One of my all-time favourite ‘go-to’ quick beverages to make is the all-mighty smoothie! There is nothing so refreshing and – made right – so nutrient-rich for your skin as a smoothie. It is a great way to start the day when you are on-the-go and need something quick and easy before heading to work or school. And rather than using a ‘smoothie in a pouch,’ which can be full of refined sugar and unpronounceable preservatives, why not make something that is filling, low in calories, and nourishing for your skin at the same time?
My Skin History
I know a little about the need to nourish your skin. For most of my life, I have been plagued with problematic skin with acne and inflammation being the main culprits. And despite doctors and dermatologists telling me that I would ‘outgrow’ this condition, giving me pills for a temporary fix, I never did. So, over the years, I have taken it upon myself to learn about how foods affect the skin and body and have made some dietary changes – such as removing gluten and nearly all dairy products – that have, over the past five years, proven helpful to both my skin and overall health. I am not a trained professional, and can therefore only provide insights into what has helped me, and I hope, you as well. And while these smoothie recipes are great for those struggling with problematic skin, they are incredibly delicious and nutrient-dense and, therefore, excellent for anyone wishing to make healthier choices in their diet.
Each of the recipes herein is gluten-free, dairy-free, (refined) sugar-free, soy-free, nut-free and, well, free of many of the more problematic allergens out there. So, without further ado, let’s make our 3 skin-nourishing summer smoothies!
#1 Orange Sunrise Creamsicle
This is one of my all-time favourite smoothies to make. Not only is it delicious, but it is good for your skin. This is because fruits like oranges contain an orange pigment with a skin-beneficial property known as beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant that is a precursor to Vitamin A. (For those of you who have ever used skin treatments or creams of any kind, you will be familiar with retinol, which is a derivative of Vitamin A, and one of the primary ingredients used to promote healthy, glowing skin.)
Tip: Beta-carotene is found in all orange- and yellow-pigmented foods, including fruits like apricots and cantaloupe and vegetables like sweet potatoes and winter squash. Yet another reason to eat those carrots!
- 1 orange
- ½ a frozen or fresh banana
- 1 cup coconut milk (or other non-dairy alternative)
- ½ to 1 tablespoon hemp hearts or chia seeds (or other healthy protein source of your choice)
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
Blend ingredients in a blender. Pour into your favourite sipping glass and enjoy this all-natural creamsicle in a glass!
#2 Blackberry-Boost Smoothie
Berries are considered by many health professional to be among the best fruits you can eat to nourish your skin. For one, berries are low in sugar, which helps reduce your glycemic index (blood sugar load), which also aids in reducing inflammation in your body. Blackberries, in particular, are rich in Vitamins A (retinol) and C and niacin, which can help with healing inflammation.
Tip: Make sure to choose the ripest fruits in order to get the maximum benefit!
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup coconut milk (or other non-dairy alternative)
- ½ cup frozen or fresh blackberries
- ½ cup frozen mangos (or more, depending on how sweet you prefer your smoothies)
- ½-1 tablespoon hemp hearts or hemp powder (or other protein source, such as chia seeds)
- pinch of sea salt
- Optional: maple syrup, stevia or honey for added sweetness
Blend ingredients in a blender. Pour into your favourite sipping glass and enjoy!
#3 Mellow Mango
For this recipe, you will be using spinach and mangos as your main ingredients. At first sight you might be thinking, ‘spinach’ for my sweet, fruity smoothie? Yes! Because mangos are incredibly sweet, you will not detect the spinach (except by sight) – honestly! As important as it is to find nourishing fruits for your skin, increasing your intake of greens, especially dark, leafy greens is important for anyone struggling with problematic skin. This is because by increasing your greens, you can reduce acidity in the body (an acidic environment in the body increases inflammation which can lead to acne and other health issues) and helps increase alkalinity and thus balance out your body’s pH levels. Increasing your intake of alkalizing foods (including all greens) helps reduce inflammation of the body and can, thus, help reduce breakouts. All that to say: eat – in this case, drink – more greens!
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk (or other non-dairy alternative)
- 1 cup frozen mangos
- ½ cup frozen spinach
- Optional: stevia for added sweetness
Blend ingredients together. This smoothie is thick, so add more water/milk, as desired.
Final Tip: Consuming fruit smoothies with a protein (e.g., hemp or chia) and a healthy fat (non-dairy milk) will help reduce your glycemic index (blood sugar load). This is because protein and fat help to slow the release of sugars into your blood stream, thereby, avoiding blood sugar spikes in your body – thus reducing acne-causing inflammation in your skin.
Hope these tips and smoothie recipes help you discover how easy and delicious eating (in this case, drinking) skin-healthy foods can be. Happy blending!