10 Tested Benefits of Superfood Smoothies Based on Scientific Research
There is a lot of fanfare about the health effects of superfood smoothies on social media and the web. Google returns at least 38 million results when you search for superfood smoothie recipes. There is perhaps a recipe for every fruit and vegetable combination imaginable. You will get all sorts of health claims, too. Promises of painless weight loss or one-fruit-heals-all could get your hopes up. But which health benefits can you really get from smoothies with superfood ingredients?
10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Superfood Smoothies
Our knowledge about these nutrient-dense foods is still growing and improving as researchers explore more questions and share more findings. Right now, many of these claims are still debatable, if not medically baseless. But some superfoods have been studied enough to give us strong scientific backing. In this article, let’s talk about 10 of the health benefits that we can glean from superfood smoothies.
Benefit #1: Fruit and vegetable smoothies guard against cancer formation in your digestive tract
Fibre in some fruits and vegetables could improve the body supply of short-chain-fatty-acids (SCFAs), according to a review article in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology. SCFAs are responsible for inhibiting cancer formation in our colon. Superfoods that are common in fresh fruit smoothies are most effective for the task. The list includes citrus fruits, garlic, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
Benefit #2: Antioxidants in berry smoothies will make you feel stronger, smarter, and younger
Roidaki's team shared that hawthorns and sea buckthorns have the highest phenolic and antioxidant content. They contain at least 10x more than raspberries, goji, and blackberries. These two types of compounds help prevent oxidative stress. Smoothies with these berries and leaves can help you slow down free radical buildup. You could stave off oxidative stress symptoms like memory loss, brain fog, fatigue, failing eyesight, and muscle pains. You could also reduce cells and protein damage that cause early signs of aging.
Benefit #3: Floral smoothies can help you stay healthy and cheery
Flower smoothies might seem like pure novelty and aesthetic tricks, not healthy drinks. Recent research shows otherwise. Blossoms like the hairy rock rose and perforate St John's-wort aren't only pretty. They're up there in the superfood big leagues. And that's according to studies on antioxidants and flavonoids. Hairy rock rose leaves have at least 20x more antioxidants than blueberries. St John's-wort free radical scavenging activities protect cells from damage. Its metal chelation properties also help you flush out toxic metals from your body.
Various results also found St John's-wort could help manage mild and moderate depression.
Benefit #4: Ginger smoothies shield your body from health risks and complications
Have you tried any of the popular ginger smoothie blends? Pair it with anything--pineapple, berry, kale, carrot, lemon, beets, or apples. The humble ginger doesn't only taste refreshing, it's one underrated superfood. Researchers present a long list of proven health benefits from ginger:
- Prevents nausea
- Improves memory
- Lowers blood sugar
- Eases inflammations
- Counters hypertension
- Fights bacterial infection
- Helps prevent blood clots
- Reduces blood cholesterol
- Relieves body pains (analgesic)
- Improves blood flow to better fight off diseases
- Slows the loss of neurons and the development of diseases
Benefit #5: Coconut smoothies hydrate and balance your body fluids
Coconut fruit (yup, it's a fruit!) is the gymnast of smoothie ingredients--they're so flexible. Coconut milk and water are healthier smoothie base alternatives to animal milk or processed drinks. Coconut meat can add different flavours, textures, and nutrition to your recipe. This will make your superfood green smoothies new and exciting. An analysis of the coconut component concludes that the meat, water, and milk from coconuts are rich in sodium, potassium, and calcium. They support your body in staying hydrated, increasing electrolytes, and balancing fluids to maintain healthy organ functions.
Benefit #6: Green tea smoothies protect and strengthen your digestive tract from diseases
The role of green tea in the prevention of digestive tract cancers is still under research today. But strong indications are supporting its protective features to the digestive tract. One comprehensive test included 75,000 Chinese women and spanned 11 years. Their results showed fewer green tea-drinking women developed such diseases than non-drinkers. Fewer tumours and lesions were also noted among green-tea drinking colonoscopy patients.
Benefit #7: Carotenoid-rich smoothies give you that natural healthy glow
The fruits and vegetables you eat affect your skin's complexion. People view skin colour associated with fruit and vegetable-rich diets such as "the healthy skin". Studies suggest that high carotenoid foods give you that natural healthy glow. That's another addition to the fruit smoothies benefits you can enjoy with oranges, tomatoes, or beets.
Benefit #8: Nut Smoothies help reduce weight gain
A good handful of research supports the efficacy of nut-based weight loss smoothies. Clinical research found walnuts reduced weight gain more than low-fat diets. The same weight inhibiting effects also showed up in separate trials on tree nuts and peanuts. Nuts also lower cholesterol in insulin-sensitive individuals and reduce inflammation. Best of all, nut smoothie diets taste good, so taking them long-term is not a struggle.
Benefits #9: Fight off retina damage, especially if you are diabetic
If goji berries don’t have as many antioxidants as common hawthorns, are they worth the hype? Researchers say they are. Aside from antioxidant and cancer-fighting content, goji berries also help fight off retina damage in diabetic patients. Goji berry's L. barbarum protects retinal neuron cells and reduces the chances of retinopathy. This makes goji berries great add-ons to a superfood smoothie for diabetics.
Benefit #10: Acai berry smoothies reduce the risks of heart attacks
Various research associates acai berries with heart health improvements. Among overweight men, eating acai berries could lower the likelihood of heart attacks. According to other research, hydroalcoholic extract from acai fights off hypertension and diabetes. It also protects renal and cardiovascular functions. Nutritionists and scientists are also exploring similar potentials in other types of berries.
Scientific and Professional Advice for Your Smoothie Diet
Before you jump into a new superfood smoothie craze, make sure to consult with your medical or nutrition expert. Each person requires a slightly different diet based on their own biochemical differences and health needs. Your lifestyle or other foods you eat could also affect the efficacy of these superfoods.
Always consider your personal history and medical needs on top of any new health claim. Your doctor or nutritionist can identify which superfood benefits are scientifically legit. They can also guide you on healthy smoothie recipes that are best for your health goals.