Seven superfoods to boost your smoothies
We have already explained how smoothies can be great for breakfast, given how simple and quick they are to make, and the wide variety of healthy and tasty combinations to choose from. Now we present seven superfoods that can help you boost the health properties of your smoothies – and in many cases, their flavour as well.
Breakfast is usually the meal that we pay the least attention to, even though it may be the most important one. Smoothies can be a great option for those who don't have much time in the morning, as they assure us a healthy, quick and easy breakfast.
Turmeric is a plant grown mainly in Asia, where its root is often used for cooking. In fact, it’s what gives curry its yellowy-orange colour. Its many benefits include a high level of curcumin, probably nature’s most potent anti-inflammatory. Among many other properties, turmeric is an antioxidant and antibiotic, improves blood sugar levels, and helps digestion.
Maca is a plant native to the Andes, where its root has been used for centuries. Just one spoonful a day provides you with all its benefits, which include regulating the endocrine system, improving memory and brain function, increasing libido, and boosting strength and resistance, thus enhancing sports performance.
Chia is a plant native to Central America, where its seeds have been consumed since the time of the Mayas. Although they are mainly known for their high content in Omega 3 fatty acids, in fact they have many other properties. For example, they contain more fibre than oats, more potassium than bananas, more iron than spinach, more antioxidants than blueberries, and more calcium than milk.
Hemp is a plant whose origin can be traced back to China about eight thousand years ago. It has been grown in Spain for centuries, above all to make textiles, due to its high fibre content. However, people have recently become increasingly aware of the high nutritional properties of its seeds. As in the case of chia seeds, hemp seeds contain high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. They are also one of the best sources of vegetable protein, both in terms of quantity (about 30g per 100g of seeds) and quality (they contain the body’s nine essential amino acids).
Spirulina is a blue-green microalga found worldwide and consumed as a food source as far back as the Aztecs. Among its many properties are a high content of chlorophyll, proteins, essential fatty acids, iron, vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and beta carotene (very important for the health of your eyes). It has a particularly high vitamin B-12 content, which is essential for the immune system and often missing from a vegan diet. In fact, it could be called nature’s own multivitamin.
Although well known as a spice that adds flavour to food, what many people don’t know is that in China it has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes, thanks to its great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. And if that’s not enough, among its most important components is Cinnamtannin B1, which helps lower blood glucose levels.
Stevia is a plant native to Paraguay whose consumption as a sweetener goes back hundreds of years (it is almost 300 times sweeter than sugar). Like other alternative sweeteners, it has no calories. However, being natural, it has no side effects and does not lead to tooth decay. It also has an alkaline effect in the body (unlike sugar and chemical sweeteners, which produce a highly acidic effect).
These are just seven ways of enhancing your smoothies, but there are many more, such as chlorella, moringa, acai, goji berries and cocoa. While all of them can have very positive effects on our health, remember that they are not miracle cures. At the end of the day, the key to good health will always be exercise and a varied diet based on unprocessed foods.