The 5 Best Antioxidant-Rich Protein Smoothies

A no-cook and minimal prep way to add more antioxidants to your diet.

By: Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC

Chances are, you’ve heard about antioxidants, and some of their benefits, as antioxidant-rich diets have become buzz-worthy in the wellness world. These compounds are incredibly important for many aspects of our overall health, and they are quite simple to include in our diet with a little effort and know-how. And if you are looking for one of the easiest ways to include a boost of antioxidants in your diet, antioxidant-rich smoothies will be at the top of your recipe list. 

RELATED: 15 Powerful Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that play important roles in our health. While they don’t provide any calories, they are considered to be a nutrient — a plant-based nutrient, to be more specific. 

Antioxidants impact our health by combating oxidative stress. Our bodies can produce free radicals when we are under stress, when we eat a lot of fried food, or we smoke cigarettes (among other causes). Over time, these free radicals can cause what is known as oxidative stress, and damage to our tissues can occur, which may increase the risk of developing certain chronic health conditions. 

Antioxidants combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. By stabilizing these free radicals, antioxidants can help support overall health and even reduce the risk of certain types of chronic illness. 

Top Antioxidant-Rich Foods 

If you are eating a diet that is rich in produce, nuts, and beans, then you are already consuming antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in a wide variety of foods, with certain antioxidant varieties playing different roles than others. For example, the anthocyanin antioxidant, which is found in blueberries and other blue/purple foods, has anti-inflammatory properties. And lutein, an antioxidant found in egg yolks, spinach, and pistachios, supports brain, and eye health. 

Some foods have more antioxidants than others. Read on to learn more about the food options that give you the most bang for your antioxidant buck. 

Wild Blueberries

The tiny blueberries that are often sold in the frozen fruit section of the grocery store are one of the best sources of antioxidants. They are also a source of fiber and many micronutrients. 

Red Kidney Beans

Believe it or not, red kidney beans pack in more antioxidants than many fruits and veggies. Bonus? Eating red kidney beans “counts” as a protein and a vegetable, so you are getting a two-for-one when you enjoy this food.


Artichokes are one of the best veggies to enjoy if you are trying to bump up your antioxidant intake. Artichokes also fuel the body with vitamin C and magnesium, along with a slew of other nutrients. 


Prunes are not only a powerhouse when it comes to antioxidant content, but eating them may help support your bone health too. They are also best known for their gut health-supporting properties. 


Strawberries are a dynamite source of antioxidants. Plus, only eight of these berries provide almost all of the vitamin C we need in a day. 

5 Antioxidant-Rich Protein Smoothies 

Including more antioxidants in your diet can be as simple as adding more beans to your chili or enjoying artichokes as an appetizer. But nothing is quite as easy as tossing ingredients in a blender and whipping up a smoothie when you need a boost of antioxidants. Here are some delicious antioxidant-rich protein smoothie ingredient combos for you to try the next time you make a protein shake! 

Prune Peach Smoothie

A zesty and sweet smoothie that is packed with bone-health-supporting nutrients and antioxidants. 

  • 5 California prunes
  • 3/4 cup frozen peaches
  • 3/4 cup frozen cherries
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk (or milk of choice) 
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice 
  • Handful of ice

Directions: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! 

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

There is nothing quite like the classic combo of strawberry and banana. Adding some yogurt makes this creamy drink ultra enjoyable to sip.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

Directions: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! 

Avocado Smoothie

Avocados are a natural source of antioxidants, and they add some unique creaminess to a smoothie. And who doesn’t love avocados?

  • 1 cup milk of choice 
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Directions: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! 

Mango, Strawberry, Pineapple Tropical Smoothie

Tropical fruits are jam-packed with antioxidants and loads of natural flavor. Blend this smoothie to transport your taste buds to the tropics. 

  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen diced mango
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen diced pineapple
  • ½ cup 100% orange juice

Directions: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! 

Green Tea Smoothie

Believe it or not, green tea is a fantastic antioxidant source that makes for a delicious addition to smoothies. Try this recipe when you need an antioxidant boost ASAP. 

  • 1 cup pre-brewed green tea, cooled
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon natural almond butter
  • ½ tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice 

Directions: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! 

Smoothies For an Antioxidant Boost

Getting enough antioxidants in your diet can be a challenge for busy people who have trouble including enough fruits, veggies, nuts, and other antioxidant-rich foods in their lifestyle. This is where smoothies come in! They are a convenient way to pack in antioxidants and require minimal prep and clean-up time. 

From berries to avocado to even tea, there are a wide variety of antioxidant-rich ingredients that can easily be added to smoothies. So, next time you’re making a post-workout shake or a morning breakfast smoothie, try out some of these antioxidant-rich smoothie combos —your body and tastebuds will thank you!