Transform Your Complexion
5 Ingredients Your Smoothie Must Have to Get Your Skin Glowing
Want to transform your complexion and get a radiant glow that everyone envies? Start from the inside.
The key to fending off — or even reversing — the damage that comes from too much sun, smoking, or unhealthy eating is getting plenty of antioxidants, a substance that protects your body from harm on the cellular level and is found in abundance in many fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Vitamins A, C and E are all antioxidants, as are many phytochemicals, which are compounds found naturally in plants.
One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to get your beauty-boosting nutrients is to start your day with a healthy breakfast smoothie. Your top ingredients should be:
Anthocyanidins. A phytochemical that's a powerful antioxidant, anthocyanidins give fruits their red or purple colors. Best sources: Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, raspberries.
Carotenoids. Carotenoids produce a red, yellow or orange color in fruits and veggies. This phytochemical enhances collagen production, which is the protein fiber that keeps your facial skin firm and youthful looking. As we age, collagen isn’t replenished as quickly and the skin sags. Best sources: Carrots, guavas, lemons, limes, tomatoes, watermelon.
Vitamin C. This important vitamin is a potent antioxidant and works together with carotenoids to help keep collagen healthy. Best sources: Cantaloupe, kale, kiwis, oranges, papayas, strawberries, red bell peppers.
Vitamin E. Working from the inside to protect the top layers of skin against sun damage, vitamin E is important for preventing wrinkles. Best source: Almonds, avocados, sunflower seeds.
Selenium. Consumed in tandem with vitamin E, selenium improves your skin’s elasticity and texture. This mineral is abundant in some fish and grains, but for smoothies, your best bet is Brazil nuts.
To whip up a beauty-boosting smoothie, put a cup of any combination of the fruits, juices (lemon, lime), vegetables and nuts mentioned above into a blender with a handful of ice cubes. (Or, to make your mix creamier and richer, replace the ice with chunks of a frozen banana. Bananas are a nutritional powerhouse in their own right, containing potassium, vitamin B6, fiber and pectin.)
Pour in about half a cup of lowfat milk or a substitute like almond, coconut or soy milk and blend until the mix is free of lumps. You can also use yogurt or kefir, if you prefer.
To give your smoothie more staying power so you can go from breakfast to lunch without getting hungry, consider adding a tablespoon of peanut butter or a scoop of whey protein powder. Also think about adding spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or vanilla extract to create new flavors. If your smoothie is too tart, blend in a couple teaspoons of honey.
One caveat: A few of these ingredients are high in calories, such as avocados, honey, nuts and seeds, so watch how much you’re adding. Three or four Brazil nuts or seven or eight almonds are enough to give you the nutritional benefit without busting your calorie budget.