10 Superfoods for Your Summer Smoothie
Are you, family, or friends striving to make improvements to diets? Changing up the foods we consume may not only boost energy, but can also address emerging health conditions. Guess what cool icy treat might help? Smoothies are now quite the rage, and they can be a yummy and natural way to enjoy superfoods and their related vitamins and nutrients needed for optimal health. Know what superfoods to choose in order to maximize the nutritional power of your next smoothie? Let’s dive in and see how each ingredient can help your overall health.
Chia seeds – High in fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, this tiny seed can help support weight loss goals. (And believe it or not, you can work it into all kinds of foods with barely any difference to texture or taste.) Other benefits include a reduction in inflammation, improvement in digestion, and more energy.
Unsweetened Greek Yogurt – Get a healthy dose of protein and probiotics to improve the immune system and support digestion. Pair with fruit or a natural sweetener in a smoothie.
Flaxseeds – High in fatty acids and fiber, these small seeds support brain function, immune system health, cardiovascular function and more. A teaspoon helps eliminate toxins and sustain that feeling of fullness. Incorporate flaxseeds in your everyday meals by adding a cup of flaxseeds to your muffin mix, sprinkle a few tablespoons of ground flax on your yogurt, or try coating your chicken dishes with ground flaxseeds.
Almond butter – Almond butter offers a decent dose of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium and potassium, many of the building blocks needed for good health. And guess what? It’s delicious, too! Many flavors available (as long as they’re natural) mean there’s something to suit nearly every palate and keep you fortified. Pair a tablespoon of almond butter with raw cacao if you’d like to try a little nutty, cocoa flavoring! (Note: many commercial candy products are in agreement that this flavor combo is pretty agreeable… here’s a healthy alternative if you’d like to switch it up!).
Kale – Yep, we’ve heard of it, too. But this veggie has more antioxidants than most other produce, so it’s important not to leave it out. Since it’s a great source or iron, calcium and fiber, pair it with a citrus fruit or juice for improved iron absorption. Ever heard of kale chips? Do a quick search for recipes — they can serve as a satisfying, crispy substitute for potato chips (it’s all about the seasoning!) and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Cocoa powder – Cocoa powder which uses raw cacao and contains flavonoids is a superfood that may help to lower bad cholesterol levels, increase blood sugar and improve brain function and mood. Raw cacao will need a natural sweetener (like honey) to offset the bitter flavor.
Coconut oil – Even though it may be high in saturated fats, this oil has been shown to help with weight loss, lower bad cholesterol and even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Add a tablespoon to a smoothie to help reap these benefits. Bonus: coconut oil has many beauty uses as well (deep conditioning treatment for dry hair, face moisturizer to reduce premature signs of aging, as a skin moisturizer or as a natural deodorant.)
Spirulina – You may have seen this one at the smoothie or juice bar — but what is it? Spirulina is a type of algae and has been harvested from the time of the Aztecs (that’s about 500 years!). It can help relieve allergy symptoms, improve immune system function and may help remove heavy metals like mercury, cadmium and lead from the body. Use in a smoothie paired with strong flavors for the best results.
Honey – Honey contains both antibacterial properties and antioxidants. Plus, it’s been known to help address seasonal allergies when it’s produced within your local area. Add it to a smoothie for some natural sweetness, or just take a spoonful of local honey each day to see if it helps inoculate you against seasonal irritants.
Acai berries – A native fruit in the Amazon region, theses berries have the highest level of antioxidants of all known foods. They may help lower cholesterol, kill cancer cells and prevent atherosclerosis. Add to raw cacao and other fruits in a smoothie for an antioxidant boost!
These smoothies are not only great for you but also taste delicious! If you love these smoothie supplements, consider these other health trends to adopt during summer and throughout the year.