create the best smoothie possible, it’s important to include ingredients that provide a balance of all macronutrients. Start with a liquid base, add some fresh fruit (or frozen), vegetables, and healthy fat. Adding fat and protein to your smoothies will provide long-lasting energy and help you feel full and satisfied for longer.
Fruit smoothie ingredients list
Fruit smoothies usually feature one or more kinds of fruit blended with fruit juice, water, milk (dairy or plant-based). These are great smoothies if you enjoy a sweet flavor. Fruit is a wonderful addition to a great breakfast smoothie without too much added sugar. Here are some common fruit smoothie ingredients:
Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) are loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber, and provide many vitamins and minerals including vitamin C. Berries can help reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels, and support healthy skin.
Bananas contain a good dose of vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide complex carbs that can support your gut health. Ripe banana adds great flavor and texture to a fruit smoothie.
Apples are packed with fiber and antioxidants. Eating them is linked to a lower risk of many chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Apples may also improve gut and brain health.
Peaches are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain beneficial plant compounds like antioxidants, which can help protect your body from aging and disease.
Mango is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and it has been shown to have many health benefits, including potential cancer prevention, increased immunity, improved digestion and eye health.
Pineapple is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some benefits of pineapple include improved digestion, decreased cancer risk, and osteoarthritis relief. Try this smoothie, which includes pineapple for all its benefits.
Vegetable smoothie ingredients list
Green smoothies are full of leafy green vegetables and fruit blended with water, juice, or milk. They often contain more veggies than regular smoothies, though they often include a little fruit or sweetener for a sweeter flavor. Here are some common green smoothie ingredients:
Spinach is high in vitamins and minerals and contains several important plant compounds. Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer, and reduce blood pressure levels.
Wheatgrass has been linked to many health benefits, including weight loss, decreased inflammation, lower cholesterol and better blood sugar control. Although more research is needed to confirm the health benefits of wheatgrass, drinking it as part of a healthy smoothie can provide extra nutrients and several health benefits.
Microgreens contain higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients than mature vegetables. Much like other vegetables, microgreens may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers.
Avocado is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals (like magnesium, B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate), as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Including avocados in smoothies may protect against heart disease and promote gut health.
Cucumbers are low in calories but packed with fiber and other vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Beetroot is a good source of fiber, vitamin B9, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroot has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, decreased blood pressure, and better exercise performance.
Carrots contain fiber that can support stable blood sugar levels. They’re also high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, calcium, and vitamin K.
Cruciferous vegetables smoothie ingredients list
Cruciferous vegetables are low-calorie, and rich in folate, vitamins C, E, and K, and fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient to incorporate as it promotes healthy digestion, supports healthy cholesterol levels, and helps keep you fuller longer.
Kale is full of nutrients and low in calories, containing vitamins A, K, C, and B6 as well as fiber and minerals. Consuming kale may provide numerous health benefits including cancer prevention, healthy eyes, and lower risk of heart disease.
Arugula is a nutrient-dense food that is high in fiber and phytochemicals. Arugula is low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates, and fat. It’s high in several vital nutrients including vitamins C, K, and A, as well as calcium, potassium, and folate.
Protein smoothie ingredients list
The best way to make a balanced smoothie is to include a source of protein. Protein is necessary for building and repairing tissues. It also plays an important role in metabolism and many of the processes that occur in the human body. It also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. You should aim for 20 grams of protein per meal. Here are some protein sources commonly used in smoothies:
Plain Greek yogurt is high in protein, calcium, and vitamin D. It can also be a good source of fat depending on the fat content you buy (full fat, low-fat, non-fat).
Cottage cheese is also high in protein, vitamin D, and calcium. If you’re looking to keep calories on the lower side, opt for a non-fat version.
Cow’s milk is another good source of protein and acts as a liquid base for your smoothie. It also provides a good serving of calcium and vitamin D.
Soy milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk if you are lactose intolerant or dairy-free. Soy milk is the plant milk most nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk. Almond milk, cashew milk, and oat milk are low in protein, so while they can work as a liquid base for your smoothie, they are not adequate sources of protein.
Silken tofu is sometimes added to smoothies as a protein source. Tofu also contains isoflavones, which may protect against age-related diseases including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, hormone-dependent cancer and loss of cognitive function. Tofu is an easy way to add protein to vegan smoothies.
Protein powder (animal-based or plant-based) is another way to add more protein to your smoothies. There are whey and casein protein powders for people who can tolerate dairy. Beef collagen and egg protein are also available. For plant-based eaters, soy, pea, and rice protein are available. These plant protein powders make a great addition to any vegan smoothies.
Healthy fats smoothie ingredients list
It’s important to include a source of healthy fat in your smoothie to increase fullness and satisfaction. Fat also helps support brain health, regulate hormones, and increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). Here are some fat sources commonly used in smoothies:
Nut and seed butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter) are a great source of healthy fats. They also add creaminess and flavor.
Seeds (hemp, flax, chia) add healthy fats and protein to smoothies. They don’t add much flavor, but they can alter texture. Seeds are also full of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.
Avocados are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals (like magnesium, B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate). Including avocados in smoothies can increase fullness and satisfaction until your next meal.
Coconut milk provides fat in the form of medium chain triglycerides. It also adds a tropical flavor to fruit smoothies. Drinking coconut milk may decrease inflammation and help fight viruses and bacteria.
For those who prefer a sweeter smoothie, sweeteners like maple syrup, raw sugar, honey, pitted dates, fruit juices (orange juice, pineapple juice), stevia, ice cream, and sorbet can be added to fruit smoothies.
For vegetable smoothies or green smoothies, try adding ginger, turmeric, parsley, and basil.
Smoothies are an easy way to get a healthy breakfast in the morning. They also make a great snack.
The best way to build a perfect smoothie is to include ingredients that add protein, carbs, healthy fats, fruits, and/or vegetables. Start with a liquid base, add a source of protein, healthy fats, and fruits or vegetables. Use flavor add-ins to make your smoothies more fun.
If by now you’re convinced you need to start incorporating these nutrient-packed smoothies into your day, you may need some smoothie inspiration. Start searching for recipes that pique your interest, or get experimental with your own ideas.
Step 1: Find a recipe
Step 2: Make a grocery list
Step 3: Go shopping and gather smoothie ingredients
Step 4: Make your smoothie and enjoy!
For super simple, organic, put together for you smoothies, try SmoothieBox! The ingredients are flash frozen, then placed in individual bags, so they aren’t all clumped together when you’re ready to use them. Just add to blender with liquid and boosters of your choice, blend and enjoy.