Amongst all the stress that gets thrown at us this season-holidays, shifts in the weather, school and work deadlines- (I know, I just began to admit to myself that summer is definitely over), our bodies can take some major blows. All that stress causes oxidative damage and inflammation, which truly is the root cause of most diseases. However, even plain ol’ day to day life, certain foods, and exercise can also lead to oxidative damage/inflammation and buildup of free radicals in our body. That’s why it is so essential that we nourish ourselves with antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods when we can.
I want you to note this, also. More antioxidants does not always mean better. Many research studies show that too much of this good thing can actually cause harm! So no need to stock up on expensive antioxidant supplements- get your dose of antioxidants from whole food sources…which brings me to this smoothie!
If you are feeling run-down and lackluster, this smoothie is perfect to add into your rotation. It is so full of nutrient-rich ingreds that I will breakdown below. A little bonus: not only is this recipe gonna work wonders for your insides neutralizing all those free radicals and bringing down that inflammation, it’s gonna be beautifying, too. Think of it as a brightening, anti-aging face mask that you drink 🙂 . In this case, you are what you eat, which means you will be deliciously refreshed both inside and out! If you find no other reason to drink this smoothie, do it because it is dang tasty!
So let’s talk ingredients, shall we?
- Pomegranate seeds: Our wintery jewel in this smoothie! This fruit is brimming with antioxidants and polyphenols. It’s truly one of the OG superfoods before acai came on the scene. Plus, one pom contains 40% of your daily vitamin C needs, which is crucial if you want youthful, glowing skin.
- Cacao nibs/powder: you are gonna notice a trend here, but say hello to even more antioxidants! This is the cacao bean (where we get chocolate) in a very minimally processed form. There should only be one ingredient: cacao! Cacao is rich in polyphenols, is a good source of many nutrients including iron and magnesium, and it’s a major mood booster that has been shown to raise serotonin levels.
- Flax seeds: These are a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Plus they are a great source of fiber and…antioxidants! Purchase them ground (or grind your own), because that makes it much easier for our body to absorb the nutrients. As an FYI to make it easier when you are navigating the store, ground flax seeds are the same as “flax meal”.
- Chia seeds: More fiber, more omega-3 fatty acids, more antioxidants. Are you surprised? Can’t go wrong with a spoonful of chia and plenty of water to help improve digestion, too. Chia seeds absorb tons of water, so they help to make the smoothie thick in texture.
- Matcha green tea powder: Ahhhh yes, this whole leaf green tea that is ground into a powder is all the rage now. As someone who has been consuming matcha for the past decade, I sometimes feel like a matcha connoisseur who has been waiting patiently for this to catch on. Been trying to get people to have this green drank for a verryyy long time. Matcha is full of EGCG, a type of polyphenol that has very high antioxidant activity. Plus that bright green color means it’s full of chlorophyll, which increase the blood’s capacity to deliver oxygen throughout the body. Love it!
Ready to get a serious antioxidant boost? Recipe is below!
Antioxidant Beauty Smoothie
Serves 2 as a snack, 1 as a meal
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened flax milk)
1 scoop protein powder- helps with satiety and stabilizing blood sugar levels
2 Tbsp cacao nibs
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 Tbsp flax seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp matcha green tea powder
Put all ingredients in blender, then blend it up, baby!
What are some of your favorite smoothie ingredients? I love smoothies, but sometimes in the winter they can seem a little “summery”, which is why I like to shift toward adding warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and Fall/Winter produce like pumpkin, pomegranate, and persimmon!
Talk soon! Let me know what posts/recipes you are interested in as we approach sweater weather and the “season of indulgence”.