This post is sponsored by GOPO, however all opinions are my own. Please note I am not a dietician and have gathered my information through personal research and a variety of sources. Always consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about ingesting certain supplements.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not a smoothie person. I’m also not a big supplements or protein powder kind of gal. Of course I’ve dabbled in some here and there and of course I, like many, have been lured into a product simply because of all the “wonderful ways it will be the cure to all my lifes’ problems!!” (snort).
So what is leading me to write such a post on strange superfoods and smoothie supplements? Well you see, the restaurant where I work has a huge array of smoothies, and a large collection of so called “superfoods” that you can choose to add to your daily drinkable elixir. I’ve been trying to get better acquainted with some of these products so I can more confidently explain what they are to our customers.
It can be really easy to get overwhelmed with menus when you enter any sort of juice or smoothie shop. Everything these days seems to promote “prevents cancer!” So rather than including those very general, sweeping claims that are so easily glorified (and which lure us into grabbing for our wallets without a second thought) I wanted to make a simple “go to guide” – for both you and I – to break down the basic facts behind some of these less-heard-of supplements you may be coming across. My hope is this will help us separate one from the other and get a better idea as to what supplements may actually benefit us.
What is it: A root plant and member of the cruciferous family (like broccoli and cabbage). Grown in the mountains of South America. Most commonly available in powder form after being harvested and ground down.
Taste: Nutty, earthy, malted chocolate
Rich in: protein, vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, and E, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and amino acids.
Known for: Hormone balance, increasing fertility, boosting libido, and for physical and mental endurance. Also known to to help achieve a calm, focused energy, relieve menstrual cramps, lower stress, and improve overall general mood. A great and easy supplement to add for help during HA recovery.
Precautions: Start slow. Taking too much may result in adverse effects and take you for a not-so-fun hormonal ride. Begin by taking no more than 2 tbsp daily and work up little by little from there
What is it: The edible pods from the Mesquite tree – a tree indigenous to dry climates in parts of South American. The pods are ground whole, including their seeds, to make a powder which can also be referred to as mesquite flour or meal.
Taste: mild, slightly sweet, nutty, hints of caramel and molasses.
Rich in: protein (2 Tbsp has 6 grams of protein) and soluble fibre. Contains measurable amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. Also has a low glycemic index (25).
Uses: often used as a natural sweetener and can even be used as an alternative to white flour
Because of its high fibre content and low glycemic index, it won’t cause blood sugar spikes and will increase satiety for longer periods of time. It has the ability to balance blood sugar, making it a great option for diabetics, and can be used as an alternative to regular sweeteners in baked goods and other foods.
What is it: The fruits, which develop into bright red cherries, from the Evergreen acerola tree (found in the warm climate of South America, California, Texas, Florida)
Rich in: Vitamin C. One of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in any fruit. The juice from the cherries contain 13 time more vitamin C than an equal amount of orange juice (3,872 milligrams from 1 cup of juice). Also high in vitamin A and antioxidants.
Uses: To boost the immune system, treat colds, increase circulation and regulate blood sugar levels
Precautions: It’s rare to experience side effects from too much vitamin C, though problems such as diarrhea, nausea and cramps may arise. Taking large amounts in supplement form may increase your risk of developing kidney stones.
What is it: A blue-green microalgae that grows naturally in warm, fresh water lakes. It is the world’s first superfood and one of the most nutrient-rich foods on Earth.
Rich in: protein (55 – 70% protein – more than beef, chicken, and soybeans), antioxidants (4x the amount in blueberries), contains 8 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids, high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene, linoleic acid, vitamin B12, iron, calcium (more than in milk), phosphorus, nucleic acids RNA & DNA, chlorophyll (good for blood purifying), phycocyanin (a beneficial protein pigment), and has omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9s
Uses: provides a near-instantaneous boost of energy, improves endurance and reduces fatigue, natural detoxifier, acts as a sponge for toxins and binds to heavy metals in the body, oxygenates the blood, promotes dental health, improves immune system
Okay, the only reason I am including this one is that it seems to be a very recent health “trend” that’s getting a bunch of hype. Despite my efforts I still have not been able to find any significant distinction between blue magik and spirulina. I wanted to throw it in here simply to hi-lite this.
What is it: A derivative of spirulina; an extract of the blue-green algae Arthrospira platensis.
Rich in: Contains all the exceptionally high levels of nutrients as spirulina. It gets its increased blue color from C-phycocyaninn. Studies show C-phycocyanin to be rich in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and may promote brain health.
What is it: a nutritive “jam” that has been used in Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years. Made of a base of Amalaki fruits – an Indian gooseberry type fruit native to southeast Asia. Amalaki is considered one of the most powerful rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda. To make the chwaneprash “jam,” added to this base are herbs, ghee, sesame oil, sugar and/or honey (therefore chywaneprash is not vegan).
Rich in: Amalaki is rich is antioxidants and is very high in vitamin C.
Uses: To strengthen the immune system, cool and rejuvenate the body, and as an aphrodisiac. Ayurvedic jams such as chyawanprash are used as carriers for herbs to be transported into the deep tissues which can lead to increased energy. Amalaki provides support and nutrition to the digestive tract, skin, arteries, and liver.
Add to hot drinks for a thick and soothing immune boosting remedy.
What is it: a natural weed or herb found mostly in California. The seeds and leaves of the plant can be consumed in pill, powder, extract or tea form and the seeds can actually be eaten completely raw.
Rich in: antioxidants and lipophilic extracts (from the seeds of the plant)
Uses: most well known as a natural liver supporter and detoxifier, which helps draws toxins out of the body and fight free radical damage. The lipophilic extracts act as antioxidants which increase immunity and slow down oxidative stress. Also known to promote healthy digestive function by helping with enzyme formation, increasing bile production, decreasing inflammation and soothing mucous membranes throughout the body.
What is it: The fruit of the wild rose plant which develop as the flowers drop off. Native to Europe and Western Asia. Most commonly found in teas, liquors and essential oils. Can now be found in capsules and powder form (to be added to drinks and smoothies) .
Taste: “tart and rosy.” Rosehips are completely edible and can be eaten raw after being put in a blender .
Rich in: vitamin C (another one of the most concentrated sources available – 50% more than in oranges), beta-carotene, vitamin A, lutein and lycopene
Uses: To boost the immune system, treat colds, decrease wrinkles and regenerate new skin cells (due to the beta-carotene and vitamin A) and is therefore often used in natural skin and cosmetic products.
Also used to treat wounds and inflammations and have been shown to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that patients given rose hip experience less pain and an increase in their physical mobility by 25%.
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Which leads me to….
When I first saw rosehips offered as a powdered ingredient, I was intrigued and began researching why the heck this was even a “thing.” I became most intrigued when I read about their function toward joint and mobility health. As someone who danced all her life, my joints are forever….
effed worked. Though I do not dance now, the work you do on your hips and core and back tend to stay with you for eternity. I am now making intuitive movement more a priority, and a large reason behind this is that I want to find movement that helps my joints feel free and limber and mobile. As much as I know it is my lot in life, I’m tired of feeling tight and would rather not feel the need to pop and crack and stretch myself a trillion times a day. Ya know? I’m not THAT old yet! Well, that right there tells me I want to start taking better care of my joints… now.
So when I was offered a chance to try GOPO Rosehips with Galactolipids, I was simply curious.
For more interesting suggestions for long term joint care, see this list.
While there are many other rose hip products on the market, GOPO is the only rosehip product supported by clinical research. The company originated in England more than 80 years ago. They promote health and wellbeing through a variety of herbal medicines, supplements and other products. Their products can be found at The Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World and online, and can be contacted through
I have been taking these capsules for 3 weeks now and I must say, I have noticed a large decrease in my desire to snack, crackle and pop the various parts of my body. This, combined with my increased desire to walk and practice yoga, has left me feeling a lot more limber and free in my daily movements. Its fascinating how much you can become accustomed to, and then how amazing it can feel when you are shown what comfort is!
Do you notice tightness in your joints? Are you wanting to take better care of your body to ward off bone and joint concerns in your future? Or, do you know someone who is beginning to show signs of joint fatigue and arthritis that could benefit from joint care supplements? (I’m hoping to send some to my Dad!) GOPO is offering three of my readers a voucher for a free bottle of GOPO Rosehips with Galactolipids (up to $29.99 value). Enter below for your chance to win!
Which of these supplements have you heard of? Any new ones?
Do you use any special supplements in your smoothies?
What do you do to take care of your joints?
If you spend any time on healthy living blogs, or follow any health/foodie-focused…