Smoothies are an incredibly easy and efficient way to kickstart your metabolism in the morning while providing you with a long-lasting boost of energy. And when time isn’t on your side, they’re the quick option, too. One of the best parts about smoothies are the seemingly endless ingredients available to make each concoction unique, keeping you from getting bored of that gulp of healthful goodness. Fruit, vegetables and milks are common smoothie staples, while spices and oils are often used to enhance the flavor profile and potential health benefits, too. And then there are the incredibly beneficial superfood powders, which pack a nutrient punch in small doses. Read on for nine of the best ways to liven up your morning smoothie game:
- Matcha Green Tea Powder
A premium green tea powder from Japan, matcha reigns supreme in the world of teas. In fact, just one serving is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea. Packed with antioxidants, including EGCg, which studies have found to aid in the treatment of various diseases, matcha is a superfood powerhouse. It’s also been found to boost metabolism, burn calories, detoxify the body, calm the mind, enhance mood and concentration, and lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Matcha is also a great source of fiber, chlorophyll, vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium.
- Maca Root Powder
Grown in the Andes Mountains of Peru, maca may improve the libido, sexual function and fertility. It’s also great for enhancing mood, lowering stress and tension, increasing energy, boosting the immune system, improving skin quality and strengthening teeth and bones. It has 20 fatty acids, 17 amino acids, is packed with protein, fiber and a variety of minerals and vitamins. Maca has also been used as a pain reliever in holistic medicine for thousands of years.
- Raw Cacao Powder
Chocolate for breakfast? Well, when it’s in it’s raw, organic form, then it ought to be. Cacao has much less fat than chocolate, along with more fiber and nutrients. Coming from the cacao fruit tree, also known as Theobroma Cacao, cacao is said to provide the highest amount of antioxidants and magnesium than any other food in the world. It’s also rich in iron, fiber, zinc and protein. Furthermore, cacao can aid in boosting mood and concentration, preventing and treating depression, PMS and fatigue.
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- Acai Powder
Rich in antioxidants, omega fatty acids and fiber, this raw and organic powder is simply freeze-dried acai fruit—one of the healthiest berries you will find. Made from the acai palm tree, which is native to Central and South America, studies have found that this fruit is higher in antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or blueberries. With absolutely no sugar, acai can boost energy, strengthen digestion, brain function, immunity and promote heart health and metabolism.
- Goji Powder
Goji powder consists of freeze-dried goji berries, which are native to China. Chock-full of vitamin C, amino acids and protein, fiber and antioxidants, this berry provides a tart yet sweet taste and provides a deep-rich color to your blended drink. Used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, goji berries are low in calories and fat-free. This super fruit is also said to be the richest source of carotenoids of all known foods. Loaded with beta-carotene, these berries promote healthy skin and eye health.
- Spirulina Powder
Also freeze-dried into powder form, spirulina, which is a type of algae, has been used all over the world for its health-improving benefits for centuries. With more protein than meat, fish, poultry and soybeans, it is truly a superfood to take note of. It also has the most beta-carotene of any food, offers all essential amino acids, is rich in iron, vitamins A, E, and B, potassium, enzymes, minerals, phytonutrients and beneficial fatty acids including DHA and GLA. Studies have found numerous health benefits from it as well, including its ability to boost the immune system, improve digestion, contribute to eye health and ease PMS symptoms.
- Wheatgrass Powder
A member of the cereal grass family, wheatgrass powder is a nutrient-packed option for boosting your overall health. Used for health and healing dating back to ancient Egypt, it is often used to improve digestion and prevent constipation. Wheatgrass is rich in antioxidants and is also 70 percent chlorophyll, which has been found to protect against certain types of cancer. It also contains the full-spectrum of vitamins, minerals and amino acids the body needs for optimum health.
- Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp seeds, which are actually a nut and are also referred to as hemp hearts, provide all essential amino acids, and are rich in protein, iron, magnesium, vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc. They’re also a great source of omega-3s, which are known for aiding in the prevention of heart disease, dementia and inflammation, as well as gamma-linolenic acid, which aids in the growth and normal functions of cells, nerves, muscles and organs throughout your body. To make hemp protein powder, hemp seeds are simply cold-pressed, resulting in a cake-like substance that is then cold-milled.
- Pea Protein Powder
Made by extracting the soluble pea protein from yellow-split peas, pea protein powder is high in lysine content, which has been found to boost immune health and lower cholesterol. Pea protein is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. One study even found that it can reduce blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension.