Smoothies are a great meal choice to promote a healthy diet and facilitate weight loss. And you can pack them with lots of nutrients and ingredients that leave you feeling full and satisfied.
If you’ve jumped on the green smoothie train and are loading your smoothies with veggies and reducing the fruit content, now it’s time to take them to the next level and boost them with these superfoods:
- Turmeric – Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is also beneficial because of its high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals and toxins within the body, and it is excess stores of these that can lead to weight gain, fatigue and several other issues such as allergies and arthritis. By increasing your intake of antioxidants, especially in the form of turmeric, not only will you help remove these toxins, but you will also fight inflammation at the same time, two important areas to consider when you are trying to lose weight and keep it off!
- Moringa – The powerful new superfood on the market, moringa has a whole host of benefits when it comes to improving health and aiding in weight loss. First off, it is a great source of antioxidants, meaning it helps remove toxins and reduces free radical damage within the body, as explained above. Next, it is an appetite suppressant, making you feel fuller for longer and therefore leading you to eat less and help you lose weight. Moringa is packed with fiber, as it is essentially a leafy green, and this fiber also helps fill you up, as well as aid in digestion to ensure toxins are moved through the system and properly eliminated.
- Matcha – This energy boosting alternative to caffeine is made from ground up green tea leaves, which are turned into a fine powder and then dissolved in warm water to create an energizing beverage. The green tea is incredibly high in antioxidants, yielding detoxifying properties, and aiding with weight loss as detailed above. The matcha also however, increases the body’s basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories our body burns just running itself. In other words, if you sat on the couch all day, this is the number of calories your body would burn just to keep your organs, heart, cells and tissues functioning. Consuming matcha has been shown to increase the rate of burning these calories, causing us to burn more and help in weight loss.
- Maca – This natural adaptogen from the root of the maca tree in the Andes Mountains seeks to help maintain balance within the body, and specifically focuses on the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for our hormone release and it is these hormones that control our hunger and satiety cues, determine our mood and energy level and which are released in response to stress. Keeping these in balance is essential for keeping our body in balance as well. Poor hormonal function, such as what happens with hypothyroidism is a big cause of weight gain, or weight retention, and using maca to help in this balance is an excellent natural way to ensure you are able to maintain a healthy weight.
- Lavender – While you may be used to seeing it as a flower in the garden, the natural relaxation properties of this plant extend beyond the fact that it just looks pretty. Lavender is used to relax the body and mind, and has a calming effect. In terms of weight loss, it works something like this: when we are stressed and anxious, our body releases cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol functions to help us cope with the stressful situation by offering a burst of energy and diverting energy within the body to areas which would need it most to help us deal with stress, such as dilating our pupils. Continuous stress and cortisol release however eventually lead the body to store fat, because it is no longer in an optimal state to burn calories as usual: it assumes you are in a stressful situation and are going to need all your calories and fat, so it holds on to them. When you use lavender to calm down your body and reduce your stress, you reduce the cortisol release and thereby reduce the chance that your body will store excess fat.