This potent superfood has endless health and beauty benefits

Spirulina Smoothies on The Organic Beauty Blog

It’s no secret that I am all about superfoods here at The Organic Beauty.  People may taut them as trends or fads, but I’ll tell you this: any food that gives you more nutrients and benefits ounce for ounce than your run of the mill, non-super foods, gets a thumbs up from me. Though there seem to be new superfoods that sprout up all the time, I’m all about the most tested and tried of the bunch, and there’s one that I keep coming back to year after year: spirulina.

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Pep Talk: 4 Points in Praise of Peppers

Are you a hot pepper obsessive or avoider? Peppers high in spice factor are something of a superfood, so you might want to consider keeping it hot, hot, hot!

The other day, my friends and I were discussing something called the Scoville Scale (pretty much a ranking of various peppers according to their ‘temperature’). Granted, the big hitters are not recommended for raw consumption, but those who can stand other contenders are often well aware of their health benefits. A boost from this type of natural expectorant can become almost ritualistic, actually. Various post-pepper coping methods went on to include pacing, milk guzzling, and changed breathing patterns (your body actually ups its oxygen flow after eating peppers!) It sounds extreme, but it’s probably not all that misguided! Here’s the real scoop on why your body stands to benefit:

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The Skinny on Superfoods

By Callie McBride

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Gone are the days of avocado madness; chia seeds have had their time. Though we aren’t saying goodbye to these wonderful nutrient powerhouses, there’s some new kids in town: superfood powders. The latest craze to hit health food stores and foodies’ cabinets, these natural powders, often sourced from the rain forests of tropical islands, offer insane amounts of nutrition and flavor in each scoop. With so many to choose from, your morning smoothie will get a fabulous makeover and your nutrient checklist will trump all others.

Flax Powder:

Sprouted flax seeds. That’s it. This powder will load you up with omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, and it’s incredibly easy to digest, so your body will feel its benefits quickly. Flax seeds hail from Canada, where they were cultivated for their awesome fiber content. Throw a scoop into a banana, almond milk, and spinach smoothie or mix into your morning oatmeal for optimal taste and benefits. You can also purchase flax in the form of ground seeds and oil.

Lucuma Powder:

Lucuma is actually a fruit, originating in Peru, which is milled into a fine powder and used as a type of low-glycemic sweetener. It contains iron, zinc, calcium, and protein, and has a maple flavor to it. It’s definitely smoothie-friendly, but mixing into a raw ice-cream or coconut yogurt sounds equally as heavenly.

Goji Berries:

Either in powder form or as dried berries, the amazing goji contains tons of antioxidants, as well as over 20 vitamins and minerals. These berries hail from the Ningxia Province in China where they are grown, harvested, and dehydrated to maintain maximum nutrient content. They’ve been consumed by Asians for decades, and the Western world is just catching up. Eat ’em by the handful or toss some in trail mix for  a chewy texture and sweet flavor.

Maca Powder:

This one’s my favorite: its known to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. I’ll take 20. The maca root, found in Peruvian Andes, is gently dried and milled to a fine powder, and contains amino acids, fiber, and phytonutrients. Listen to this: the maca root is one of the only plant foods able to survive a such a high altitude as the Andes mountains. How cool? It energizes naturally and, according to the ancient Incans, helps relieve stress. This powder is packed with body and mind benefits.

Acai Powder:

The Acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry grows in the Amazon Rain Forest and is known for its high antioxidant content, as well as its vitamins, minerals, and dark fruity flavor. You can also find frozen, slushie-like acai packets in health food stores to whip up in smoothies…I’ve been known to snack on dark chocolate-covered acai berries, as well. Yum.

Maqui Powder:

These berries are sourced in the mountains of southern Chile, and similar to Lucuma, offer a sweet taste that’s perfect for dessert. They boast of anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects, and contain loads of calcium, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. Get this: Mapuche Indians, the longest living culture in the world, credits the maqui berry as a staple food, as well as an addition to their rituals and ceremonies. They believe that the superfood symbolizes goodwill (not to mention a good body!).

These are just a handful of the fabulous superfoods currently on the market; coconut palm sugar, camu powder, mesquite powder, and dried mulberries are some more to check out for their heavy nutrient doses. If anything, these unique names will impress your next house guest and get a conversation started, either on geography or your health food obsession.

All information comes from the Navita Naturals website, where you can learn more about and purchase all of the above mentioned superfoods. Many other brands produce and sell the powders, as well. Our Organic Beauty store has a handful in stock, too! Go get your superfood on.

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Healthy Nutribullet Smoothie Recipes

Nutribullet Recipes

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

I’ve gotten a lot of requests for Nutribullet smoothie recipes… Although you can make any smoothie creation in your Nutribullet, the proportions are on a smaller scale since you’re using a single serving blender. If you’re using a full size blender like a Vitamix or Ninja Pro, just double the recipe for two servings!

Delectable Detox Smoothie

This is an amazing smoothie for detoxifying the organs.  Loaded with diuretics and super foods, this is a perfect start to a detox day or to cleanse the body after a night of drinking and poor food choices.

1 cup  organic kale (stems and tough rib removed)
1/2 cup frozen organic mango
1 medium rib celery, chopped
1 cup filtered water
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil

Combine ingredients in a Nutribullet or blender.  Add a touch of raw agave or stevia, if desired.

Mega Protein Smoothie

This is a great smoothie for weight loss, since it will control appetite and cravings until lunchtime. It’s also great for a post-workout boost.

1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 avocado
1 cup organic spinach
1 tbsp hemp seeds
A handful of raw almonds or 1 tbsp raw almond butter
1 cup water or coconut water

Combine ingredients in Nutribullet or blender. Add a touch of agave or stevia if needed.

Perfect Skin Smoothie

This smoothie is loaded with skin protecting antioxidants, smoothing and anti-aging omega-3’s, and moisturizing healthy fats for clear, youthful skin!

1/2 cup organic blueberries
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 cup organic dandelion greens
1/2 avocado
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 cup coconut water

Combine ingredients in Nutribullet. Add a touch of agave or stevia if needed.

Super Energy Smoothie

Perfect for those days when you need a little extra something, or before a grueling workout!

1 frozen banana
1 cup organic kale
1 tbsp spirulina powder
2 tsp maca powder
1 tsp acai powder
1 tbsp raw organic almond butter
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tsp royal jelly
1 tsp raw organic honey (optional)

Combine ingredients in Nutribullet or blender.

Women’s Fertility Smoothie

This smoothie is wonderful for balancing hormones, increasing fertility, and giving women the nutrients they need for healthy eggs and baby-making! It’s also a great libido booster.

1 kiwi
1/4 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup organic spinach
A handful of pumpkin seeds
2 tsp maca powder
1 tsp acai berry powder
2 tsp bee pollen
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp flaxseed oil
1 cup water

Combine ingredients in Nutribullet or blender. Add a touch of agave or stevia if needed.

Men’s Virility Smoothie

This smoothie is loaded with nutrients to improve male libido, reproductive health, virility, and increase testosterone!

1 frozen banana
1/2 piece ginger
1 cup spinach
2 tsp maca
1 tsp acai berry powder
A handful of walnuts
1 cup coconut water
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
(Optional) Add a stick of celery for a virility boost!

Combine ingredients in Nutribullet or blender. Add a touch of agave or stevia if needed.

What’s your favorite Nutribullet smoothie? Click here to share it in the comments section!

8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs

By: Stephanie Heino

These days the term “superfoods” is being used everywhere in order to define foods that are calorie sparse and nutrient dense, meaning they pack a lot of punch for their weight as far as goodness goes. They are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients – nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves. We all may be adding more salads and vegetables to our diets, and the concern over the quality of foods grown on mineral depleted soils makes superfoods an intelligent choice. I use superfoods daily as part of my smoothies, green juices and salads and they really give me another level of energy and I feel great and nourished all day. Keep reading for some interesting health benefits of a few of them.

Goji Berries

8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs - goji | The Organic Beauty BlogAlso known as lycium or Chinese wolfberries, gojis are native to the Himalayan region of China and Tibet. These small, red berries have been used by Chinese herbalists for thousands of years to help eyesight, boost immune function and promote longevity. Many of the documented health benefits of the berries are related to their high antioxidant concentration. Carotenoids, a specific type of antioxidant found in goji berries have been shown to help protect eyesight. Packed with antioxidants, B vitamins, iron, and complete protein, goji berries are certainly deserving of their superfood status! Dried goji berries make an excellent snack, and are also used in muffins, raw desserts, salads and energy bars! Although they are most often eaten in dried, whole berry form, goji berries are also available as a powder juice or supplement.

Here is a recipe to goji energy bites, which are just so delicious!

Acai Berries

8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs - acai | The Organic Beauty BlogThe endless health benefits of Acai should not be underestimated. They have the highest nutritional composition of anything you can eat in the world (wow) and as a result they can give the body a large number of nutritional requirements that it is typically short on.

The most significant health benefit of Acai berry is that it reintroduces nutritional elements that the bodies ought to have, but are typically just not present in our diet. Eating more of these nutrients aids the body in functioning the manner it’s supposed to. This helps the body to reach a healthy equilibrium.

Acai berry in different forms (I prefer the freeze dried powder) can be put into everything from salad dressings, smoothies and your tea. It takes some getting accustomed to. It tastes kind of like a combination of chocolate and berry. There are a multitude of ways to incorporate the health advantages of Acai as part of your nutrition plan and the advantages justify the effort. Acai berries aids in increasing your energy level and your metabolism so your body will use more calories naturally that you will discover helps you to lose weight and helps you to feel a lift in energy.

Camu Camu Fruit

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The Camu camu fruit is believed to be the world’s most abundant source of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin often used to strengthen the immune system. It gives you as much as 60 times more vitamin C per serving than an orange. This antioxidant-rich berry from the Amazon is also a plentiful source of potassium, calcium, protein, beta carotene, amino acids and powerful phytochemicals. The most common way to bring it into your diet is to by raw organic dried camu camu fruit powder mixed into your smoothie.

Spirulina

8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs - spirulina | The Organic Beauty BlogSpirulina is one of the most nutritious and concentrated food sources on the planet. As a result, it’s appearing more frequently all the time in natural foods and beverages, such as green foods and drinks, energy bars and oral supplements.

Spirulina consistently boasts an amazing protein level of 60 percent on average—making it a protein source for vegans/vegetarians. And spirulina’s protein is biologically complete, containing all of the essential amino acids needed for human health. Spirulina is similar to sea vegetables such as dulse, kelp, nori, Kombu, arame, and wakame. Along with its cousin chlorella (another one of my favorites), spirulina is a member of the “blue-green” family—but this family is actually not truly algae. Check out an amazing green smoothie recipe here, containing almost every superfood in this article!

Maca Root

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I myself use maca mainly for its energy boosting effects. Many people use maca for its virility and fertility boost benefits as well. Maca is a real libido booster and people or couples who would like an enhancement in that department should start taking maca regularly. It has been described as the best natural supplement out there for virility and libido for both men & women. Women usually use maca for hot flashes, and for treating and relieving PMS symptoms. Maca works amazingly for regulating hormones. This also makes maca great for anyone with mood swings and stress in their life.

On top of all these things, maca is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s loaded with amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. It’s rich in almost every mineral! Maca is one of the most potent plant-based sources for Vitamin B12, which is great news for vegans or for people who do not eat meat. Rich in protein as well, at least 10% of the maca root weight is protein. It comes in a bunch of different forms; capsules, powder and liquid, and just like many of the other superfoods it is super easy to add to your smoothie for a great boost. If you don’t have a smoothie every morning, the capsule form may work better for you, to ensure you’re getting consistent doses every day for maximum effect!

Hemp Seeds

8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs - hemp | The Organic Beauty BlogHemp seeds are of exceptionally high quality in terms of amino acid composition and protein structure, the latter affecting digestibility and utilization by the human body. Hemp protein contains all of the essential amino acids in more nutritionally significant amounts and at a ratio closer to “complete” sources of protein (like meat, milk and eggs) than all other oil seeds except soy. It is delicious to boost your morning smoothie with, or sprinkle on top of your quinoa porridge or oatmeal.

Chia Seeds

8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs - chia | The Organic Beauty BlogPeople are going crazy for chia seeds, which have gained attention as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also an excellent source of fiber at 10 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons), and contain protein and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

Including chia seeds as part of your healthy diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared in a number of dishes. Sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, rice, yogurt or vegetables. The seeds are very absorbent and develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in water making it easy to mix them into cooked cereal or other dishes. So delicious! Check out this post about healthy breakfast options featuring a delicious chia seed porridge!

Bee Pollen

8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs - bee pollen | The Organic Beauty BlogBee pollen is the food of young bees and is comprised of approximately 40% protein. It is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods. It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body. Such highly assimilable protein can contribute significantly to one’s protein needs.

Bee pollen contains all the essential components of life, such as proteins, free amino acids, vitamins, including B-complex, and folic acid. The percentage of rejuvenating elements in bee pollen is much higher than those present in brewer’s yeast and wheat germ. Bee pollen corrects the unbalanced nutrition in the body, which is very common today since we consume so many nutritionally incomplete foods, often with added chemical ingredients, which expose us to physiological problems. I would suggest using bee pollen as part of your smoothie, delicious and healthy!

Again, check out our Organic Beauty Superfood Smoothie Recipe to incorporate many of these amazing ingredients!

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