Illustration by Katie Reingold (@k8gold)
I don’t know about you, but every time I see a delicious looking smoothie or drink beverage online that promises some superhero benefits, I immediately say, “OMG, I need that now.”
Then I look at the ingredients and realize that each smoothie costs approximately $350 to make after you buy all the weird superfoods that you can only get at specialty stores.
While I do love superfoods and own quite a few, keeping them stocked is not realistic for most people. And most people don’t want to spend a lot of money to use a teaspoon of powder in their smoothie that they may or may not like.
Ideally, smoothies just need to include simple and real food, such as fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, water, yogurt, and milk.
If you want to include some health and wallet friendly superfoods into your diet, try these affordable and accessible ones instead:
Aside from the high levels of vitamin C that help combat stress, blueberries are also full of antioxidants, specifically anthocyanin, which improves brain function. Add a handful into your smoothie for mood-boosting benefits.
This type of tea is a powerful antioxidant that can help improve concentration, relieve anxiety, and boost energy. While the most common way of consuming green tea is by steeping it in a cup, you can let it cool and use the liquid as a base for your smoothies.
Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory food, which helps alleviate joint pain and muscle soreness. It can also help lower blood sugar and keep your moods stabilized. And remember, a little bit goes a long way, so you only need to include a little grated ginger in your smoothie for both taste and health benefits.
These seeds used to only be available at specialty stores, but now I see them at almost every grocery store. These little seeds are packed with nutrients, are high in fiber, and are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. And while they won’t actually sprout in your stomach, they will expand slightly, making you feel full, so you will be less likely to overeat. These are perfect for adding to your smoothie to help keep you feeling full and sustained throughout the day.
These small seeds have been a staple in grocery stores and protein powder mixes before chia seeds became popular. They are inexpensive and one of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids outside of fish. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids help keep the brain functioning, your energy high, and your immune system functioning properly.