Smoothies season is here! Although I can’t complain, it was a short and sweet winter this year in Southern Ontario, Canada. However, the last thing I wanted when it was below 0°C outside was a cold smoothie. Oh but spring has sprung – and it’s time to pull that blender out for more than just pestos and blended soups.
If you aren’t already eating with the seasons, its time to give it a try this spring and summer with blended meals. You can incorporate things into your smoothie that you otherwise would not pair together into a meal. Spinach, kale, maca, oats, spirulina, avocado, goji berry and bee pollen does not sound like a tasty breakfast bowl, but put those ingredients in a blender with some coconut or maple water to reach your desired smoothie consistency and you’ll have yourself a deliciously super powered smoothie!
When it comes to making a balanced smoothie, we already know we need a source of healthy fats, protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates, but what about our micro nutrients: vitamins and minerals? Are we basing our smoothies off of how much magnesium and selenium are inside or are we concerned more with appearance and taste? Fortunately, it is very simple for you to take your smoothie to the next level. Super powders are readily available and some of my favourites are those which are high in vitamin C.
The Role of Vitamin C
I can say with confidence that Vitamin C is one of the most popular supplement purchases. After years of working in health food stores I’ve noticed that most people take Vitamin C in supplement form, on the regular. Not to go off and say that supplementation is bad, but almost all vitamin supplements are made from synthetic ingredients that are both cheap to make and can last for years on shelves. They’re called ‘natural’ as scientists have stated that synthetics are “virtually identical” to the ones found in real food. But they’re skipping around the real deal. Synthetic vitamins are isolated or simulated nutrients and they do not contain all of the countless and natural health-promoting phytonutrients which are found within the real food. We are only just beginning to understand how all of the compounds in whole foods work together and react in our bodies to support our health. So it would be crazy to consume something artificial and expect it to work as nature intended!
Adding a concentrated whole-food source to your smoothie is not only sufficient for upping your natural intake of natural vitamin C, phytonutrients and bioflavonoids, but it makes for a natural booster for both absorption of other minerals such as iron and overall they add nutrient density to your smoothie. Increasing your intake of vitamin c benefits the skin, adrenals, metabolism and immune system! So why not add some extra super powders to your smoothie!
Unlike other mammals, who have the ability to manufacture their own vitamin C, humans cannot, and so we need to get in enough vegetables and fruits daily to reach the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, which is 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women. Pregnant and lactating mothers need 85 mg and 120 mg per day, respectively. Cigarette smokers need an additional 35 mg of vitamin C per day. These numbers are very low when compared to the Suggested Optimal Daily Nutritional Allowances of 800 mg per day for men and 1000 mg per day for women.
Vitamin C is the vitamin that keeps on giving. More and more research is now available to us as this water-soluble, antioxidant vitamin has the power to ignite the ‘self-healing response, and is of great value for healing over 30 major diseases.
How can you tell if you need more? There are many signs of a vitamin C deficiency: dry and splitting hair, gingivitis, bleeding gums, rough, dry, scaly skin, decreased wound-healing rate, easy bruising, nosebleeds, and a decreased ability to ward off infection. If any of these symptoms are present symptoms, you may be lacking vitamin C!
Vitamin C Packed Super Powders
On to the superstar powders. Which naturally provide vitamin C in conjunction with other naturally present vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. You can use these in a variety of ways, but the easiest will be in your smoothies.
Goji Berry Powder
Used in Chinese medicine for more than 6,000 years, these nutrient-rich berries contribute vitamin C and antioxidants to the blend. Just 2 tbsp of dried goji berries contain upwards of 2,600 mg Vitamin C.
Acerola Cherry Powder
With 65 times more vitamin C than oranges, the vitamin c in acerola cherry is easily absorbed by the body. Just 2 tsp of dried acerola cherry powder contains upwards of 6,000 mg of Vitamin C.
Camu Camu Powder
This tiny yet ultra-potent fruit is used by ancient cultures to support the immune system, ward off infections, and help maintain optimal health, especially under stress. In just 2 tsp contains upwards 1,500 mg of vitamin C.
Amala Powder (Indian Gooseberry)
This nourishing berry provides remedies for many diseases and is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. With benefits for liver, brain, heart and digestion just 2 tsp can contain upwards of 100 mg of vitamin C.
This extract comes from the fruit of the dog rose. Known to be effective for those with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It improves joint health by reducing pain and stiffness. Just 1 tbsp tablespoon can contain upwards of 60 mg of vitamin C.
When purchasing superfood powders always look for certified organic and source out cold drying methods which preserve the vitamin C. After making your super powered smoothie, it is best to immediately consume in order to retain all of the nutrients.
Are you using any of these powders already? What do YOU do to get in your daily vitamin C?
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