Chia, flax or turmeric? What superfoods to add to your smoothies, and why


MANILA, Philippines – Want to start living a healthier life? Smoothies are a great, easy and delicious gateway to better health – this refreshing on-the-go drink is packed with fruits, vegetables and superfoods that provide your body with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more .

You can easily get them from cafes, but it’s cheaper to make them yourself at home. It may even be healthier because you have complete control of the nutrients you put into your body. Plus, you can get creative with your daily smoothie combos!

I try to make smoothies at least three times a week – I start with one or two types of frozen fruit like berries, banana, mango, melon, peaches, kiwi, pineapple and/or grapes. I also add a cup of frozen greens like spinach, pechay, lettuce, and sometimes even local staples like alugbati and malunggay.

I mix it all up with my choice of dairy-free milk (oats or almond) and sometimes add a scoop of peanut butter, cocoa nibs, or honey to sweeten it up. Next is my superfood supplement powerhouse – I usually add a scoop of chia seeds, ground flax seeds and moringa powder for maximum health benefits (I barely taste them either). And There you go! I always feel great every time I finish my nutrient-dense, fiber-packed smoothie.

If you also want to boost your smoothies and kick-start your health in the easiest way possible, we’re here to help. Here’s a simple guide to a few popular superfoods and their respective health benefits!

Remember that they alone cannot improve your health and prevent or treat disease, but they can greatly improve your health in addition to a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Remember to consult your doctor or dietitian before making any major changes to your health!

Chia later!

They are popular in diet foods and drinks for many reasons – chia seeds are considered the richest plant source of omega 3 fatty acids, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory nutrients that keep your eyes, heart, brain, and bones healthy, and also help lower triglyceride levels and blood pressure.

CHIA. Photo by Shutterstock

Chia is also a “complete protein”, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. It is also very high in soluble fiber (good for the gut) and mucilage, which gives chia that distinct “gooey texture” when soaked in water. This makes delicious chia puddings!

This fiber is what makes chia a good dietary aid for weight loss and diabetes management – ​​it can help lower bad cholesterol and slow down digestion, which can prevent blood sugar spikes after a meal and promote a healthy diet. longer feeling of satiety.

Chia seeds are also a good source of polyunsaturated fats, protein, calcium, phosphorus and zinc.

Cut the linen a little slack

Like its sibling chia, flax seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and a heart-healthy plant-based protein source for many vegans that even helps reduce heart fat. LDL cholesterol. Just be sure to enjoy them in ground form for easier digestion, not whole!

WHOLE FLAX SEEDS. Photo by Shutterstock

According to British Heart Foundation, these anti-inflammatory flaxseeds are gaining popularity due to their possible benefits in reducing cardiovascular disease, lowering the risk of certain cancers, its laxative effect which aids digestion and even relief from symptoms of menopause and osteoporosis . It can also relieve constipation.

If you want a well-balanced seed with various nutrients, choose chia, but if you’re looking for a bigger boost of omega-3s and more protein, opt for linen. Don’t worry, they won’t give any earthy taste to your smoothies!

Go green with spirulina

This dark green superfood powder is powerful in taste, antioxidants and health benefits – it’s packed with protein, vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals and essential fatty acids not made by the body. It’s basically a powerful herbal immunity booster and heart health warrior!

SPIRULINA. Photo by Shutterstock

The anti-inflammatory spirulina, which comes from blue-green algae, may help optimize cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, improve anemia, and improve muscle strength and endurance. The Journal of the Natural Library of Medicine said spirulina supplements showed in some patients a “significant reduction” in blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol, and an increase in HDL cholesterol, which is the good kind. Note: It has a strong weed flavor!

More Moringa

Moringa (M. oleifera) is a familiar superfood near you – it’s also called malunggay in the Philippines! known to be a excellent source of natural antioxidants, this superfood is used to relieve malnutrition, which means it contains everything a body needs to survive and even thrive.

MORINGA. Photo by Shutterstock

This native plant is rich in highly digestible protein, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamins, essential amino acids, antioxidants and carotenoids, present in many fruits and vegetables. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, moringa may also be cholesterol-lowering, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, and anti-hypertensive.

Because it’s also dubbed “mother’s best friend” in the Philippines, moringa is commonly used in pastries, milk, desserts, bread, and foods for nursing mothers who want to increase their milk supply. Positive points for its subtle taste!

turmeric time

This bright orange powder and sister to ginger root is traditionally used as a medicinal herb in many parts of Asia due to its strong antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties. It is the active curcumin compound found in turmeric root that is powerful in reducing inflammation and is key to helping prevent or even treat certain diseases.

TURMERIC POWDER. Photo by Shutterstock

It is also used for pain relief (turmeric rubs and ointments are popular) for joint pain, arthritis or swelling. Not only is it good for the heart, liver, respiratory tract, digestive and immune health, but it’s also good for the brain – it’s said to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, improve memory and even relieve symptoms of depression.

Tip: It is also recommended to combine curcumin with piperine, which is a compound of black pepper. Piperine is said to help improve the absorption of curcumin up to 2000%, improving the bioavailability of this superfood. Just add a pinch of ground black pepper to a spoonful of turmeric – you won’t even smell it!

Berry good for your heart

Last but not least, there are of course the berries! Berries of all kinds are used as the base for many delicious smoothies, and for good reason: they’re tangy, sweet, refreshing, versatile, and packed with loads of health benefits. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and blackberries contain good amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and K, fiber and prebiotics for a healthy and happy gut.

MIXED BERRIES. Photo by Shutterstock

These anti-inflammatory fruit may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, and obesity because they are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins, which also help fight free radicals. Just consume them in moderation as they also contain sugar.

Of all the berries, Blueberries are the highest in sugar but are best for immunity because they contain phytonutrients, which work with other essential nutrients to promote good health. Blackberries are the highest in antioxidants and fiber, while cranberries are used to treat urinary tract infections and are the lowest in sugar. Black raspberries are also the most nutrient dense and contain little natural sugar. Also, don’t forget the acai berries and goji berries!

Berries also work well with other fruits, such as banana, mango, apple, peach, and pineapple.


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