Adding Superfoods to Smoothies
I love smoothies. Especially ones with superfoods added.
Smoothies are a refreshing way to get some really good nutrients, vitamins and minerals into our bodies.
Also, since there is no one true definition for smoothies, you can make them however you like. Some people add milk or other dairy products, while others use ice and water. Sweeteners may or may not be used. Fruits and/or vegetables of all types are in play. Simply put, it is up to you exactly how you make your smoothies.
If you have been following this website for long, you will know that I prefer adding almond milk and occasionally protein powder to my smoothies. In general, seniors do not eat enough protein or healthy fats. Both are essential for our heath.
I think almost everyone agrees that a smoothie is made for health purposes. People drink a smoothie rather than a soft drink or some other unhealthy beverage to try to change their health in a positive manner. Herbs and spices, nutritional and herbal supplements, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powder and seeds, nuts, milk and even tea are added to the ingredients of a smoothie with the sole purpose of giving yourself a natural health boost. Following that way of thinking, why not add “superfoods” to your next smoothie?
Nutritionists and health experts agree there are some amazing foods that can dramatically improve our overall mental and physical health and wellness levels. Many times they don’t even change the flavor of your favorite smoothie, or have very little taste impact. The next time you whip up a healthy smoothie, add some of the following 11 super foods to make your refreshing drink as healthy as possible.
Blueberries have to be my favorite superfood! They taste great, they are full of healthy fiber, they add a wonderful blue/purple hue to smoothies, and they decrease our risk of contracting heart disease. Eating blueberries regularly can lower unhealthy cholesterol levels and has been directly related to lower rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and early death, while promoting healthy, young looking hair and skin.
These yummy little berries deliver phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, manganese and vitamin K, all of which contribute to healthy bones. Additionally, zinc and iron are two minerals many people have insufficient levels of in their bodies, which are important for keeping your joints healthy. Because of the above-mentioned minerals, a regular consumption of blueberries decreases blood pressure naturally, helps diabetes sufferers manage their condition, prevents the development of cancer, improves mental health and promotes healthy digestion. If those are not enough good reasons to add blueberries to your next smoothie, try this one … they taste great!
I have got to get better at adding Chia seeds to my smoothies! My wife is great at adding them to her beverages. Chia seeds get healthy levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids into your body. As you probably know, omega-3 is are present in very high levels in fish. Not everyone likes to eat fish. This is a great to ensure you are getting omega-3 into your body if you don’t want to eat fish 3 to 4 times a week.
Chia seeds are also chock full of calcium and dietary fiber. This means they promote bone health and a strong digestive process that promotes healthy body weight maintenance. A tablespoon or two in your smoothie and a little extra time blending can deliver a lot of health benefits. By the way, Chia seeds are almost totally tasteless in a smoothie, so you don’t affect the flavor of your favorite recipe.
You may not find a better immune system booster than Goji berries. Chock full of healthy antioxidants and vitamin C, some studies show that Goji berries support healthy vision and circulation. These are incredibly tasty little berries as well. Goji berries deliver more than 20 minerals and vitamins that support head to toe health and well-being.
Goji berries have been a mainstay in Asian cultures for centuries, and deserve a place in your next smoothie. They are a mainstay in our house. Add some natural sweetness to a refreshing beverage with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Goji berries.
Acai is present in nature as a berry, but you can find Acai berry powder if you look around. As always, it is recommended that you choose natural, organic Acai berries rather than processed powders, unless you ensure your powder doesn’t contain unhealthy ingredients. If you can’t find it in your local area, it is available online through retail outlets like Amazon.
It’s predominant claim to fame in natural health food circles is its dramatic ability to aid in weight loss and a healthy weight maintenance. However, Acai berries also pack plenty of free radical killing antioxidants that promote heart health and fight cancer.
Spirulina is a micro algae that grows naturally in fresh, warm water lakes. Actually, it’s blue-green color is what gives some fresh water a greenish tent. It can be purchased in a powder form that works great in smoothies.
Rather than reaching for a protein powder supplement, why not choose natural spirulina instead? You get protein, amino acids and antioxidants your body craves, you promote the detoxing of dangerous toxins and poisons from your body, and you also benefit from an excellent source of iron. Spirulina is between 55 and 70% protein, a higher level than chicken, beef or soybeans. Add 18 essential and nonessential amino acids and more than a dozen other minerals, vitamins and nutrients, and you see why you should probably start adding spirulina to your next smoothie today.
Choose either hemp seeds or hemp powder and you receive 50% more protein and dramatically higher levels of dietary fiber than if you use a soy-based protein powder. There is some research which shows that soy may not be the best food to put into your body, and hemp protein allows for a healthy substitute. I, for one, have stopped eating soy based foods. Sorry tofu!
Athletes constantly eat hemp seeds and use hemp powder in their smoothies and beverages because of its ability to quickly repair muscles. Add 1 to 4 tablespoons of hemp powder for a huge dose of protein, but just remember that the more hemp product you use, the stronger the taste.
Coconut oil is so unbelievably healthy that it definitely qualifies as a superfood. Adding just 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to your daily diet means stronger, healthier, younger looking skin, hair and nails. When you cook with coconut oil (we made the switch from vegetables oils), you enjoy the highest flash point of any healthy oil. This means that unhealthy oxidation does not occur in your body, which is what happens when commonly using other oils to fry, sauté and bake. You can rub coconut oil into your hair for a shiny glow, apply to your skin for multiple health benefits, and coconut oil helps you lose weight by aiding your body in the way it metabolizes fat.
You can also plop some into your next smoothie.
If you are making a 16 to 32 ounce smoothie, a tablespoon or two of coconut oil will go unnoticed. It will not affect the taste of your smoothie, and studies show coconut oil supports healthy mental functions. You also experience an increase in natural energy, while this wonderful oil goes to work killing harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses in your body.
While bone broth is usually consumed as a warm soup, it makes perfect sense in a smoothie. Especially if you are adding a lot of fiber or more dense vegetables or fruits, this can help add much needed liquid to your drink. The gelatin and collagen in bone broth can fill important holes in your diet. Collagen improves the strength and health of your nails, skin and hair, and gelatin is full of marvelous anti-inflammatory properties that keep your digestive process working properly.
That way you may not need collagen supplements.
You can notice real benefits to the appearance and health of your skin, hair and nails in as little as 5 to 7 days if you add 1 cup of organic bone broth to your diet daily, and you can easily do this by adding it to your smoothies.
Along with blueberries, avocados have long been considered a superfood and a healthy, good fat. If you are looking to thicken up a smoothie, a healthy avocado is perfect for the job. You get more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals, healthy fats and protein, and healthier, younger looking skin. Avocado is also good at making you feel full longer, which means you may eat fewer calories throughout the day, leading to weight loss.
Eggs are known by many nutritionists as having “perfect” protein. As recently as the 1970s and 1980s, it was thought that eating too many eggs could lead to serious cholesterol problems. We now know this was based on faulty research, and since eggs deliver virtually no carbohydrates and very few calories for all the wonderful nutrients they deliver, they deserve a place in your diet.
The 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines have removed the recommendation to limit cholesterol consumption to 300 milligrams (mg) per day. Now “cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for over consumption.”
However, not everyone likes to eat eggs scrambled, fried or boiled, the traditional means of preparing eggs. A simple solution is to add 1 or 2 eggs to your smoothie, because they are such a good healthy-protein source. This means you don’t have to turn to protein powder that may have negative side-effects and unhealthy processed chemicals and other materials that are not good for you.
As an aside, I like fried eggs. Now I cook them in coconut oil! Double superfood credits for me!!
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. This could be because apples are full of healthy dietary fiber and natural sweetness that keeps you from snacking on unhealthy sugar-filled snacks and sweets. Apples are also packed full of healthy antioxidants that fight free radicals, chemicals that lead to increased risk of contracting cancer. There are a lot of good reasons to add some apple (peeled) to your next smoothie recipe.
Bonus Smoothie Health Tip
Whether you make your own smoothies or buy them at the retail level, remember this. Too many fruits can cause an overabundance of sugar, which leads to health concerns. You also want to ask a lot of questions if you are not preparing your own smoothies. There could be unhealthy protein powders, sugar, syrup, dairy products or nutritional supplements involved in making your smoothie that don’t agree with you, or could lead to health problems.
Personally, I never buy a commercially made smoothie. I like to know what goes into what I eat and drink.
When you make your own smoothies at home, you control every step of the process. That means you can use only the healthiest ingredients, including the 11 superfoods above that guarantee a natural health boost that improves your wellness from head to toe.
If you have comments, any questions or wish to share your favorite superfood experience, please share by leaving a comment below. Thanks!