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Superfoods seem to be all the rage. They seem to be in every recipe on Pinterest. (Are we friends over there? Let’s be!) It seems like there’s a new superfood product on the shelf every time I shop. But, what exactly are superfoods? There is no scientific definition of a superfood but the term usually refers to foods containing high levels of vitamins and minerals that offer many health benefits such as boosting your immune system and natural weight loss.
By consuming these superfoods on a regular basis, you are feeding your body large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, fiber, probiotics, and high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Superfoods also contain few calories, are low in sugar, and have lots of soluble fiber and health-boosting phytochemicals. It can be hard to sort out which may be the best to incorporate.
Here are my Top Ten Health Boosting Smoothie Add Ins…
Top Ten Health Boosting Smoothie Add Ins
1. Chia seeds are nutrient dense seeds that help improve digestion, boost energy, improve skin, heart health, build strong teeth, and promote weight loss. Chia seeds also boost your Omega-3 fatty acid intake. These fatty acids contribute to healthy cell membranes, protecting against wrinkles and sun damage. They also help reduce inflammation, which can cause premature aging. What’s more, our bodies can’t make this essential fatty acid, so getting it from food is ultra important
2. Acai Berries are a Brazilian superfood that supercharges your liver, which aids in detox, energy and weight loss. These berries are also low in sugar and have a healthy dose of omega fats, protein, fiber, iron, calcium, fiber and vitamin A. In the U.S., acai berries are not available as a whole fruit but as a frozen puree or powder (they are very perishable and can’t be shipped here in their berry form). They taste like a mix between chocolate and red wine and are very delicious. Acai is packed with even more powerful antioxidants than blueberries or pomegranates.
See this post for more info and my favorite acai recipe!
3. Goji Berries are a legendary Himalayan fruit that in some cultures believe is the secret to ‘eternal youth and beauty.’ These bright orange-red berries resemble skinny raisins (not as sweet) and come from a shrub found in China and Tibet. They are loaded with antioxidants and a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin A and C. They also contain 20 minerals and vitamins including zinc, iron, riboflavin (B2), calcium and beta-carotene. In addition to smoothies, I like adding them to hot oatmeal, granola, cookies, cereals, and salads. These little berries contain 15 times the iron found in spinach.
4. Raw Cacao is a beauty-boosting superfood (see more here)known to reduce stress, boost heart health and prevents cancer. Raw cacao is ideal because it is the most natural form of chocolate. It can be bought in powder form (like this), which is great for replacing cocoa in recipes, such as hot chocolate. Nibs (like this)can also be used, which are a great source of fiber and easily sprinkled over cereal, coconut ice cream, or blended into shakes.
5. Maca is a delicious Peruvian (or Bolivian) root. The maca root was prized throughout the Incan empire for its adaptogenic-like qualities that enable it to nourish and balance the body’s delicate endocrine system and to help cope with stress. It also energizes naturally, without the jitters and crashes of caffeine, and it can aid in reproductive function, helping to balance hormones and increase fertility(more on that here). Unique alkaloids found in maca, called Macainas, have been shown to nourish and support the endocrine system. Maca Powder is loaded with nutritious vitamins, minerals, amino acids and plant sterols, including vitamins B1, B2, B, C, D, E, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, selenium, phosphorous and calcium. It’s a fiber-rich food and a good source of plant protein (about ten percent).
I love the subtle sweetness this root gives smoothies when used in powder form (like this.)
6. Hemp Seeds They all come from the Cannibus plant…yes, the same plant that marijuana is from but not the THC part of the plant. So no worries about getting high on these products! Other nutrients include magnesium, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, iron, niacin and potassium. This protein rich smoothie add in boasts the ability to improve digestion, balance hormones and improve metabolism. You can use seeds, hearts, milk or even powder. I prefer using the seeds (like this) and blending them.
7. Camu Camu Berry is a tart vitamin C packed superfood and an ideal C supplement, as its readily absorbed. Also, many synthetic C brands are made with corn syrup from GMO corn . This smoothie add in boosts immunity, improves liver health, is an anti-aging, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory food that keeps the heart and gums healthy. It’s also said to help with chronic pain and macular degeneration.
We love a powder added to smoothies to mask the taste (like this.)
8. Spirulina & Chlorella are deep green powerful algae and a great source of beta-carotene. They contain an exceptionally powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is 550 times more effective than vitamin E, and has been shown to protect the skin against UV radiation. Chlorella is a great detoxifying super green which keeps breast milk clean. Spirulina is great for skin and keeping viruses at bay. Both prevent cancer, boost energy and may aid in weight loss.
We love using a clean blend that has been tested for metals (like this.)
9. Ceylon Cinnamon is truly a power spice. Just half a teaspoon daily can dramatically reduce blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes and help manage weight control. Cinnamon is also proven to reduce triglycerides, LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol, as well as ward off urinary tract infections. The cinnamon we buy in stores is usually called cassia and is not real cinnamon, which is called “Ceylon.” The two spices don’t come from the same plant, but they do both offer an anticoagulant (anti-blood clot) property. You can buy sticks and grind yourself or get a powder (like this.)
10. Soul Power is a unique superfood smoothie add in, designed especially for women, that contains ingredients needed to support hormones. It’s especially helpful for pain on your cycle because it contains organic coconut milk powder which is the perfect balance of essential fatty acids and saturated fat, the building blocks of healthy hormones. Electrolytes in coconut milk help replace fluids lost during your cycle, ease cramping, and restore energy levels. It also contains gelatin which is packed full of amino acids, which help to balance hormones, and, in turn, neurotransmitters (aka those little things that control your mood- later PMS!). The easily-assimilated protein is perfect for replacing nutrients lost during menstruation. It also contains molasses which is rich in minerals, especially iron, one of the main nutrients lost during your cycle. Molasses is a great assurance that you do not lack iron during your cycle and have issues by becoming anemic.
Get soul power => here
Is there a superfood smoothie add-in I left out? Please comment below and let me know what’s working for you!
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Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive montetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust. MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, or as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your advising physician before starting any treatment for a medical condition. Real Nutritious Living, LLC shall not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained on this site or for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any treatment, action, or application of any food or food source discussed in this site.