There has been a great deal of buzz around “superfoods” over the last few years. The term is often used to describe vitamin and mineral packed, antioxidant rich, health promoting foods, especially trendy, exotic, or popular foods.
But, the thing is, nearly all whole minimally processed fruit, vegetables, whole grains, herbs, spices, beans, peas, lentils, healthy oils and fats, nuts, seeds, and animal sources of protein are vitamin and mineral packed, antioxidant rich, and health promoting. Each whole, minimally processed food comes with its own unique set of benefits and nutrient composition.
The word “superfood” is not formally defined and no official criteria exist to deem one nutritious food more “super” than another.
As a general rule, the deeper and richer the color of a food, the more nutrients it contains. There ae clear exceptions to this rule, though. Cauliflower, garlic, onions, ginger, and even bananas are notable examples. All of which are relatively pale but definitely pack quite the punch in the nutrition department.
Your best bet for eating an uber healthy, nutrient filled diet is to eat a variety of colorful whole foods, herbs, and spices. Smoothies can be an easy and delicious way to do just that.
Below, you'll find five smoothie recipes, made with a cornucopia of nutrient-dense foods and beverages. The ingredients were chosen to provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbs, healthy fats, protein, and phytochemicals. These smoothies are well balanced, easy to make, and delicious.
Each recipe will make 1 serving. Drink alone or have along with scrambled eggs or sausage for a thoroughly satisfying breakfast. You can also add a scoop of your favorite protein powder if you'd like to up the protein content.
Made with root vegetables, high fiber fruit, and coconut milk, this sweet and spicy smoothie provides fiber for healthy digestion, slowly digesting carbohydrates for sustained energy, and phytochemicals to support detoxification, enhance blood circulation, and dampen inflammation.
The golden glow of this smoothie is generously provided by the carotenoids, including curcumin, of its colorful ingredients. These carotenoids offer a lot more than a beautiful hue, they also fight free radical damage and inflammation.
Sometimes white foods are unfairly labeled as less healthy than other more colorful foods. White sugar and white bread are certainly not the healthiest options, but not all white foods should be lumped in with them. This smoothie bowl is proof lighter colored foods can be just as full of wellness enhancing nutrients as the most vibrant leafy greens or the deepest blue blueberries. Enjoy this smoothie bowl warm or cold. Adjust the temperature by warming or cooling the almond milk and white tea before adding them to the blender.
The anthocyanins in the blueberries and purple cabbage will color your smoothie a gorgeous color and can protect against cancer, heart disease, and cognitive decline. You'll also get omega 3s, protein, and minerals from the chia seeds.
The quintessential green smoothie is without question the smoothie that started the whole smoothie craze. This one is perfectly balanced with fiber, slowly digesting carbs, protein, and fiber.
If you're looking for a way to give your smoothie even more of a nutrient boost, consider blending in the following add-ins for even more vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals:
By choosing a variety of colorful foods from different food groups you're sure to get in a wide variety of nutrients to optimize your health and wellness. Give these smoothie recipes a go to load your diet and body with a plethora of health promoting properties.
1. American Heart Association. (n.d.). What's so super about superfoods? Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Whats-so-super-about-superfoods_UCM_457937_Article.jsp#.WJEzjLYrKRs
2. Linus Pauling Institute. (2017, January 03). Carotenoids. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids
3.Linus Pauling Institute. (2017, January 03). Curcumin. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin
Amanda is a gym instructor and a diet and nutrition fanatic that has reviewed 100s of supplements for the benefit of consumers. She struggled with obesity 7 years ago and after losing more than 30lbs, dedicates most of her time in helping others achieve similar results and transform their lives.