The term “superfood” refers to nutritionally-rich foods that are beneficial to one’s health and well-being. Some superfoods (such as goji berries, tomatoes or acai berries) are also known for their high levels of antioxidants.
Here are some of the benefits of superfoods:
- They boost the energy and immune system
- They aid good digestion
- They help in reducing inflammation
- They help in lowering cholesterol
- They even help in slowing down the aging process
- They help in lowering the risk of heart disease
- They help in fighting cancer cells
It’s a little wonder that superfoods are revered by health buffs who incorporate them in many meals and beverages, including smoothies. Smoothies are a quick, yummy, refreshing and effortless way to get these precious nutrients for your body. Smoothies are also ideal meals to “hide” nutritious fruits and (especially) vegetables that are otherwise disagreeable to the palate. Green smoothies in particular are a more popular and easier way to consume raw vegetables. Whether you’re having them for breakfast or for your post-workout snack, smoothies can be enjoyed any time of the day.
There are several superfoods that make for perfect healthy smoothie ingredients. Use only the best blenders in the market to get the consistency of a smoothie that you desire. Here are just few of the superfoods that you can add to a smoothie:
Like many other superfoods, chia seeds are an ancient food. They were first cultivated by the Aztecs who made them as their staple food alongside maize. These tiny seeds are indeed huge in nutrients which are good for your head and heart. Chia seeds are high in omega fatty acids which help in building the cell membrane, promote the formation and growth of new brain cells as well as help in reducing inflammation in the brain. These seeds are also a toughie in preventing high cholesterol and heart disease, as they contain high levels of fiber.
And that’s not all! Chia seeds also boast a wide array of nutrients that include protein, amino acids, iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. Add up to two or three tablespoons of chia seeds to your smoothie and you will get a boost of health benefits!
Pronounced as “ah-SIGH” or “ah-SIGH-ee,” the açaí berry is native in the Amazon forests. These fruits are actually drupes from a palm tree named acai palm. Açaí berries have been trending in health foods circles lately, but actually the fruits have been heralded for its amazing health benefits throughout the centuries.
Açaí berries have been known for their ability to boost the immune system and for their healing properties. They are low on calories but high on fiber, vitamins and minerals and amino acids which are needed to keep a healthy body.
Açaí berries do wonders to your heart. They contain monosaturated fats (aka “good fats”) and a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins. These properties can help in reducing the bad cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, therefore lowering the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
These amazing berries also aid in good digestion and weight loss, and help in fighting cancer cells while promoting healthy cells in our body.
The best way to prepare açaí berries for smoothies is by freezing them until they are hard and icy enough – perfect to go in the blender! You can mix açaí berries with other frozen fruits like bananas, strawberries and raspberries for added natural sweetness. Raw cacao powder can also be added for richness and depth of flavor.
These beans are chiefly known as the basis for chocolate, which is loved by millions around the world. However – perhaps for the exception of dark chocolates – most chocolate products are not considered as superfoods as they are processed foods with most of their inherent nutrients having been eliminated.
Raw cacao beans, on the other hand, have undergone minimal process and thus you’ll be able to get most of the nutrients. Research shows that raw cacao beans are rich in flavonoids, a type of antioxidant which helps in lowering blood pressure, increases blood flow, and reduces the bad cholesterol in the blood. Yes, cacao beans are definitely good for the heart!
Unlike milk chocolate which is loaded with sugars and preservatives which can cause diabetes, raw cacao beans are bitter, plus they also help in maintaining your blood sugar levels.
Raw cacao mostly comes in powdered form which makes it perfect as a healthy smoothie ingredient. When making a raw cacao smoothie, other ingredients such as raw almond butter and frozen ripe bananas (as a natural sweetener) are used. Top the smoothie with chia seeds for that extra boost in flavor and nutrients.
Rounding up our smoothie superfoods list are goji berries, which are native to China. Also known as wolfberries, goji berries have played a substantial part of Chinese traditional medicine for many centuries, and have been incorporated in Chinese herbal soups and tonics.
Only in recent years the Western world has caught wind of the reputed health benefits of goji berries. This has led to the vast cultivation of goji berries especially in the US and Canada, in order to meet potential demands for these fruits as well as the products derived from them. Majority of the goji berries cultivated in Western countries is still imported from China.
There are two varieties of goji berries: the Lycium chinense which is mostly grown in southern China, and the Lycium barbarum which is more common in the northern part of the country.
Various independent research bodies have shown that goji berries are a good source of vitamin A and C, fiber, iron, zinc, beta-carotene and antioxidants. They are known for boosting the immune system, improving the eyesight, aiding in weight loss, regulating sugar levels in the blood and maintaining healthy brain and liver. It is also reputed to have anti-aging and even aphrodisiac properties.
Goji berries are sweet with a hint of tartness. They can be paired with other smoothie ingredients like bananas, cacao, watermelon, orange, matcha (green tea) powder, and leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach.
Whether you will buy the regular countertop blender, immersion blender or the smoothie blender, make sure to buy only the quality top blenders. Not only they are worth your money, they will even make preparing smoothies a lot faster, more efficient and even more fun. Customer blender reviews are always a fail-safe source in getting the best blender you could ever find to make the perfect superfood smoothie.