In an age when some foods are considered more "super" than others, ginger and algae are the latest to be granted health-food superpowers.
Ginger has been heralded as an anti-inflammatory for more than 5,000 years in traditional Chinese and Indian healing modalities, but athletes just now seem to be finding its roots. A 2014 study published in the Central European Journal of Immunology found that ginger attenuated post-workout, pro-inflammatory cytokines in high-intensity runners who incorporated the root into their diet for six weeks. In other words, ginger amped up runners' immune systems enough to keep wear and tear from heavy training at bay.
Toss some ginger into a smoothie along with a spoonful of spirulina, and you'll have a superfood snack worthy of a cape. The microalgae (you might recognize it as a key ingredient in Naked's Green Machine juice), contains more iron and protein per bite than ground beef with 20 percent fat. It can also be a vegan-friendly alternative to fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are produced when fish consume plankton after the plankton eat the microalgrae. You're simply going straight to the source. A study published by North Orissa University found that microalgae is one of the most underrated, highly nutritious greens out there. Nutritional breakdowns found 36 useful substances present in microalgae, such as DHA (for healthy brain function) and 11 vitamins, including biotin, folic acid, and riboflavin.
So what are you waiting for? It's smoothie time.