Smoothies have been around forever. Who doesn’t have fond memories of sipping a classic strawberry banana smoothie on a hot summer’s day?
Smoothies have long been the “lady in waiting” in the natural foods community, and in the last decade they have rightfully been elevated to QUEEN.
That’s right, we’re in a new era of queen bee smoothie status. We’re keeping it real. No longer are we sucking down sugary smoothies that “seem” healthy because they’re made of fruit. We’re putting in real nutrients that power the brain, protect the heart, and help slow aging.
So whether you put acai in your smoothies or berries, kale or kiwi, here’s a short list of some of my nutritional powerhouse go-to’s. Because if you’re going to make a smoothie, might as well make it count.
Chia Powder or Seeds
What are Chia seeds good for? Endurance. Strength. Hormone production. Just about everything! Chia seeds promote healthy skin, help reduce signs of aging, pack serious fiber for digestive health, and help build stronger muscles and bones.
Chia seeds are especially good for BRAIN HEALTH. They’re packed with omega fatty acids that increase healthy brain function. They help you produce serotonin, our feel-good regulator, which curbs depression, regulates anxiety, and improves sleep.
They’re good for your HEART! They fight high cholesterol and lower your chance for heart disease. They’re chock full of protein, fiber, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron, calcium, and antioxidants. No doubt, chia is on the dream team.
FUN FACT: “Chia” is the Mayan word for “strength”. For centuries, Native American Peoples have used chia seeds as a nutritional staple. Long known for their high nutritional value and ability to provide sustainable energy, these little seeds could sustain Aztec warriors through long battles and hunting expeditions. Native Americans ran from the Colorado River to the Pacific Ocean to trade turquoise for shells, carrying only a pouch of chia seed for nourishment.
Malty, nutty Maca is a cruciferous vegetable native to the Andes Mountains of Peru. It’s a great stress regulator. It helps you perform better by boosting memory, cognitive function, and your ability to learn so you can kick ass in life.
Maca is also about to become your best friend. Ready for this? It helps boost libido AND relieves symptoms of menopause. No more hot flashes and interrupted sleep?! You maca me dance with joy!
Hemp Seeds (AKA Hemp Hearts)
If you need some help in the digestion compartment, hemp is a great way to pack in digestible protein and fiber. Rich in essential fatty acids, omega-6s and omega-3s, Hemp also contains Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), which helps build the necessary hormone-like chemicals that smooth muscles, control inflammation, and regulate body temperature.
PRO TIP: Pop some Hemp in your smoothies after a good workout or a walk. It’ll help repair your muscles so you’re not sore tomorrow! Hemp is a friend to the salads as well. Sprinkle hemp seeds on your salads for a mild, nutty taste, and a pack of protein.
Another superfood from Peru, when it comes to Lucuma, a little bit goes a long way. Locals of Peru call it the “Gold of Incas” and celebrate it as a symbol of fertility, and for good reason. It’s abundant in vitamins, minerals, and protein. It brings powerful skin health benefits, helps balance blood sugar levels, is chock-full of iron, and boasts amazing heart health benefits.
I love Lucuma because it helps prevent and slow signs of aging!
Last but not least, coconut butter has been called the peanut butter of the tropics. You have my attention.
Coconut butter is made from coconut flesh that’s been ground into a spreadable paste. It contains 10 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, but it boats nutrients that coconut OIL can’t, such as fiber. It’s also full of protein, potassium, magnesium, and iron. All stuff you want in your smoothie.
So SERIOUSLY, hit up a natural foods store and snag yourself one of these amazing superfoods. Our smoothies have all grown up.