A smoothie can be your best friend or worst enemy, depending on what you put in the blender.
Mixtures whipped with sweeteners, sweet-flavored yogurt, or even excessive amounts of fruit could have a sugar content close to that of a bowl of ice cream. That too-sweet situation could cause disease-causing inflammation in the body and depress your immune system—not exactly healthy. (For healthy smoothie recipes, see the only 4 smoothie recipes you'll ever need.)
(Slash your cholesterol, burn stubborn belly fat, solve your insomnia, and more—naturally—with Rodale's Eat For Extraordinary Health & Healing.)
On the flip-side, the right smoothie can turn ingredients that might not be the tastiest yet are still highly nutritious into a delicious blend bursting with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Plus, they're perfect for on-the-go lifestyles.
"Smoothies are a fast, portable, and delicious way to get a diversity of nutrients into your body," explains Navitas Naturals Chef Julie Morris, author of Superfood Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-dense Recipes. So, in the spirit of true superfood smoothies, we call out 11 smoothie add-ins to have on standby as smoothie ingredients.