Not only can you use everyday fruits and vegetables to make you smoothies healthy, tasty and nutritious. You may use unique super foods to boost the benefits of your smoothies. Once you learn about them and their benefits, you’ll be sure to seek and purchase them. There are many super herbs for smoothies which can help your body get in optimal health and wellness. I have shared with you in an earlier post some of the best vegetables for smoothies, the vegetables listed are also very nutrient dense and does a lot to help your body perform at its best. The herbs to be mentioned in this article are less common and you may not come across then on a regular basis while shopping for groceries. These super herbs contain higher levels of nutrients than many other foods and are seen as super foods. I will be sharing with you some of most known super herbs which I have also used to make delicious, nutritious and filling smoothies.
Aloe Vera is popularly grown in tropical regions and has soothing, moisturizing and calming properties. Most Aloe Vera plants you’ll see have a bright green color, while others will be green-grey in color. Aloe Vera has approximately 98% internal supply of water. It also contains protein, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, potassium, sodium, cholesterol, vitamin, A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and glucose. Aloe Vera has very sharp thorn-like edge leaves, so be careful during use (if you’re using the plant to extract juice). The juice or gel from Aloe Vera leaves is what is normally consumed and used in smoothies. The gel has a unique odor. It is light, fresh and bitter in taste and is seen by many as unpleasant. It may take some time to get used to its taste, if you consume it alone. But the taste will be hidden when added to other ingredients in your smoothies.
The Aloe Vera gel is what is used to heal cuts, burns and bruises, moistens the skin, soothes skin irritation and treats skin conditions. Consuming the gel boosts energy, improves digestion, treats constipation, boosts immune system health and eases inflammation. Aloe Vera is used in many cosmetic products such as deodorants, skin creams and moisturizers, soaps and shampoos. Aloe Vera gel for consumption are available in powder form, as is, as a food-grade gel and most popularly, juice form. If you purchase the juice form, do check the label to ensure that it is organic and free of sugar and other artificial flavors.
Chlorella is a fresh water nutrient dense green algae which has a very high chlorophyll content than any other known plant. This super plant has anti-aging properties, protects and improves skin conditions, improves digestion, enhances energy, lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, aids with detoxification of the body and heavy metals and supports immune system health. Chlorella also promotes weight loss and is perfect to use during a smoothie diet. As its rich nutrient will boost energy levels, cleanse the body and maintain muscle mass during your weight loss journey. Chlorella is packed with protein, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and zinc. This super plant has a strong green, bitter taste. To get accustomed to its taste you may start off by using small amounts. Though, the taste is not easily identified when mixed with other ingredients. You may add chlorella powder or extract liquid to smoothies.
Native of Peru, this rainforest root vegetable is packed with nutritional value. Maca roots grows in three colors: light-purple or red, cream or light yellow and grey-black. Maca is high in fiber and protein. It also contains great amount of amino acids, fatty acids, phytonutrients, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and magnesium. After being harvested and grounded, maca root is easily digestible. This super plant increases energy, reduces constipation, increases mental focus, supports brain and immune system health, balances hormones, decreases PMS and menopause symptoms, boosts mood, enhances sexual function, reduces depression and supports skin health. Maca root powder or liquid extract may be added to smoothies. The first time you consume maca root as it, the taste may be unusual. This super plant has a mild nutty or earthy taste. Some people say, it taste slightly sweet with a caramel-like taste. As everyone taste buds are different and seeing that maca roots naturally boost energy levels, start off using small amounts to see how your body will react.
Sea kelp is a kind of Seaweed, grown at the bottom of the sea and varies in color. Sea kelps are normally green or brown in color with very sharp leaves, called blades. This super plant is rich in fiber, protein, enzymes and chlorophyll. It also contains sodium, iodine, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. This super plant reduces inflammation, prevents constipation, increases energy, helps with weight loss, fights common cold, fights cancer, promotes thyroid health and supports brain, hearth and joint health. Sea kelp has a slight salty taste and is an excellent choice if you decide to make a savoury smoothie. You may add dried or powdered sea kelp to smoothies, or you may add liquid extract. Remember though, that the taste of the liquid extract is not as strong as the taste of the dried or powdered form.
This freshwater blue-green algae is known to be one of the most powerful food on earth .Spirulina is a good source of both macro and micro nutrients. Spirulina is high in protein and fatty acids. It also contains iron, chlorophyll, sodium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B and phosphorus. Spirulina has anti-aging and detoxification properties. Consuming it will boosts your immune system, eliminates toxin and heavy metals, helps with weight loss, lowers blood pressure, reduces food cravings, protects the kidney, rebuilds red blood cells, reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol, boosts stamina, and reduces the risk of cancer. This super charged plant has a slight salty or savoury taste. You may sprinkle spirulina powder in smoothies or use liquid extract.
Yacon is a root vegetable, native of Peru, and looks a lot like sweet potatoes. Yacon is high in oligofructose, an alternative sweetener. Yacon stores carbohydrates as oligofructose, while other root vegetables, like sweet potatoes, store carbohydrates as starch. This super plant is used as an all-natural sweetener with a low caloric value, only 38 calories per ounce. Yacon does not elevate blood sugar levels, so it can be consumed by diabetics. Yacon has a very mild-sweet taste. It is high in fiber, has high antioxidant properties and acts as a prebiotic. It contains iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin B and magnesium. This super plant supports immune system and bone health, promotes absorption of calcium and magnesium, lowers cholesterol, aids in digestion, lowers blood sugar, supports colon health and reduces constipation. Yacon are available dried, in juice form, syrup form or in powder form. When using yacon in your weight loss smoothies, choose to use the dried or powdered form. If you decide to use the juice or syrup, ensure that its 100% pure, with no added ingredients or sugar.
Each of these super herbs have a distinct taste and will add its own unique flavor to your smoothies. The names of these super herbs may be new to you. But, the flavor of many is that of leafy vegetables you would add to your meals or salad. At times, their taste are hard to detect, depending on how much of the other ingredients you use. When choosing super herbs, ensure that you opt for the organic kind. When adding any of these plants to your smoothies, choose to use the fresh or dried plants or use their powdered form. Using the liquid extract may not have sufficient strength to prove their effectiveness or their taste may not be as strong. You are more likely to get these super herbs for purchase at health food stores or through online stores.