There are countless articles, blogs, and recipe books detailing how to eat for healthier skin. Eat plenty of poultry and fish, leafy greens, and colorful fruits and vegetables and you’re well on your way to a healthier you. Eating well has great benefit for your overall wellbeing, and your largest organ (AKA your skin) is no different!
The heat of summer is here. The barbeque grill is out and fired up, and things are cooking. And the sun is baking hot! You’re watching the kids slurp down their dripping ice cream cones and your mouth is watering for something sweet and COLD and delicious. Why not give in?! And while you’re at it, opt for a healthy version!
A smoothie is a great way to satisfy just that craving, while delivering a powerful punch of industrious, beneficial ingredients. Fruits and vegetables contain strong antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from the damage of free radicals. Free radicals come about as a byproduct of normal metabolic oxidation processes, and they also infiltrate by way of smoking, pollution, and the activity of the sun’s UV rays. They’re known to speed up the aging process, causing wrinkles and sun spots. Eating a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables throughout the day will deliver potent antioxidants, which are also important for normal skin development and healthy tone.
We’ll touch on some supercharged ingredients to include in your next blenderizing moment.
Healthy Charged Ingredients for Your Skin
Matcha is a type of green tea full of antioxidants. Studies show that these antioxidants help to keep skin smooth and supple, warding off wrinkles.
Avocado oil hydrates the skin when applied topically, bringing back a healthy glow. When consumed, the fruit delivers vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the skin from cellular damage due to free radicals and toxins, and supports healthy skin growth. These versatile fruits also contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, providing essential fatty acids which act as natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple and improving elasticity.
It seems most parts of coconuts are a healthy addition to any smoothie drink. Coconut oil can help to decrease the inflammatory response. What does that mean for your skin? Decreasing inflammation can decrease redness. Coconut water is a great source of electrolytes, making it a good choice for hydration. It’s also full of cytokinins, which are linked to reduced cellular aging.
Mangos are overflowing with carotenoids, known for boosting skin’s glow. So much so that 1 cup of fresh mango contains 2 mg of beta-carotene. (The National Institutes of Health only recommends 0.001 mg of beta-carotene per day.) Beta-carotene protects your skin from sun damage.
Pumpkin, of the canned variety, is full of both beta- and alpha-carotene per cup (17 and 12 mg, respectively). These carotenoids are converted into the vitamin A precursor, retinol, which then combines with fat molecules to form vitamin A. This nutrient is essential to cellular growth and development and can slow the aging process.
Leafy greens are a great source of carotenoids, as well. Spinach and kale are nutrient dense superfoods that assist in the removal of toxins from the body. They’re rich in vitamins E and C, potentially slowing the aging process and reducing wrinkles. The nutrients in spinach are known to strengthen skin tissues and possess anti-inflammatory properties for clear, glowing skin.
Pineapples are high in vitamin C, which plays a big role in the production of collagen, the skin’s structural support protein. Healthy production is key to keeping ahead of fine lines and wrinkles.
Essential fatty acids (namely omega-3 and -6) like those derived from flax oil or whole flax seeds and chia seeds are used to keep your skin lubricated. They are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes and support the skin’s production of sebum, the natural oil barrier, important in keeping the skin hydrated, plumper, and younger looking. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which benefit the skin. They’re especially useful in cases of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Fresh and Frozen vs. Canned Fruits
If you can’t stock fresh fruits, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to. Studies show that canned fruits deliver a nutrient content that is generally similar to that of comparable fresh and processed products. In some cases, they actually retain more of their vitamin content owing to a lack of oxidation.
Ingredients You Don’t Need in Your Smoothie
Sugar! There is no need to add sugar to a recipe if you’re using fruit that naturally lends sweetness. Fruits like mangoes, bananas, and pineapples are sweet enough. Adding processed sugars will defeat the purpose of making a healthy smoothie in the long run. According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist and nutritionist, simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar, cause your insulin level to spike, leading to a sudden burst of inflammation throughout the body. That means, your skin, too!
For delicious recipes catered to your skin’s specific needs and more nutrient-rich foods you can add to your smoothie, try these by greenblender.