Superfoods are a great way to aid a happy, healthy lifestyle, as well as tackle any individual or specific health problems you may have. The issue however, is that when added to smoothies they don't make the tastiest of tipples, which at times can lead to our healthy choices feeling like more of a chore - but it doesn’t have to be this way.
When mixed, blended and beaten with the right ingredients and in a small-sized shot, there’s nothing to say our daily dose of superfoods can’t be as delicious as they are nutritious.
To help get us started we reached out to the Nutritional Therapist behind our Project Me Guide , Zoë Stirling , to find out how and which superfoods we should be sneaking into our diet. So, from clearing the complexion to helping super boost the body, here are Zoe’s top six recipes recommendations.
1. The Immune Tri-Army: ginger, lemon and cayenne pepper
“This is the shot to have if you ever feel like you’re coming down with a cold. In fact, all the ingredients in this shot are superfoods in their own right! Lemon is an all-rounder, great for skin health, detoxification, stimulating digestion and it’s especially punchy when mixed with ginger.Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has been traditionally used to relieve upset stomachs and nausea - but remember, the active compounds in ginger are found near the skin so it’s better to gently scrape off the skin with a teaspoon rather than using a peeler or knife. The final helper in this immune boosting shot is cayenne, which is thought to help clear signs of congestion in the lungs and nose.”
When to have it: “This shot is best had first thing in the morning with breakfast to help rev up your metabolism and give your immune system a boost!”
How to make it: “Straight up! Don’t sip – it goes down best in one gulp - otherwise it’s pretty fiery!”
Mix - 20ml ginger juice, 20ml lemon juice, 50ml water and a small sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
2. The Skin Smoother: spirulina, apple and cucumber
“Spirulina is a blue-green algae and a source of beta-carotene. The latter is an antioxidant that is fat soluble and thought to provide localised antioxidant activity to the skin. This allows for collagen fibres to stay intact, promoting smoother, firmer skin with fewer wrinkles. However, spirulina can sometimes be hard to palette as it’s found in freshwater lakes so can therefore can have a ‘fishy’ taste. Team it with apple juice to make it much easier to swallow - not to mention apples also are high in vitamin C, which is great for supporting collagen production. Meanwhile cucumber contains silica, a compound found in fresh fruits and vegetables that have shiny skin, which also supports collagen production through various enzymatic processes.”
When to have it: “This shot is great to have alongside some nuts at breakfast, lunch or with an afternoon snack (if you need one), so that the beta-carotene can be absorbed properly in the digestive tract.”
How to make it: “Blend - ¼ teaspoon of spirulina with 60ml apple juice and 30ml cucumber juice. Add a handful of spinach for some extra green goodness if you want!”
3. The Antioxidant Shot: baobab, avocado and apple juice
“Baobab is sometimes referred to as nature’s multivitamin and is a particularly rich source of vitamin C. In addition, avocados and apples also contain good levels of antioxidant vitamins making this shot a great all round health booster, supporting skin, heart and immune health. All of these ingredients are also rich in fibre, making this shot great for digestive health too. It’s an all round winner.”
When to have it: “This shot it great to have with breakfast or with an afternoon snack. Alternatively it can also be had post exercise to supply the body with antioxidants for a better recovery too.”
How to make it: “Blend - ¼ avocado, 1 tsp baobab and 100ml apple juice.”
4. The Pre-Workout Pick-Me-Up: matcha green tea and cayenne shot
“If you’re looking to get greater fat burning effects out of your workout then this super shot is a must. Matcha is a type of green tea that contains compounds called catechins, which support the activation of fat metabolising enzymes. On top of that cayenne pepper is well known for its thermogenic properties. However, remember that a little cayenne goes a long way so just a small sprinkle is needed.”
When to have it: “30-60 minutes prior to a resistance or cardio workout.”
How to make it: Mix ½ teaspoon matcha green tea (depending on how strong you like your matcha) with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Add a small amount of water and mix into a paste. When smooth, top up with 100ml hot water (approx. 100ml).
5. The Post-Workout Hydrator: coconut water and chia seeds
“After a sweaty workout, we need to get fluids and electrolytes back into the body and coconut water is a great way of doing that. Not only that, but after a workout protein - which can be found in chia seeds - is also important for muscle repair and recovery. Suitable for both vegetarians and vegan chia also contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, which we can only get through our diet and is perfect post-exercise for reducing inflammation, which can be a common after effect of a hard training session.”
When to have it: “This shot is particularly great after a cardio session! Have immediately afterwards.”
How to make it: “Mix 100ml coconut water with 1 tsp chia seeds – leave to soak through your workout.”
6. The Energy Bank Shot: maca, cinnamon and almond milk
“Maca is a Peruvian root thought to enhance strength, endurance and energy levels. It’s therefore the perfect pick-me-up if you’re needing a boost of energy during the day, rather than reaching for a coffee! Cinnamon is the perfect accompaniment to maca as it is believed to support blood sugar levels, keeping them steadier and maintaining our energy levels. In addition, almond milk adds a little protein to this combination, keeping us feeling fuller for longer and balancing sugar fluctuations in the body.”
When to have it: “When you feel like you need a coffee – try having this instead.”
How to make it: “Blend ½ teaspoon of maca, 100ml almond milk and sprinkle with cinnamon.”
For more tips, tricks and recipes for a healthier, happier body download our Project Me guide , which offers a 24 week food and fitness programme, helpful hints and nutritional know-how from leading experts.