Do you know your smoothie powders?
If you have a cupboard packed with various powders for your morning smoothie, you may be feeling smug in the knowledge that you're a powder pro. But do you know why you're using them, and are you really getting the most out of the various concoctions you're adding to your blended drink?
We're here to break down a few of the powders, with help from Women's Health.
This North Indian leaf contains 17 times more calcium than milk and a whopping 25 times more iron than spinach - Popeye, eat your heart out! On top of this there are claims it helps control heart disease thanks to its cholesterol-absorbing plant sterols. The European Food Standards Authority found just 3g of the sterols is enough to lower cholesterol, so little is needed.
However, in the form of moringa, you're getting around 450mh per teaspoon of plant compounds - that's quite the difference. While there's been no harm documented from taking too much, it may perhaps restrict your moringa intake to a couple of times a week rather than every day to allow your body to reap the benefits. It can also be added to a soup, and vegans will get the calcium they miss out from not eating diary with it.
A rich green powder that's also a single-cell green algae doesn't have the best taste, but it is super high in protein, making it perfect for your post-gym smoothies or shakes. It boasts around 60 per cent protein and is packed full of amino acids too, to help appetite control. So much so that a previous study documented by the Journal of Food Science Technology found those who took it lost a significant amount of weight.
Just 20g of protein is enough to help your muscles recover after a workout session, meaning a single scoop will provide only half of this. Get your protein from other sources too, like a handful of almonds alongside your drink.
No, we're not talking about Paul McCartney here; maca is a powdered root that's famous for boosting energy levels thanks to its vitamin B and minerals such as iodine and copper.
A further bonus is that it's been found to boost libido, perfect from those suffering a sexual slump. A mere 3g, like with moringa, of maca is enough for women's sex drive to be revved as found in previous research. It was also noted that these 'aphrodisiac' effects are triggered by a compound similar to testosterone, though more work needs to be done to determine this.
Having this in your smoothie is much better than reaching for a cup of black coffee or can of cola, as you'll also be getting plenty of vitamin B. However, it doesn't provide similar amounts to that found in, say oats, so be aware that you need more in your diet to feel the perks, like healthy metabolism and reduced risk of stroke.