are known to have great benefits and are so rich in nutrients that they may help to reduce the risk of diseases. The superfoods for smoothies I will be mentioning in this article are all fruits. Fruits are considered to be “super” when they are packed with nutritional value and has high capacity of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Everyday fruits such as strawberry, mango, papaya, cherry, cranberry, kiwi, blueberry, blackberry, apples, grape, orange, pomegranates and raspberry are all great super fruits with a lot of nutritional benefits to improve overall health. The benefits of these fruits I have mentioned in an earlier post. The super fruits I will be talking about in this post are exotic. But just like the everyday fruits mentioned, these exotic super fruits contain sugar so be mindful and monitor portions when using them in your weight loss smoothies.
This fruit is native to South America and grows in the Amazon rain forest on a palm tree. The berries are small and when ripe has a dark blue-purple color. This berry has a slight sour taste. Adding this fruit to your smoothies will not alter the taste but makes a great addition to the other ingredients. Acai berry is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, phytonutrients, dietary fiber, calcium, phosphorus, flavonoids and amino acids. Acai berry is considered a superfood as it has high level of cell protecting antioxidant (than most food), protects the brain, rich in anthocyanins which reduces inflammation, fights cancer, improves skin, treat age-related skin conditions, assists digestion, supports heart health, increases energy and reduces the risk of age-related neurological diseases.
Yes, a long list of benefits. You may not find fresh acai berries is most supermarkets or even health food stores. However, acai berries may be easily available dried, frozen, in powder form, extract liquid, in tea bag form or as a juice. If you consider using the juice in your weight loss smoothies be sure to read the label on the bottle before buying as many acai berry juice has added sugar and other ingredients. Try to buy 100% pure organic and all natural acai berry juice, if needed. Ensure that you use juices which have acai berry pulp as the skin contains the highest nutritional content. 1oz of acai berries contains approximately 70 calories.
Cacao and not cocoa is the primary ingredient in chocolate. Cacao is the raw produce while cocoa is produced from cacao and is processed and may have added sugar. You should be using cacao in your weight loss smoothies and not cocoa. Cacao has a rich bitter flavor. Cacao is high in phytochemical, antioxidant properties, protein, healthy fat, minerals and dietary fiber. Cacao is known to improve heart and brain health, reduces the effect of stress hormones and boosts energy and mood. Adding this super fruit to smoothies, gives a delicious and chocolaty taste. Cacao is available as is, in bean form or nibs. But is also available in powder form or as a liquid extract. If you purchase cacao beans or nibs you may use a coffee grinder or a high powered blender to grind them. There are approximately 65 calories in 1oz of cacao.
Camu Camu Berry
Camu camu berry is also native of South America in the Amazon rain forest. This tangy tasting berry is small and red in color. Camu camu berries are high in vitamin C, good source of phosphorus, iron, potassium, calcium, polyphenols, flavonoids and amino acid. This super fruit is considered to be the highest vitamin C food and has thirty times the vitamin C in orange. Camu camu berries are packed with antioxidants, support eye, skin and gum health, support immune system, promote heart health, strengthen body tissues, fight cancer, reduce inflammation and prevent age related diseases. You may purchase camu camu berries dried, in powder form, bottled juices, extract or in tea bag form. Remember to read the label of bottled juice as the mixture may contain sugar and other ingredients that may hinder you weight loss journey. Camu camu berries have a laxative effect so over dosage may cause diarrhea. There are approximately 64 calories in 1oz of fresh camu camu berries.
Goji is a small shrub tree and is popular in Asia and Europe. This tree bears fruit, berries. Goji berries are deep red and becomes somewhat darker in color when dried. This super fruit has a unique taste, mildly sweet and is a chewy delight. Goji berries have great amount of vitamin A, vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoid, phytochemicals, iron and 19 different amino acids. The use of goji berries nourishes the body, promotes health, longevity and builds strength. Goji berries are said to have a positive effect on insulin resistance, has excellent antioxidant properties, anti-aging properties, increase alkalinity, increase sexual performance, reduce inflammation, support eye health, support immune system and brain health, treat high blood pressure and diabetes, fight cancer, improve digestion, increase metabolism, enhance energy and protect the liver and kidney. You can purchase goji berries in health food stores and supermarkets. They may be available frozen, as a whole dried fruit, liquid extract, powder form, as tea bags or in juice form. In such case, consuming the dried fruit would provide more benefit to the body than the others forms. Goji berries may be soak in water to make a hydrating beverage. There are 90 calories in 1oz of goji berries.
Just like acai berry and camu camu berry, golden berry is native to South America. Golden berries resembles raisin but have a rougher texture. This super fruit is sweet and tart in taste. Golden berries are loaded with flavonoid, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, dietary fiber and protein. One of the most protein rich fruit. This fruit fights against cancer, is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, supports eye health, boosts energy, reduces bloating, have a mild laxative effect, supports immune and nervous system, regulates metabolism and protects the tissue and organs in the body. Golden berries are most popular in dried form but you can get fresh golden berries from certain hard to find sources. They are also available in powder form. Golden berries are low in calories when compared to the other exotic fruits mentioned. Golden berries weighing 3.5oz contain 53 calories.
Native of Southeast Asia, mangosteen has the form of an orange, it is round but has a dark-red or purple color. The inside of this fruit is mainly consumed. The white fleshy part inside the fruit is soft, sweet and pungent in taste. This fleshy part of the juice is used to make juice and jams and is available in capsule form. For the purpose of adding this super fruit to your smoothies, you may purchase it in powder form, liquid extract or tea bags. This super fruit is great at fighting inflammation, fighting cancer and treating digestive issues. Mangosteen is a great source of xanthones, vitamin B complex, manganese, copper, magnesium and potassium. Xanthones rich foods are known to provide protection against cancer. Mangosteen is low in calories, only 73 calories per 3.5oz.
It is indeed a great idea to use any of these super fruits for a tasty smoothie. Especially if you are trying to lose weight but want to consume foods low in calories but high in nutritional value. When you add these super fruits to your smoothies your mood will be boosted and your energy level will increase. This happens as the nutrients in the fruits allows your cells to renew themselves so that you start feeling invigorated. Some of these superfoods are readily available in supermarkets or health food stores either fresh, dried or powder form. But you can also buy them from online stores. Do look for organic brands though.