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Walk through any health-food store, and you’ll see shelves and shelves of powders, all promising to be just the secret you need to be a superhero, to sculpt the perfect body, to have the energy of a teenager. It’s all so confusing, not to mention that trying a bunch of them can get expensive. Instead, save time, money and your sanity with my easy-to-follow, no-nonsense guide to the health-boosting powders I believe in. - Stephanie
Note: You don’t need all of the below. Of these, you may find one, two or even a few that appeal to you. Remember always to eat a varied diet with plenty of vegetables, high-quality protein and beneficial fats; these powders are meant to supplement your already healthy lifestyle.

9 Essential Nutrition Powders


What it is: A powder that conveniently combines two beneficial seedand is also important for gut health. antioxidants, and selenium. Chia can absorb more than 20 times its weight in liquid, forming a gel that slows digestion, keeping you feeling full longer. Flax is loaded with phosphorus.

What it's good for: Both seeds are rich in omega-3s and fiber. Both are also loaded with minerals; chia with magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium, and flax with manganese.
How to use it: Add to smoothies or to boost nutrition in baking recipes.
Learn more.
Get it here.



What it is: Powdered mixes of various vegetables and herbs, and sometimes grasses and sea vegetables. Different powders contain different combinations of these items.
What it's good for: Very nutrient rich, usually with vitamins A and C as well as B vitamins, iron, calcium and fiber, all for very few calories. Some powders also claim to be alkalizing, which can help balance acidity in our systems from coffee, meat, sugars, alcohol, and other foods. An acid-alkaline balance may help curb sweet cravings, reduce acid reflux and lower inflammation.
How to use it: Add to smoothies or water.
Tip: Some greens powders come in individual packets (like this one.). These are great for travel, especially when you don’t have as much control over the quality of the food you’ll be eating.
Get it here.


What it is: The seed of a species of cannabis. But hemp contains only the tiniest trace of THC (less than .003%) and will not get you high (sorry) or show up on a drug test.
What it's good for: Hemp is a plant-based protein source. Like other proteins, it’s good for satiety, and for building and repairing muscle. Also rich in fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron.
How to use it: Add to smoothies. Also to up the protein in baking recipes
Tip: Instead of powder, buy hemp hearts. You can sprinkle them on salads for crunch, blend into a spread similar to nut butter or add to pancakes or granola. You can still toss the hearts into a smoothie as you would the powder.
Read more
Get it here.



What it is: A fruit from Peru that has been dried and milled into a powder.

What it's good for: Rich in fiber, beta-carotene, iron, zinc, potassium and other trace minerals. It lends a creamy, maple-like sweetness.

How to use it: In smoothies and as a low-glycemic replacement for some of another sweetener in baked goods.

Get it here.



What it is: A powder made from a Peruvian herb.

What it's good
for: Boosts vitality and libido; my help ease PMS symptoms and adrenal fatigue. Lends a mild caramel flavor. It’s an adaptogen, one of a class of herbs that helps the body manage various stressors.

How to use it: Add to smoothies

Get it here.



What it is: A plant-based protein source usually made from field peas (the ones you’d use for split-pea soup, not garden peas).

What it's good for: Along with being rich in protein, it also has fiber, folate, vitamin D and minerals such as iron,
manganese and potassium. Like other proteins, it’s good for satiety and for building and repairing muscle.

How to use it: Add to smoothies and to boost protein in baking recipes and soups.

Get it here.



What it is: A type of soluble fiber that comes from the husk of the psyllium plant’s seeds. (The other type of fiber, insoluble, is in whole grains as well as the seeds and skin of fruits.)
What it's good for: Increasing dietary fiber intake, which helps control blood sugar, regulates cholesterol, keeps digestion “regular,” boosts heart health.

How to use it: Mix into water or smoothies and drink. Also useful as a binder in gluten-free recipes.

Get it here.


What it is: A type of blue-green algae that grows in oceans and some tropical salty lakes.

What it's good for: One of my favorite
plant based sources of Iron. It’s extremely nutrient rich, loaded zinc, B vitamins, vitamin E, beta-carotene and amino acids. Boosts energy, gut health and immunity, and lowers blood pressure.

How to use it: Add to water or smoothies but just know it does have a bit of a fishy taste so a little goes a long way.

Get it here.



What it is: A protein supplement made from the watery part of milk after the curds have been removed.
What it's good for: Satiety, building and repairing muscle, adding protein to your diet without a lot of calories or fat.

How to use it: Add to smoothies. Also to up the protein in baking recipes or pancakes

Tip: Buy powder made from whole
whey, not whey isolates. Though isolates are higher in protein, the process of creating the isolates destroys the vitamin and mineral content. Be sure to buy high-quality whey from grass-fed cows

Get it here or here

Every month I tackle a question from you about a trend, an ingredient, anything that’s on your mind., or send me a Tweet (@smiddleberg_rd), or post a question on my
Facebook page

Write to me:
Q: I keep seeing collagen everywhere. What is it, and should I be taking it?

Stephanie says: Collagen is a type of protein found in our own bodies as well as in animals and fish. It’s essential for the health of our skin. The trouble is, collagen production begins to slow as we age, leading to sagging, as well as joint issues from weakened cartilage. Smoking, high-sugar diets and overexposure to sun also can contribute to a slowdown in production.

Luckily, some really delicious foods can help boost your body’s collagen production. Vitamin C-rich foods such as red bell peppers, broccoli, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, citrus fruits and kiwi are boosters, as is white tea. You also can get collagen directly by eating bone broth. Now, collagen definitely isn’t a fountain-of-youth cure-all, so unfortunately, can’t expect to sip some broth and wake up looking years younger. But it is a nice source of protein to experiment with, especially if you suffer from joint pain or are recovering from an injury or surgery.

Collagen is also available in a powder form, so you can add it to smoothies. I also like these as they don't give you any sort of aftertaste or odd consistency AND because they don’t contain other processed ingredients. As always, rotate and decide what works for you. If you choose to experiment with collagen powder, choose one's made from grass-fed sources like Vital Proteins. 
We’ve recently added a few new faces to our Middleberg Nutrition family. First, welcome Beth Lipton, our resident chef. Some of you already know her, as she’s been teaching you and/or your kids private cooking lessons. Beth also will be teaching group classes in our test kitchen..stay tuned for more in our next newsletter.
If you’d like to inquire about private classes or have an idea for a group class, please write to us: Or write to Beth with cooking questions, recipe requests or just to say hi:
October 6th, 7pm: Please join us as we curated this amazing panel at the 92nd Street Y focusing on healing chronic health conditions in kids through food, environment and lifestyle.

October 18th: In case you missed it, my first book, The Big Book Of Organic Baby Food: Baby Purees, Finger Foods and Toddler Meals For Every Stage, officially goes on sale but you can pre-order now! 

November 1st:  Our favorite pediatric nutritionist here at Middleberg Nutrition, Pegah, will be teaming up with our favorite all natural and organic kid store, Sprout San Francisco in a hands-on workshop focusing on creating a healthier home environment including personal care, cleaning products and food. Click here to find out more. 



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