How can we take our smoothies to the next level? Try including at least one of these superfood ingredients.
Many of us start our day with a tasty fruit and veggie-rich smoothie in the morning. They’re fast, they’re portable, and they’re an excellent way to take in a ton of vitamins and minerals. A nutritious smoothie may in fact be the key to setting you up for dietary success throughout the day.
So now that you’ve got a good smoothie routine, you might wonder how you can take your smoothie to the next level. Try including at least one of these specialized ingredients, taking the regular smoothie from healthy to superfood status in a matter of seconds.
Native to Peru and other South American regions, this berry is available at your local natural health food store in juice, capsule, or powder form. Camu camu is extremely high in vitamin C—up to 50 times more than oranges, in fact. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect cells from damaging free radicals. Camu camu juice itself has been shown to have antioxidant effects in early animal studies; however, further research is needed to fully understand camu camu’s benefits.
Not to be confused with airborne pollen that often induces allergic reactions in many people, bee pollen is actually a variety of different pollens collected by bees and stored in their hives. Available at natural health retailers, bee pollen is a great addition to your morning smoothie, as it is high in vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy carbs, fatty acids, and antioxidants. Those supplementing with bee pollen have reported allergy relief, improved stamina, and appetite suppression, among other things.
Made from ground young green tea leaves, matcha proves that good things come in small packages. Matcha contains an incredibly high concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a catechin and potent antioxidant that may promote weight loss, regulate the immune system, and help with acne. Matcha also tastes delicious, adding a rich, earthy flavour to smoothies.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t like chocolate. However, chocolate itself isn’t exactly a health food. That said, the origin of chocolate, the cacao bean, is a health food—so get it in your smoothie, pronto! Boasting high amounts of antioxidants, polyphenols, healthy fats, and minerals, plus its flavonoids that may protect against cardiovascular disease, cacao is the ultimate superfood.
Packed with protein, healthy omega-3s and -6s, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and a variety of nutrients, hempseeds (or hemp hearts, as some call them) are an excellent addition to your smoothie. Athletes especially may benefit from adding hempseeds to their shakes, as hemp may speed up muscle recovery, maintain bone health, and tame inflammation. The benefits of hemp can also be found in hemp protein powder, hemp butter, hemp oil, and hemp milk.
Want to switch up your regular smoothie? Try one of these delicious blends.