In addition to all the micro-nutrients provided by fruits and veggies in our green smoothies, many of our recipes also include at least one “SuperFood Add-In.” These optional ingredients pack in a major nutritional punch. Use them as directed in the recipe, or add your favorite one (or two!) to any green smoothie.
Chia seeds are without a doubt my favorite SuperFood. The mild flavor makes them a palatable addition to all types of foods. Not only do I put them in just about every smoothie I make, I also sprinkle them on my yogurt and oatmeal, and make chia pudding with them. You might say I’m a chia seed addict!
I first discovered chia seeds when reading the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. The book describes a fascinating tribe of super-runners in Mexico who can run for days on end, fueled on by chia seeds. If they work that well for ultramarathoners, imagine what they could do for us mere mortals!
Low in calories but not in nutrients, the tiny seeds are a terrific source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Ounce per ounce, they provide more Omega-3s than salmon. Other health benefits of chia seeds include:
- Increased sports performance
- Improved bone health due to high levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein
- Reduced blood pressure and inflammation
My favorite chia seeds are the organic Navitas brand available on Amazon.
While seeds are generally known as being healthy, flax seed stands apart due to their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Indeed, 2 tablespoons of flax seed provides 133% of the recommended daily value of omega-3s.
The little seeds are also unique due to their lignans. Lignans are fiber-like compounds that provide many health benefits including being an antioxidant. In fact, they are an even better source of antioxidants than blueberries!
Other health benefits of flax seed include:
- Prevention of cardiovascular disease
- Decreased insulin resistance
- Improved digestive health
I recommend the organic Spectrum brand for flax seed. You can get it on Amazon.
In recent years, coconut oil has been elevated to an almost comical god-like status within the health-minded community. And for good reason: the list of benefits from coconut oil is seemingly endless.
Some people are hesitant to add coconut oil to their green smoothie because of the fat content—but guys this is GOOD fat. In fact, it can actually help you lose weight by reducing your appetite and increasing your energy levels. It’s particularly good at reducing abdominal fat—and who doesn’t want to lose that.
Other health benefits include:
- Increased energy
- Improved resistance to bacteria, viruses, and fungi
- Prevention of heart disease
- Improved brain function
You want to make sure that the coconut oil you buy is extra virgin and unrefined. Nature’s Way is an excellent brand, and is available on Amazon.
Note: Some of the links in this article are Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you click them and then make a purchase, I get a small portion of the sale.