During cold and flu season — and all year round, really — I try taking vitamin C pills in addition to eating an antioxidant-rich diet for a boost to my immune health. I was intrigued when I received the Purely Inspired Healthy Beets+ Superfood Powder ($15) because of its immune-support ingredients. There's both vitamin C and zinc — around 100 percent daily value of each per one-serving scoop — along with red spinach extract touted as aiding in nitric-oxide production, which is important for overall health. (Taking nitric oxide supplements can, among other things, increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.)
Beetroot juice also ups nitric-oxide production and can improve cardiorespiratory endurance. Full disclosure: I was only interested in trying the powder for the sake of my immune system, keeping in mind that there are other ways to help the immune system function to the best of its ability.
The powder is sweetened with Stevia leaf extract, and other ingredients listed include the soluble fibre guar gum and maltodextrin. The latter may not be ideal for people with diabetes or insulin resistance or for those at risk of developing an autoimmune or digestive disorder. Though the directions recommend taking this twice a day (two scoops total), I've only been sticking to one scoop in a single smoothie since I aim to get vitamin C through the foods I eat as well.
You can find the full nutrition facts label ahead. As always, consult with your doctor if you're concerned about introducing any form of supplement into your diet.
I've been adding this powder to my morning smoothies a few times a week or in post-workout protein shakes; they typically feature an assortment of frozen berries I feel mix well with the powder. Despite the fact that it's advertised as "unflavoured," I do notice a bit of beet flavour in my smoothies that enhances the berry-goodness. It turns my drinks a delightfully bright reddish-purple colour, and who doesn't like sipping on a vibrant smoothie they made themselves?!
While I can't say that my immune system has skyrocketed — I got a cold (and, yes, I was COVID-19 negative) that lasted a number of days since I started adding this to my smoothies over a month ago — I am a sure fan of how it blends into my smoothies. Plus, I'd definitely give it a gold star for taste.