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Getting a gorgeous, glowing complexion doesn’t only mean slathering on sunblock or the latest antioxidant serum (though that helps, too). It also means paying attention to your diet. By tossing nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and other goodies into your blender, you can nab more beautifying foods that will nourish your skin from the inside, out.
We’re talking ingredients that can help repair damage from nasty UV rays, give your skin a healthy glow, and reduce inflammation and puffiness (too many margaritas last night, perhaps?).
Put your best face forward with these powerhouse ingredients and smoothie recipes.
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Chia Seeds for Younger Looking Skin
“This smoothie delivers a bonanza of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients,” says YouBeauty Culinary Expert and chef Jim Perko, C.E.C. It contains chia seeds, as well as yogurt and tofu, which provide calcium, iron and protein to protect and maintain cell membranes, reduce inflammation and possibly protect against sun damage.
Chia seeds also contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids (just 1 1/2 tablespoons has the same amount found in five ounces of salmon), which boosts hydration by absorbing up to 10 times their weight in liquid. What’s more, the fruits in the smoothie help build skin-firming collagen, rebuild skin cells and fight oxidative damage. So drink up to help plump up your skin and smooth out fine lines.
Beauty Bonanza Smoothie
Recipe by Jim Perko, C.E.C.
¼ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 orange, peeled and pits removed
1 ripe banana
½ cup fat-free plain yogurt
½ cup extra firm Silken tofu
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Put all ingredients into blender and whip until smooth. Sip and think youthful thoughts.
Kale For a Healthy Skintone
“This smoothie has more ‘gorgeous goods’ than any other smoothie I know,” says YouBeauty Nutrition Advisor, Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D. That's because it's chock-full of carotenoids thanks to an abundance of kale. A recent study in the journal PLos ONE found that ingesting carotenoids (like the ones found in kale) was associated with healthy looking skin color that study participants deemed attractive in the opposite sex.
In addition to improving skin tone, kale also helps protect our tissues from oxidative stress and wrinkles. You can’t ask for a better beautifying ingredient than that.
Green and Glowing Smoothie
Recipe by Jim Perko, C.E.C., for the Cleveland Clinic Lifestyle 180 program
1 cup cleaned spinach leaves, firm packed
1 cup cleaned kale, rough chop, firm packed
1 cup green seedless grapes
1 Bartlett pear, core, stem and seeds removed
1 orange, peeled and quartered
1 banana, peeled
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1⁄2 cup water
2 cups ice
Place all ingredients in blender and process on a low speed for 15 seconds, increase to medium, then high until well blended. Going green never tasted so good.
Coconut for Repairing Damaged Skin
“Healthy fats such as coconut oil are crucial for healthy skin,” says Frank Lipman, M.D., founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center. That’s because coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties. Coconut also contains vitamin E, which is essential for healthy skin growth and repair.
“The saturated fat in coconut oil is even known to protect the skin from UV damage from the sun,” adds Dr Lipman. This coconut oil smoothie will help nourish your skin from the inside out—and may make you feel like you’re vacationing in the tropics.
Coconut Bliss Smoothie
Recipe by Frank Lipman, M.D.
1 Be Well Sustain protein powder packet
4 ounces water
4 ounces unsweetened almond milk
1⁄2 frozen banana cut into chunks
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
4 ice cubes
Add all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Ahh!
Avocado for Reducing Inflammation
An avocado is capable of a lot more than delicious guacamole. This creamy green fruit is loaded with vitamins C, E and K, which are essential for healthy skin. It may also help reduce dryness and irritation. “I love the avocado in this recipe because it’s loaded with antioxidant power, giving skin a beauty boost by helping your body cut down on inflammation and making your skin glow,” explains Keri Glassman, R.D., author of “Slim, Calm, Sexy Diet: 365 Proven Food Strategies for Mind/Body Bliss.”
In addition to all of those beautifying benefits, avocados also contain glutathione, a substance that specifically blocks intestinal absorption of certain fats that cause oxidative stress—the damage to our skin due to environment, diet, alcohol, UV rays or smoking.
1 medium ripe peach, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped Hass avocado
1/3 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
3⁄4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
3 tablespoons 100% pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a blender. Puree about 15 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve with a tall straw.
Berries for Smoother Skin
They may be little, but berries bring on big beautifying benefits for your skin. “Berries are full of antioxidant compounds that neutralize damaging free radicals that lead to skin cell damage and premature skin aging,” explains Tricia Williams, chef and owner of Food Matters, a food delivery service in New York City.
Plus, they’re loaded with hydrating water and are chock-full of vitamin C, which is crucial for a healthy complexion. As if that’s not enough, these colorful superfoods help the body manufacture collagen, which makes skin soft, smooth and youthful. Pass the berries, please!
Berry Beauty Blast
Recipe by Tricia Williams
1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/4 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
1/4 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
1/4 cup kale
1 cup water
Place all ingredients in a high power blender. Whirl until completely smooth. Serve immediately and sip your way to berry-induced bliss.
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