Smoothies aren’t just a nutritious, complete way to start your day. They can also be a powerful tool to meet your wellness goals – whatever those goals may be.
Rather than throwing a few fruits in a blender and calling it a day, consider taking a more methodical approach to your smoothies. Be discriminating with your ingredients and embrace various superfoods to meet your specific needs. In other words: Make your smoothie work for you.
This article offers a few precise ideas for optimizing your smoothie according to popular wellness goals. If you want stress relief, immune support, mental alertness or a healthy gut, try one of the ingredients below, easily procurable online through Rritual Superfoods and your local grocery store.
Evening Stress Relief: Reishi Mushrooms and Holy Basil
People tend to think of smoothies as a morning pick-me-up, but they can be enjoyed throughout the day for other purposes. Case in point, this relaxing end-of-day smoothie with reishi mushrooms and holy basil.
Both lion’s mane and holy basil are revered in traditional medicine (and studied in modern Western medicine) for their stress-regulating benefits. The earthy notes of the lion’s mane paired with the spicy, herbaceous basil make a calming, comforting mixture.
Immune Support: Oranges and Chaga
Worried about catching another cold? There’s a smoothie for that. Try combining freshly squeezed orange juice with Chaga powder for a healthful, immune-supporting concoction.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, a vitamin proven to help improve your body’s immune response. And there’s a growing body of evidence showing that Chaga (another superfood with a long history in traditional medicine) contains novel compounds that support white blood cell production.
The Chaga has a rich, slightly bitter taste tempered by the sour and sweet orange juice. Together, they create a compelling pair that goes well with bananas, oats, cacao powder and dark berries.
Energy and Alertness: Vitamin B12, Rhodiola and Lion’s Mane
For some people, smoothies are an expedient way to feel alert in the morning. They’re a quick way to get calories, nutrients and vitamins in an easily transportable vessel. For the ultimate energy-boosting smoothie, reach for vitamin B12, Rhodiola and lion’s mane – ingredients shown to support peak cognitive function and energy.
Since animal protein is the only natural source of B12 (and since you probably don’t want to mix meat into your morning smoothie), look for a B12 supplement. Find a supplement mixture containing both Rhodiola and lion’s mane (because you might as well get two birds with a single stone). And complete the smoothie with bright ingredients like passionfruit, mango, lime andcoconut.
Gut Health: Prebiotics + Probiotics
Your gut microbiome works hard to keep you healthy. The least you can do is return the love a bit. For a microbiome-supporting smoothie, combine prebiotics and probiotics in a single glass. Several of the ingredients listed above are fantastic prebiotics (Chaga, lion’s mane, reishi, oats, etc.). As for probiotics, try fermented dairy products like yogurt or kefir. For a vegan probiotic, you can also try kombucha in your smoothie.
Keep this article handy the next time you want a functional smoothie. Tackle your stress, ward off the common cold, get a fresh wind of alertness or give your gut microbiome some love – all in one, easy-to-carry cup.