As cliche and over-used as the term superfood has become, I must say, I really do love my superfoods. They take an already nutrient heavy, body loving glass a green smoothie from great to greater, and the difference is noticeable.
But, not all green smoothies are good for you, even if you add in a superfood. The key to a great smoothie isn't just making it taste good, it has to make you feel good by stabilizing your blood sugar AND fueling your cells.
So, before we add in superfoods, let's make awesome smoothies.
5 superfoods I use on a regular basis and why
This one is the most "different" or interesting, and it has a pretty strong flavor - a little goes a long way. Spirulina is a blue-green algae and a crazy potent nutrient source. Such a simple way to get even more nutrients into your body. I add this in the Breakfast Blend Smoothie (recipe in the smoothie guide) - you can't even taste it! (This is my one exception of eating a food I don't love the taste of). It's worth it, because it seriously ups your nutrition game. The benefits are too many to list, so here are the top ones that make me want to consume it.
- Chok full of chlorella, which is what absorbs energy from the sun in order to facilitate photosynthesis in plants - potent energy from the sun? Yes please.
- Has more protein per gram than beef.
- 4 times the antioxidant ability of blueberries.
- Bio-available source of iron.
I love adding chia seeds to my smoothies (and to Ruby's oatmeal), because they are packed full of nutrients, specifically healthy fats. I can tell I feel full longer - and seriously more hydrated, when I add chia seeds to my smoothie.
- Great balance of omega3 to omega 6 ratio
- Awesome at absorbing water, which helps our bodies stay more hydrated. They absorb up to 10 times their weight in water!
Hemp seeds are exactly that - the seeds of hemp plants. You can find them at most grocery stores now, so no excuses! ;) I use these daily in my morning smoothie and it keeps my energy up, stomach quiet, and brain focused all morning long.
- Hemp seeds are a complete protein - they contain all the essential amino acids. Protein is crucial in smoothies, especially when you make them for breakfast. It is what will keep you satiated and focused, and it will help with the building and repair of cells and muscles that your body worked on all through the night. Protein is a must.
- Abundant in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the ideal ratio.
- Great source of magnesium, which most American's don't get enough of. Magnesium is used in over 300 reactions in the body, promotes restful sleep, is good for muscle strength, important for normal blood pressure and bone health, and is really hard to get enough of from food alone.
Cacao is raw chocolate - the purest form of chocolate you can consume. It is what is used to make cocoa and all chocolate products. When you consume raw cacao - typically in powder form, you get an amazing supply of antioxidants and nutrients that are not found in typical chocolate. I love making cacao smoothies (recipe in the Smoothie Guide), on mornings that I need a lift or on days I just need a treat (that's seriously good for me). I find it energizing and mood boosting. :)
- 4 times the antioxidant power of dark chocolate.
- May raise serotonin levels, which is why it gives you a mood boost.
- High in magnesium, which combats fatigue and protects against osteoporosis
Calling coconut oil a superfood might be a bit of a stretch, but I experience super things when I consume it. :) I love adding a scoop to my smoothies to for that extra boost of long lasting energy.
- Improves digestion
- Reduces hunger
- Improves brain function
And, last but not least, here is a Green Smoothie Guide with 5 awesome recipes that use these superfoods, that I blend on a regular basis.