Eating Your Way to Fabulous Skin with Green Smoothies - dummies

Eating Your Way to Fabulous Skin with Green Smoothies

By Jennifer Thompson

When it comes to having beautiful skin, the age-old saying “you are what you eat” couldn’t ring more true. Your skin is actually the largest organ in your body, and it’s responsible not only for protecting your body from outside damage but also for expelling internal toxins and acid waste directly through its pores. In fact, your skin eliminates a quarter of your body’s total waste every day.

While you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep at night, your skin is working hard to get rid of metabolic impurities, flush out acids, and help cleanse your body from the inside out. Through the process of renewal and repair, your skin constantly sheds older cells and replaces them with new ones. You need a steady supply of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and alkaline-forming foods to support the new cell growth.

Eating foods high in antioxidants — such as lemons, oranges, berries, mangoes, pineapples, and grapes — is an excellent path to clearer skin. Adding more dark leafy greens (especially watercress) to your diet gives you chlorophyll, another important nutrient for healthy skin. Other healing foods for skin include aloe vera, avocado, cucumber, and good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds and chia seeds.

Ageless Papaya and Blueberry

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 tablespoons chia seeds

3 cups chopped papaya, seeded and peeled

1 cup blueberries

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1-1/2 cups water

2 cups baby spinach, loosely packed

  1. Place the chia seeds in a bowl with 1/4 cup of room temperature water. Place in the fridge to soak for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

  2. Combine all the ingredients except the spinach in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  4. Add the spinach and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 217 (From Fat 45); Fat 5g (Saturated 0.5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 47mg; Carbohydrate 42g (Dietary Fiber 11g); Protein 5g.

Add 2 tablespoons of soaked goji berries or 1 tablespoon of acai powder for more antioxidants.

Add a dash of ground turmeric or ground cinnamon for a different twist. For a minty fresh flavor, add 3 or 4 mint leaves in Step 4.

Smooth Mango, Kiwi, and Watercress

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1 ripe mango

2 kiwis, peeled

1 ripe banana, peeled

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1-1/2 cups water

2 cups watercress, loosely packed

  1. Peel the mango and cut the flesh away from the stone.

  2. Combine all the ingredients except the watercress in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  4. Add the watercress and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 195 (From Fat 27); Fat 3g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 23mg; Carbohydrate 43g (Dietary Fiber 8g); Protein 5g.

Look for watercress greens either in loose form with other fresh greens or in a plastic container near the fresh herbs section in your grocery store.

If you don’t have access to fresh mango, use 2 cups of pineapple chunks or 2 peaches (cored and quartered) instead.

Aloe Ginger Peachy Dandy

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 ripe peaches

2 cups pineapple chunks

2 tablespoons ground hemp seed

2 tablespoons aloe vera juice

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger (peeled)

1-1/2 cups water

1 cup dandelion leaves, loosely packed

1 cup celery leaves, loosely packed

  1. Cut the peaches and remove the stones, keeping the skin intact. Cut the flesh into quarters.

  2. Combine the peaches, pineapple, hemp seed, aloe vera, ginger, and water in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually easing toward high, blend the ingredients for 1 minute or until smooth.

  4. Add the dandelion and celery leaves and blend again at medium speed for 45 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 336 (From Fat 72); Fat 8g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 92mg; Carbohydrate 61g (Dietary Fiber 8g); Protein 8g.

If you don’t have fresh ginger, use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger instead. If you don’t have fresh dandelion leaves at your local farmers’ market, opt for mustard greens, beet greens, or parsnip greens instead.

Add a peeled banana for a smoother, creamier texture.