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5 Best Natural Protein Sources For Smoothies

Take Your Smoothies to the Next Level with these Natural Protein Sources


5 Best Natural Protein Sources For Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to increase your daily protein intake. Blending protein-rich ingredients into smoothies allows you to reap their nutritional benefits conveniently. But what are the best natural sources of protein to add?


The 5 best categories of high-protein foods to blend into smoothies are vegetables, plant-based protein powders, seeds and nut butter, dairy and alternatives, and whole grains. These provide quality complete proteins to support muscle growth, satiety, sustained energy, and workout recovery.


Specific protein-packed foods include spinach, kale, pea protein powder, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and oats. Aim for 20-30 grams of protein per smoothie. Mix and match ingredients from these 5 groups for a nutritious protein boost.


In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of protein, how much you need daily, and break down the 5 best natural sources of protein for smoothies. We’ll also give examples of specific high-protein foods to add. Let's dive in!



 
5 Best Natural Protein Sources For Smoothies: At a glance

  1. Vegetables

  2. Plant-Based Protein Powders

  3.  Seeds & Nut Butters

  4. Dairy & Alternatives

  5. Whole Grains

 

Why Protein is Important for Smoothies


Protein is a vital macronutrient that serves many important functions in the body. Here are some of the key reasons why it's beneficial to add protein foods to your smoothies:


  • Builds and repairs muscle tissue. Protein provides amino acids that help stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Consuming protein pre- and post-workout promotes muscle growth and enhances recovery.

  • Increases satiety. Protein is the most filling macronutrient. Adding high-protein foods to smoothies helps regulate appetite and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

  • Provides sustained energy. Your body breaks down protein slowly, resulting in stable energy levels that prevent spikes and crashes.

  • Supports bone health. Protein aids the absorption of bone-strengthening calcium. It also contains amino acids that are important for bone matrix formation.


Adding 20-30 grams of protein to a smoothie can help you meet your daily protein needs for building lean muscle, curbing hunger, and promoting sustained energy.


Now let's look at the top 5 natural, protein-packed foods to blend into delicious, nutritious smoothies!



 

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5 Best Natural Protein Sources for Smoothies



1. Vegetables


5 Best Natural Protein Sources For Smoothies: Vegetables

Vegetables can be fantastic sources of protein, in addition to providing fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are some of the best high-protein vegetables to add to smoothies:


Spinach


  • Protein per 100g: 2.9g

  • Rich in iron, folate, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K

  • Blends up smooth, adding nutrition without flavor

Kale


  • Protein per 100g: 4.3g

  • Excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K

  • Leafy green flavor blends well with fruits

Broccoli


  • Protein per 100g: 2.8g

  • Good source of fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C

  • Neutral flavor works in any smoothie combo


Peas


  • Protein per 100g: 5g

  • Contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits

  • Sweet flavor complements fruits and spices


Avocado


  • Protein per 100g: 2g

  • Healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients like folate and vitamin K

  • Creamy texture perfects smoothie consistency


Adding spinach, kale, broccoli, peas, or avocado to your smoothies provides extra plant-based protein and important micronutrients. Blend them up with your favorite fruits, dairy or dairy alternatives, nuts, and seeds.



2. Plant-Based Protein Powders


5 Best Natural Protein Sources For Smoothies: Plant-Based Protein Powders

Plant-based protein powders offer quality vegan proteins to boost the nutrition of smoothies. They come in a variety of types and flavors.


Pea Protein


  • Protein per 30g serving: 20g

  • Complete protein source

  • Earthy, mildly sweet flavor


Hemp Protein


  • Protein per 30g serving: 15g

  • Rich in fiber and omega-3s

  • Nutty taste


Soy Protein


  • Protein per 30g serving: 20g

  • Complete protein

  • Beany, malty flavor


Rice Protein


  • Protein per serving: 24g

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Mild, slightly sweet taste


Pumpkin Seed Protein


  • Protein per 30g serving: 15g

  • Rich in iron, zinc, magnesium

  • Earthy, nutty flavor


Sacha Inchi Protein


  • Protein per 30g serving: 15g

  • Good source of omegas 3, 6, and 9

  • Mild, nutty taste


Choose organic, non-GMO plant-based protein powders with no artificial ingredients. Add 1-2 scoops to smoothies for extra vegan protein.



 

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3. Seeds & Nut Butters


5 Best Natural Protein Sources For Smoothies: Seeds & Nut Butters

Seeds and nut butters deliver plant-based protein along with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They make nutritious, creamy smoothie additions.


Chia Seeds

  • Protein per 100g: 17g

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, iron

  • Gelatinous texture thickens smoothies


Hemp Seeds

  • Protein per 100g: 25g

  • Good omega-3 and omega-6 balance

  • Nutty flavor and crunch


Flaxseeds

  • Protein per 100g: 18g

  • High in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3s

  • Adds texture; blend well to avoid crunch


Chia Seed


  • Protein per 100g: 21g

  • High in fiber, omega-3s, minerals

  • Grainy texture; thickens smoothies


Almond Butter

  • Protein per 100g: 21g

  • Healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, iron

  • Creamy, nutty richness


Peanut Butter

  • Protein per 100g: 25g

  • Rich in vitamin E, niacin, magnesium

  • Distinct peanut flavor; use creamy or crunchy

Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, almond butter, and peanut butter deliver a major protein punch. Blend them into smoothies for extra nutrition.



4. Dairy & Alternatives


5 Best Natural Protein Sources For Smoothies: Dairy & Alternatives

Dairy products offer high-quality complete proteins. Non-dairy alternatives like soy also provide ample protein.


Greek Yogurt


  • Protein per 100g: 10g

  • Probiotics support gut health

  • Tangy, creamy base for smoothies


Cottage Cheese


  • Protein per 100g: 11g

  • Contains casein protein to prolong satiety

  • Blends smoothly; boosts creaminess


Milk

  • Protein per 100g: 3.4g

  • Provides bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D

  • Use cow's milk or milk alternatives


Tofu

  • Protein per 100g: 8g

  • Complete vegetarian protein source

  • Blends into a creamy base

Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, and tofu contain excellent amounts of protein per serving. They make ideal bases that lend creaminess while boosting the protein content of smoothies.



5. Whole Grains


5 Best Natural Protein Sources For Smoothies: Whole grains

Whole grains offer good plant-based protein along with important micronutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Try adding these protein-packed whole grains to your smoothies:


Oats


  • Protein per 100g: 13g

  • High in manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and fiber

  • Imparts creaminess; blend well to avoid texture


Quinoa


  • Protein per 100g: 14g

  • Contains iron, magnesium, manganese, and fiber

  • Slightly crunchy; rinse well before using


Amaranth


  • Protein per 100g: 14g

  • High in lysine for growth and calcium absorption

  • Mildly nutty flavor; grind before blending


Buckwheat


  • Protein per 100g: 13g

  • Good source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and folate

  • Strong, earthy flavor works well with fruits

Oats, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat supply extra plant-based protein while adding a nutritious nutrition boost. Their earthy flavors pair nicely with sweet and tangy smoothie ingredients.


Protein information sourced from Nutritionix.com




 

Conclusion


Adding nutritious whole foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, dairy, and grains to your smoothies provides quality plant- and animal-based proteins to help you meet your daily protein needs.


Aiming for 20-30 grams of protein per smoothie promotes muscle growth, satiety, sustained energy, workout recovery, and overall health.


Blend up spinach, kale, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, or any combination of these 5 best natural protein sources in your next smoothies. Your muscles and tastebuds will thank you!


Which protein-packed smoothie combinations will you be trying? Let us know in the comments below!


 

About Author:


Gavin is the owner of Tru Foo Juice Bar. He has over 6 years of experience running a juice bar and creating juice and smoothie recipes for the consumer market.  His passion for juicing began in his early 20s as he explored natural ways to boost nutrition and energy. Over the years, Gavin has experimented with countless ingredient combinations to create the perfect juice and smoothie blends and bring them to the masses.

Gavin is the owner of Tru Foo Juice Bar. He has over 6 years of experience running a juice bar and creating juice and smoothie recipes for the consumer market.


His passion for juicing began in his early 20s as he explored natural ways to boost nutrition and energy. Over the years, Gavin has experimented with countless ingredient combinations to create the perfect juice and smoothie blends and bring them to the masses.

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