Are you looking for what are good foods to put in a smoothie? Then read on here for the top superfoods that make the best smoothie ingredients.
Smoothies are an easy, great, and yummy doorway to better health. These refreshing to-go beverages are fortified with veggies, fruits, and superfoods that provide you with your recommended daily needs of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and many more health benefits.
Though you can get them quickly at cafés, it’s cheaper to make them yourself at home. It is even more beneficial, too, because you have complete control of what nutrients you’re using. Plus, you can go creative by changing your smoothie combos every day!
Best Super Foods For Smoothies
You can try to make smoothies at least twice per week. You can begin with one or two frozen fruits such as berries, kiwi, peaches, mango, banana, melon, grapes, and/or pineapple. Also, add a cup of frozen greens such as spinach, lettuce, or pechay.
You can blend everything together with your favorite dairy-free milk (soya, oat, or almond). And you may sweeten it up by adding a scoop of peanut butter, cacao nibs, or honey.
Now comes the critical step of adding your choice of powerhouse superfood – experiment with a scoop of toasted, ground flax seeds, ground chia seeds, and/or moringa powder for maximum health benefits. And there you have, your nutrient-packed, fiber-filled smoothie. Try it; you will feel good after you finish your super healthy smoothie!
If you want to energize your smoothies and amp up your health in the easiest way possible, here’s a simple guide on a few popular superfoods that you can add to your smoothies and their respective health benefits!
Remember that these alone can’t improve your health and prevent diseases, but they can substantially contribute to your health as a supplement to a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
What are the healthiest things to put in a smoothie?
They’re admired in diet foods and drinks for several reasons. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, chia seeds are believed to be the richest plant-based source of omega 3-fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory nutrients that keep your heart, eyes, brain, and bones healthy and help reduce triglyceride levels and blood pressure.
Chia is also considered a “complete protein” because it has all nine essential amino acids that your body cannot make on its own. It’s also very high in soluble fiber (good for your gut) that helps prevent constipation and lower bad cholesterol, which gives chia that distinctly “slimy texture” when soaked in water. It makes for yummy chia puddings!
The fiber makes chia a good diet ingredient for weight loss and managing diabetes – they can help reduce bad cholesterol and improve digestion. Plus, they promote a more prolonged feeling of fullness so they can prevent blood sugar spikes after eating a meal.
In addition, chia seeds are also an excellent source of polyunsaturated fat, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Like its sibling chia seeds, flax seeds are a great source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, and a favorite heart-healthy, plant-based protein source of many vegans to help reduce LDL cholesterol. Just make sure not to eat them whole; enjoy them in toasted, ground form for easier digestion.
As per the British Heart Foundation, flax seeds are gaining popularity due to their anti-inflammatory properties and potential benefits of reducing risks of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Their laxative effect helps digestion and even alleviates menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis. They also offer relief from constipation.
If you are looking for a well-rounded seed with various nutrients, go for chia, but if you want a more considerable omega-3 boost and more protein, choose flax. Don’t worry; they won’t give any earthy taste to your smoothies!
This dark-green superfood powder is a powerhouse of antioxidants and health benefits. It’s full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Known to be a potent plant-based immunity booster and heart-health warrior, it’s rich in essential amino acids and fatty acids that are not made by your body.
The anti-inflammatory spirulina, obtained from blue-green algae, can help manage cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, improve anemia, and increase muscle strength and endurance. The Natural Library of Medicine Journal reported that spirulina supplements have found in some patients a “significant reduction” in blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol and an increase in good cholesterol (HDL).
Note: It has a potent, grassy flavor!
Moringa is another superfood that has a subtle taste. Rich in natural antioxidants, this superfood treats malnourishment because it offers almost everything your body requires to survive and even thrive.
This smoothie superfood ingredient contains highly digestible protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, and carotenoids. Besides being anti-inflammatory, moringa has anti-diabetic, antibacterial, and anti-hypertensive properties and can help lower cholesterol.
In some countries, moringa is used in lactation-stimulating pastries, milk, desserts, bread, and food for breastfeeding mothers who want to increase their milk production.
Due to its potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer properties, this bright-orange powder is traditionally used as a medicinal herb in many parts of Asia. Turmeric root contains an active, powerful compound called curcumin that decreases inflammation and plays a crucial role in preventing or even treating certain diseases.
It’s also used for pain relief – joint pain, arthritis, or swelling – (turmeric ointments & rubs are popular). Not only is it good for the liver, digestive, heart, respiratory, and immune health, but it’s good for the brain, too – it is believed to be helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s, improving memory, and even helping with symptoms of depression.
Tip: To maximize turmeric benefits, pair curcumin with piperine, a compound found in black pepper. Piperine is believed to help increase curcumin absorption by up to 2000%, improving this superfood’s bioavailability. Just add a pinch of ground black pepper to a spoonful of turmeric.
Berry good for your heart
Last but not least are berries! You can use all kinds of berries as the base for many delicious smoothies, and for a good reason – they’re versatile, sweet, tart, refreshing, and chock full of many health benefits. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries – all contain good amounts of vitamins C and K, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and prebiotics for a happy & healthy gut.
These anti-inflammatory fruits can also lower the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and heart attacks, as they’re rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins, which also help fight free radicals. Make sure to consume them in moderation because they also contain sugar.
Among all berries, although blueberries are the highest in sugar, they are best for immunity as they have phytonutrients, which work with other necessary nutrients to promote good health. While blackberries are the highest in antioxidants and fiber, cranberries are the lowest in sugar & help treat urinary tract infections. Black raspberries are also the most nutrient-dense of them all and have slight natural sugar.
And, don’t forget acai berries and goji berries!
You can also use other fruits, such as apple, banana, peach, mango, and pineapple.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”