Superfoods for all year long

Like an artist’s palette, the hub and I use a variety of Superfoods everyday in our smoothies.

It depends on our state of mind—and our body’s needs. I keep them all together for easy access, mostly in the freezer because many contain delicate oils that can easily go rancid.

And while each season offers a variety of foods that I think are super, these are my year round super food choices. I find adding them to foods I already make is a stealth ways to get lots of nutrients and energy. Easy and effective? That’s what I call super.

Here are my top 10 go-to’s:

These small, round seeds have a delicate flavor; many people say they taste like pine nuts. They’re a favorite source of plant protein among Modern Vegans and Flexible Vegetarians because they contain all the amino acids (the building blocks of protein) you need for good health. I use hemp seeds to top my salads and blend them into smoothies for a protein boost. Hemp seeds are also an excellent plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.

These provide high levels of antioxidants, plenty of fiber, lots of vitamin C, and are powerhouses of nutrition in other ways as well. Goji berries are rich in vitamin A. They’re native to China, where they’re used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a wide range of conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure. These powerful berries may also interact with some prescription medications, including blood thinners and drugs for diabetes and high blood pressure. I let these sit in warm cereals to plump up a little. I really like these from Sunfood.

These are anti-inflammatory and loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. That makes them especially good for brain health. Chia seeds also contain fiber, calcium, and magnesium, along with plant protein. Many people find them helpful for stabilizing blood sugar. Of course, try adding them to smoothies or on salads, but this pudding is one you’ve got to try, it’s a great way to start your love affair with Chia!

These are anti-inflammatory and offer anti-oxidant protection. They’re best ground so that you can absorb their powerhouse of nutrients (whole flaxseeds can pass through your body undigested). They’re a great source of lignans, or phytoestrogens, and some peri-menopausal or menopausal women find relief from symptoms like hot flashes with a tablespoon a day. They’re also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.  Sprinkling flax seeds on salads is common place in our home, also over my nut “ice cream” to add a nice texture.

Natural cacao is actually bitter in taste. It’s only transformed into the chocolate you know and love by adding sweetener. But the powerful qualities of chocolate you hear about? That’s cacao’s fault. What makes cacao so “super” is that it’s loaded with natural chemicals called flavonoids, which act as powerful antioxidants. Excellent for your cardiovascular system’s health. It also contains zinc, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. I add cacao powder to many of my smoothies: here, here, and here. And cacao nibs often find their way into my trail mix.

From the root of a plant that grows high in the Andes of Peru; maca it’s a good source of carbohydrates. Nutritionally, it’s similar to wheat, but without the gluten. Maca is also a good source of protein, amino acids, and fiber, and it’s high in calcium and potassium. In alternative medicine, maca is recommended as an energy booster and a way to increase stamina. Add a spoonful or two of the powder to your smoothies and green drinks.

My Modern Vegans most likely know all about these sweeties, they’re favorites among raw foodies. But all nutritional styles can enjoy. Like all berries, they’re high in vitamin C and off the charts when it comes to antioxidant power. You’ll almost always find them in my trail mix. I call them nature’s sweet-tarts! Try these here.

Not Shown
Containing 22 amino acids, including the 8 essential ones, and as assortment of enzymes that benefit your health, bee pollen is most definitely a super addition to your smoothies—especially a few weeks before allergy season begins. It’s been studied that by taking small doses of bee pollen, you can build immunity to offending seasonal allergens. Nice! Plus, there are also dozens of natural vitamins and minerals and valuable fatty acids, too.