Feel-Good Smoothies 2

Raw Energy in A Glass

Smoothies are a tasty and healthy way to start the day (but they don’t need to be limited to mornings). Blending fruits, vegetables and other “add-ins” can create a nutritious meal replacement, snack or treat. We suggest starting with fruits and veggies (spinach and kale work well and won’t make your smoothie any less sweet), moving onto a liquid base and topping off with one of these five super-healthy superfoods.

Bee Pollen – Bee pollen collects on bees and is harvestable from the hive. Pollen is protein-rich (40 percent) and contains numerous vitamins, amino acids and folic acid. Bee pollen aids in digestive health and is shown to combat asthma and allergy symptoms when harvested from a local hive. To ensure that your bee pollen stays as nature intended, serve at room temperature. Heating can kill many beneficial nutrients.

Goji Berries – Goji berries come from a Chinese shrub. By weight, goji berries have more vitamin C than any other food. They also contain amino acids, antioxidants and beta-carotene, which improves the quality and appearance of skin. These berries have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years in hopes of promoting overall nutrition and increasing life span.

Spirulina – Derived from blue-green algae, spirulina has been consumed for centuries by those hoping to reap the benefits of this water-dwelling bacteria. Spirulina contains protein, B vitamins, and iron (11 percent of your daily value in just one tablespoon) as well as numerous antioxidants. Spirulina has been shown to aid premenstrual symptoms and even increase fertility.

Cacao Nibs – The cacao bean grows primarily in South America. Cacao beans contain antioxidants, magnesium and a whopping 36 percent of your daily fiber intake in just one ounce. Cacao nibs have been shown to aid depression and promote cardiovascular health. Raw foods are best; be sure the cacao you choose is labeled as “raw” for maximum effectiveness.

Chia Seeds – Chia seeds, like cacao nibs, are native to South America. Chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, containing antioxidants, fiber, protein and a hefty amount of Omega-3s. Chia seeds can lower blood pressure and improve digestive health. Soaking chia seeds in water creates a gel-like substance that can replace eggs in certain recipes.

* These superfoods are packed full of good things, but always check with a healthcare professional before consuming if pregnant, breastfeeding or on any other medications (especially blood thinners).

Serving platters courtesy of Lauren Berley, LaurenBerley.com