These 2 superfoods will give any smoothie an antioxidant boost, according to an RD

These 2 superfoods will give any smoothie an antioxidant boost, according to an RD

Blending your afternoon smoothie means running through your mental checklist of good-for-you ingredients to add to the delicious mix. You checked off your favorite proteins, carbohydrates and fats…anything else?

According to Rebekah Blakely, RDN and nutritionist for The Vitamin Shoppe, you might consider throwing a few antioxidant superfoods into your blender.

But before we dive into the reasons, here’s a quick science lesson refresher on what exactly an antioxidant is: “Antioxidants are substances that can help protect your cells from free radical damage,” says Blakely. “Free radicals are… the result of normal metabolic processes and exposure to stressors and toxins. They are unstable [molecules] because they have an odd number of electrons, and therefore can “steal” electrons from other healthy cells in the body, causing damage.”

Fortunately, consuming antioxidants can help control free radicals throughout your body, and they can be found in a wide range of food sources, Blakely says. They are most abundant in fruits and vegetables, however, Blakely notes that the CDC reports that only 1 in 10 adults eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, which ranges from 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2½ to 3½ cups of vegetables. per day for adults.

If you’re one of the nine out of 10 who doesn’t quite hit that amount every day, supplementation can be helpful in pushing you over the top, which brings us back to your soon-to-be-reviewed smoothie recipe.

Along with loading up your smoothie with frozen fruits, veggies, and a generous scoop of almond butter (antioxidants are also found in legumes, nuts, and seeds), Blakely has two must-have antioxidant superfoods that make great smoothie supplements: spirulina and beetroot.

If these are new ingredients for you and your cooking, don’t worry (it can lead to more free radicals, remember?) – you can find them in beet root and spirulina powders from KOS.®. Grab them from The Vitamin Shoppe®and keep them near your blender, as you’ll want to make them permanent additions to your line of smoothies.

Keep reading for an RD-backed deep dive into these antioxidant superfoods.

benefits of spirulina

What makes spirulina a powerful superfood is of course the fact that it is naturally high in antioxidants. Blakely says we can attribute this nutritional value to phycocyanin, which is the pigment that gives algae its blue-green color.

This brightly colored superfood is known to help support oxygen circulation in the blood, which is a major benefit for people who exercise frequently, as better circulation is linked to higher energy. and better training endurance.

In addition to these properties, spirulina can help provide extra support for your immune system thanks to its high nutrient and antioxidant content (it also contains antioxidant vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, vitamin E and selenium), which helps reduce oxidative stress. in our cells.

As if you needed another reason to add the ingredient to your smoothies, spirulina can also aid in good gut health. According to Blakely, animal studies have shown that spirulina can have positive effects on the balance of the gut microbiome.

One of the easiest ways to get your daily dose of spirulina is to take KOS® Organic Luminous Blue Spirulina Powder or KOS® Add energy with blue spirulina (which combines pure spirulina with adaptogens and caffeine from organic green coffee beans for energy and focus support) in your next smoothie. They don’t call it a superfood for nothing.

Benefits of beets

If there are two things you know about beets, it’s probably that they’re red and they contain antioxidants. Okay, you may not have known about antioxidants before, but apparently these things have something in common: betalain.

“Betalains are phytonutrients that give beets their red color and have been shown to provide antioxidant support…” says Blakely.

If you thought this is where beets draw the wellness line, you’d be wrong. According to Blakely, beetroot has many of the same benefits as spirulina: it can also help maintain healthy blood pressure, as well as overall circulation and circulation. Not to mention, studies show that beets can help improve cardiorespiratory performance and increase time to exhaustion during exercise, Blakely says.

So if you’re looking for a new pre-workout situation, add a dose of KOS® Organic beet root powder for your breakfast, smoothie or coffee. Worried about its taste? Blakely recommends starting with half a scoop to test the taste and pairing it with other beneficial ingredients like tart cherry juice or cocoa powder that round out the flavor. Beetroot hot chocolate, anyone?

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