Smoothies are the ultimate convenience food – easy to make, portable and, usually, quite nutritious. But not all smoothies are created equal when it comes to our skin health, with some high in sugar and other potentially inflammatory ingredients.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to add skin-loving ingredients in our smoothies and skip the stuff that isn’t so great. Here are some ideas:
Vitamins A, C and E are the holy trinity of skincare vitamins, thanks to their ability to fight the free radicals that contribute to premature aging and other skin damage. Adding foods which contain these to your smoothies is one of the easiest ways to get healthy, glowing skin.
- Vitamin A: Foods rich in carotenoids which the body converts to vitamin A include dark leafy greens, carrots and some tropical fruits such as mango, papaya and melon. Go easy on the latter as they can be high in sugar.
- Vitamin C: Choose kiwifruit or dark berries for a low-sugar option, dark leafy greens, or a whole organic lemon; leaving the skin on for the maximum vitamin hit.
- Vitamin E: Excellent sources of this skin-loving vitamin to add to your smoothie include almond butter, avocado, sunflower seeds and, again, those dark leafy greens.
Add Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 is an excellent inflammation-fighter and inflammation is linked to many skin problems from redness to sensitivity and premature aging. Add these “good fats” to your smoothie with a sprinkle of flaxseeds or a glug of quality flaxseed oil, some blended walnuts or a handful of chia seeds.
Find a Skin-Loving Substitute
The all-important texture of your smoothie is often down to any liquid and thickening ingredients you add. Some of these, like fresh juice, milk and sugary fruits like bananas are okay in small amounts, but are easy to overdo when it comes to a guzzling a delicious smoothie! Try using filtered water or coconut water instead of juice, homemade almond milk instead of cow’s milk, and oats or chia seeds for the thickening effect of banana. All these will add to the skincare benefits of your smoothie.
Skip the Sweetener
Smoothies with a fruit element often don’t need added sweeteners like honey. Try leaving them out and train your tastebuds to adapt! If you do need a little bit of sweetness, add a medjool date to the blender. These do contain natural sugar but they have lots of other nutrients too.