During the TNT Summer Ready Challenge we’ve increased our green smoothie intake to help us achieve our fruit and vegetable servings on a daily basis. This month we’re adding Superfoods to supercharge our smoothies and give them a nice healthy boost. With all of the terms flying around in the fitness world “superfood” is probably one you hear tossed around quite frequently. But what exactly is a superfood and why should you be eating them let alone adding them to your smoothies.
Superfoods: are nutrient rich foods that considered to be beneficial for health and well being. They also can have some qualities that may help with certain medical conditions. To make it pretty simple… Superfoods are foods that are just really really good for you. Below is a list of the 11 best superfoods you should consider adding to your smoothies (not all at once of course… because that probably wouldn’t taste too good…)
11 Best Superfoods To Add To Your Smoothie
1. Chia Seeds: One of my absolute favorite superfoods right now. As a person who suffers with PCOS I’m always in constant search of a way to get my daily dose of Omega 3 (I don’t eat seafood) and Chia Seeds are that key! But thats not all Chia Seeds do for your body! Yes they are filled with Omega 3, but also provide a healthy dose of Calcium, and Fiber. Chia Seeds can some times be a bit pricy (especially at health food stores or grocery stores) but I find that the Trader Joes brand costs about 7 bucks for 5.5oz or you can go the Amazon route (which I did because Trader Joes was sold out) and got a 2lb bag for 15.oo bucks here. I sprinkle two tablespoons of the seeds into my smoothie (they are pretty much tasteless) and I’ve supercharged my breakfast.
2. Coconut oil: I use coconut oil for cooking and my hair but you can also put coconut oil int your smoothies. Coconut oil is a great source of fatty acids that can take a great beneficial toll on your health. These fatty acids are metabolized differently in the body and have been studied/shown they can have therapeutic effects on the brain ! Whoa!! That is one powerful oil. With an increase in energy you are also more inclined to burn more fat thus increasing weight loss. But one of my favorite things about Coconut oil is that it kills harmful fungi, bacteria and viruses. These powerful fatty acids not only get rid of the harmful viruses it also helps prevent them as well. Women with yeast infections have been known to take Coconut oil to get rid of the bacteria as well. I get my coconut oil from Trader Joes (everything…. I get everything there!)
3. Flax Seeds: are also great sources of Omega 3 as well as fiber. (which is why I don’t add it very much to my morning smoothies before work). Flax seeds may help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke. With all of those positives it is almost impossible to pass up. You can also find Flaxseeds at health food stores, supermarket (they are usually found in alot of new products like crackers, cookies…etc) and Trader Joes but of course!
4. Goji Berries : These berries can be found easily in super markets though I must admit I haven’t given them a try just yet. Goji berries are great immune system boosters as they are chalk filled with vitamin C and antioxidants. There are even rumored reports that Goji Berries can assist in treating poor circulation or those suffering with issues with their vision.
5. Hemp Protein/ Seeds: I first saw/ found hemp protein and hemp seeds at Trader Joes and it is not what you think. Though this superfood has a similar name to its cousin: marijuana, you do not get high from ingesting hemp protein. Hemp protein is a great source of amino acids, magnesium, potassium, and protein. It also possesses Omega 6 (which I don’t need much of) and Omega 3.
6. Avocado: I use avocado mostly for my pre-poo hair masks, however adding avocado to your smoothie can be extremely beneficial. I’m still a little weary but with all of these benefits I may give it a shot. Avocados possess healthy oleic acid which makes it a good fat. Avocados also help to “quiet” your hunger so you are less hungry, which tends to lead to weight loss. So eating fat, can actually help you lose that stubborn belly fat holding you back from having amazing abs. You shouldn’t use more than a half an avocado in your smoothie (start off small with a 1/4 of an avocado first). You will also get a punch of protein and fiber from adding the avocado to your smoothie as well.
7. Spirulina: Um… if you’ve been keeping up with me you know that I’ve fallen madly in love with spirulina and literally put that ish in/on everything! If you missed my love affair with spirulina and all of its amazing benefits click here. Spirulina is filled with antioxidants, protein, and amino acids. It assists in detoxing the body of toxins, and is an excellent source of iron for those who are anemic. I can’t get enough! I take the pill version from Trader Joes and have it in my green smoothies as well from the Trader Joes Very Green powder. It is a definite must have in your new superfood diet!
8. Cacao: Yum Yum Yum I love Cacao and you will too. Cacao helps to lower blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart and brain. Plus by adding the powdered form to your smoothies you get a nice little chocolatey flavor. Make sure to purchase Cacao in its most organic raw/ natural form to avoid the processed versions that strip the powder of all of its healthy antioxidants.
9. Acai: I’ve fallen more and more in love with Acai ever since I learned how to properly pronounce it (Ahh Sigh Eee), and it is good for you too! Acai comes in berry form so it is a great option for your smoothies. It is rather difficult for me to find in New York (if you know of a place New Yorkers please let me know) so I’ve had to order to powder form from Amazon here. Acai is known to help with weight loss, as well as fighting heart disease and cancer. What’s really special about Acai is it contains oleic acid which is the healthy fat that can also be found in Olive oil.
10. Maca: The Maca root was another superfood I looked into as a supplement for my PCOS. Though it wasn’t highly recommended or studied as a treatment for PCOS it has other benefits that piqued my interest and kept them as an option for boosting my smoothies. Maca helps to boost your energy, endurance and your sexual libido. Who can be mad at that right? I ordered Maca pills and just open the capsule and pour it into my smoothie. (though I’m considering ordering the powder next time) Maca is great to take before or after working out as it helps prevent muscle fatigue and boosts repair and regeneration.
11. Blueberries: I just started adding blueberries to my smoothies (and I’ve been juicing for over a year) because I’m not a huge fan of the berry. However they blend so well into my smoothies and provide anti aging properties, anti inflammatory properties, as well as loads of fiber at a low caloric value. How could I pass up adding that superfood into my smoothie. They are a bit pricy when they are not in season but I recently found a frozen berry mix from Trader Joes that includes them and only cost me about 3.00 bucks.