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8 Superfoods to Add to Your Smoothie

May 14, 2013

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It’s that time of the year again. The days are longer, the weather is heating up, and you’re craving the most satisfying of summer beverages: smoothies. These blended drinks have numerous benefits: they’re quick and easy, they can pack an incredible nutritional punch, and they’re endlessly customizable.

Best of all, smoothies give you the chance to easily try many different nourishing ingredients – sometimes all at once. We rounded up a list of our favorite superfoods that are perfect for smoothies and encourage you to try them this summer season.

Chia seeds: You may first have heard of chia seeds during the Chia Pet craze of the 1980s. They are actually an ancient Aztec superfood packed with calcium, fiber, protein, phosphorous, manganese, and omega-3 fatty acids. They lend an instant creamy thickness to any smoothie.

Bee Pollen: Fans of bee pollen call it one of nature’s best-kept secrets. Pollen is an excellent source of easily digestible protein as well as the antioxidants lycopene, selenium, and beta-carotene. Many herbalists believe that bee pollen improves allergies and asthma.

Spirulina: This type of blue-green algae is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Initial research suggests that the health benefits of spirulina are vast: it is a powerful anti-histamine and may boost the growth of probiotics, fight disease, and reduce allergies.

Cacao: Great news for chocolate lovers: cacao contains up to 10% of its weight in flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that significantly lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Enjoy a scoop of raw cacao in your smoothie for a decadent and nourishing chocolate-y treat.

Kale: The health benefits of kale cannot be overstated. In addition to being extremely high in many vitamins and minerals, kale contains unique chemical compounds that boost DNA repair in cells and appear to block the growth of cancer cells.

Hemp seeds: The amino acid profile of hemp seeds is close to complete, making them a superior protein source. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid. Blend a spoonful of hemp seeds into your favorite smoothie for an extra nutritional kick.

Maca: A root typically consumed in powdered form, maca has long been touted as an aphrodisiac and is believed to enhance energy and improve fertility. Small-scale clinical trials in men have suggested that maca can indeed improve semen quality and boost libido.

Blueberries: In addition to being delicious, blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit. Research shows that blueberries are potent anti-inflammatories and aid in everything from blood pressure regulation to improving memory in older adults.

Want some delicious smoothie recipes to blend these superfoods into? Check out our new Summer Wellness Tune-Up guide for tips, recipes, and natural remedies to kick off your ultimate summer of wellness. Get your Summer Wellness Tune-Up guide now!

Which is your favorite superfood?