Every time we find ourselves in a health food store or juice bar, it seems as if there is a new superfood claiming to be the latest and greatest supplement. With so many items being named “superfoods” it is hard to keep track of all of them and their health benefits. With that in mind, here’s a cheat-sheet of functional foods that you can incorporate into your smoothie without affecting flavor.
Acai: This deep purple superfood is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and is packed with essential fatty acids. These properties help in supporting a healthy immune response, reducing inflammation and fatigue, slowing down aging, and improving cognitive functioning. The super-fruit is also low-glycemic and high in fiber. It controls blood-sugar levels and keeps your appetite at bay.
Bee Pollen: Bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most complete and nourishing foods, as it fulfills just about all nutrient requirements of humans. This balanced whole food is higher in protein and has a higher concentration of amino acids than all other animal sources. Bee pollen also improves energy levels, is helpful in treating allergies, and aids in digestion.
- You can include bee pollen in your diet by blending a tablespoon into your smoothie, or using it as a crunchy topping.
Cacao (nib): Cacao is the more nutrient-dense and less processed version of cocoa and has more of a bitter taste, since there are no sugars added. Cacao is high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, especially magnesium and flavonoids. These features are what makes cacao effective in improving mood and heart function, as well as lowering cholesterol and inflammation.
Camu Camu: Camu Camu are large sour berries that are very high in antioxidants and considered one of the top natural sources of Vitamin C. They actually contain up to 60x more vitamin C than an orange! In addition to vitamin C, this berry is rich in manganese which supports bone health and combats diabetes, and also is high in carotenoids-antioxidants that improve mental and physical health. Camu Camu is often referred to as immunity on a tree.
- You can add Camu Camu into your diet by blending 1 teaspoon into a fruity smoothie.
Collagen Protein: Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies and is a basic building block for skin, hair, nails, bones, and joints. Collagen proteins also help repair the lining of the stomach and heal leaky-gut syndrome. Collagen comes with a long list of benefits including glowing skin, joint health, increased athletic performance, improved digestion, and high-quality sleep.
- You can incorporate collagen by blending 2 tablespoons into a smoothie for extra protein and a creamier taste. Vital Proteins Collagen comes in a variety of flavors, specific to both benefits and taste.
Goji Berry: Goji berries provide high quantities of nutrients and antioxidants per serving, which help strengthen the immune system and fight off cancer cells. They are also a great source of natural energy and are an effective mood-booster.
Grain-Free Granola: Every ingredient in our chef-crafted granola has a purpose: to invigorate you. Our grain-free granola consists of nuts and seeds slow-roasted to perfection in coconut oil. No refined sugar, no extra fluff. Just the good stuff, with nature’s most delicious flavors.
Hemp Seeds: Hemp hearts are nutritious seeds rich in essential fatty acids and fiber, and they’re considered a complete protein. These seeds have a mild, nutty flavor, are easily digested, and are a great source of energy. Hemp hearts offer a variety of health benefits ranging from increased energy levels and helping recover from disease and injury. Hemp is also effective in reducing inflammation and fatigue and boosting the immune system.
- You can incorporate hemp seeds into your diet by blending a couple tablespoons into your smoothies or using them as a topping.
Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses when it comes to vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate (B9), and are rich in minerals like calcium and iron.
- Blending 1-2 cups of leafy greens into your smoothie is a great way to add nutrients to your diet without sacrificing taste.
MCT Oil: MCT’s are the healthy fat your balanced diet needs. MCT’s are medium chain triglycerides that are associated with numerous health benefits and can be found in coconut or palm kernel oils. They’re easily digested and used by the body as fuel, whereas longer triglycerides are harder to digest and therefore stored as body fat. This superfood supports hormonal balance and promotes healthy gut bacteria.
- MCT Oil is a great add in for smoothies as well as elevated coffee.
Maca Powder: Maca is an adaptogenic superfood root that is known for balancing hormones, energy levels, and boosting mood. Maca is incredibly nutrient dense and is a great source of phytonutrients. Some of its health benefits include alleviating PMS, decreasing symptoms of PCOS, and helping to promote fertility. Maca is also a good source of stable energy and has no crash period like caffeine does.
- You can incorporate maca into your diet by adding maca powder in your smoothie for an energy boost.
Matcha: Matcha is finely ground green tea leaves that are rich in antioxidants and anti-carcinogenic compounds. Drinking green tea in its whole form is more beneficial than loose leaf tea because it allows additional antioxidants to transfer from the leaves into the drink. It would take around 10 cups of green tea to equal the antioxidant and caffeine levels of 1 cup of matcha.
Spirulina: Spirulina is a high protein, freshwater algae superfood that’s known for its bold, grassy flavor and impressive nutritional profile. It’s high in iron, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals. Spirulina promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria, detoxifies the body from heavy metals, reduces inflammation and cholesterol levels, and boosts energy.
The benefits of these superfoods are real, but they tend to get lost with over-promotion in social media. With a basic understanding of the superfoods on this reference guide, you can finally create a smoothie that satisfies your cravings and meets your body’s needs. If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to make your own smoothie at home, stop by the Kitchfix Storefront in the Gold Coast for a healthy and energizing boost. Kitchfix is also available on Postmates and UberEats, so you can get your superfood boost delivered right to you!