Kelly LeVeque is a celebrity nutritionist with clients like Jessica Alba, Emmy Rossum, and Molly Sims, and the best-selling author of Body Love. We collaborated with Kelly to bring you a FREE Advanced Functional Nutrition miniseries, where you’ll learn the fundamentals of functional food & health! Want in? Click here to get (totally free!) access.
1. MCT oil:
MCT oil, or medium-chain triglyceride oil, is a healthy fat that combats the bad bacteria and yeast in the digestive tract that can cause inflammation and prevent weight loss. This odorless, translucent oil comes from coconuts and is comprised primarily of the antibacterial and antimicrobial caprylic and lauric acids. But that isn’t the only reason to add MCT to your next smoothie! MCTs have a range of positive health benefits, from increased energy to candida, weight, and appetite control. Looking to explore ketosis? Cut all fruit from your smoothie and add 1 tablespoon of MCT oil and 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil (50/50 blend) to up your endogenous production of ketones.
2. Coconut yogurt:
Our bodies are full of microorganisms. Full! In fact, there are over 10 times more microbial cells in our bodies than human cells. This ecological community inside our intestines (and all over our body) is known as the "human microbiome," and it’s closely connected to our health and wellness. A great way to keep it thriving is to ingest probiotics, so add a few tablespoons of coconut yogurt (I love Coconut Cult yogurt, which uses human strain probiotics) to your next smoothie.
Turmeric contains medicinal properties called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the ultimate "anti." It has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities. And it can benefit your waistline, too. Curcumin helps activate the liver genes that help keep glucose levels in check and can improve your pancreas’s ability to produce insulin too!
Now available as a dietary supplement, colostrum is not just from mother's milk. This superfood is rich in antibacterial compounds and proteins known to stimulate the immune system, along with growth factors to help restore gut permeability, making it the perfect add to your next smoothie if you've been diagnosed with leaky gut or have intestinal damage caused by NSAIDS, antibiotics, or other medications.
This natural anti-inflammatory and digestive aid soothes the digestive system and relaxes the muscles of the colon, breaking up gas and relieving bloating. Add ginger puree or fresh-pressed ginger juice to your next smoothie.
Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavor to your smoothie and support natural daily detoxification. Parsley is a strong liver detoxifier, Cilantro chelates heavy metals and reduces cellular toxins, while basil is known to squelch inflammation and fight viruses and infections. Grab a big handful and toss 'em into your next blender batch.
7. Peppermint leaves:
The oils in peppermint stimulate the gallbladder to release bile that your body uses to digest fats and relieve spasms in the gastrointestinal tract. This release allows gas to pass and bloating to subside. This herbal tea also helps to rehydrate naturally. Steep some peppermint tea and store it cool in the fridge, then use it instead of water or milk as the base of your next smoothie for a refreshing kick.
8. Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is a liver and lymphatic tonic that can help detox your body. It helps balance your body’s pH and stimulates cardiovascular function, bowel motility, and lymphatic drainage. Sneak a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into your next green smoothie—it adds a nice hit of acid to balance the flavors as well (an old chef's trick)!
9. Algae oil:
Algae? Yes, I'm talking about the green stuff that comes from the sea. It's dried and pressed to extract oil, and 1 tablespoon alone has as much monounsaturated fat as an avocado. Coined MUFA, these fats are known for decreased risk in breast cancer, lower cholesterol levels, as a weight loss aid, and for a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. Like MCT, algae oil has a super-light taste and can be added to any flavor smoothie without changing the taste.
And while we know you're adding the OG superfoods—greens—to your smoothies, if you're getting bored with that, here are a bunch of new ideas to get the good stuff into your body.