Smoothies are one of the most refreshing and delicious ways to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. You can enjoy a burst of rich, fruity flavors while consuming a variety of essential nutrients, whether drinking it as a thirst quencher or as a complementary glass after a day’s meal.
Adding a smoothie to your day can make a huge difference in your daily nutrition because of its nutrient-dense nature, and getting more nutrients in your diet means enjoying different health benefits, including nourishing your skin from the inside.
Smoothies are different from protein shakes and fruit juices - protein drinks consumed after exercising are focused on supplying protein to your body to aid in muscle recovery, while fruit juices follow a different preparation process and can sometimes be used as a base ingredient for other recipes.
Why Smoothies Are Good For The Skin
With the right blend of ingredients, smoothies can work as an energy booster and as a catalyst to your ideal body shape. Certain fruits are packed with healthy carbohydrates that are broken down into blood sugar for fuel, giving you the extra energy you need for exercise and the daily grind. Because every organ in our body requires water for optimal function, dehydration can lead to different parts of your body slowing down and you feeling tired. Fruits and vegetables like cucumber, celery, raspberry, and watermelon are very hydrating and can provide your body’s much needed water and moisture.
Fruits and vegetables offer endless health benefits - they help maintain skeletal health, fill you up with dietary fiber, strengthen your body’s defense against certain diseases, and promote radiant skin.
Acne is an inflammation on the skin characterized by small dark spots and pimples. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, around 50 million Americans are affected by this condition every year. Acne is formed when too much oil is produced by the sebaceous glands and when pores become clogged by dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells. When skin pores are blocked, bacteria can get trapped and multiply. That’s when redness and swelling appear - the onset of acne.
Other causes include fatty food consumption, hereditary factors, hormonal imbalances, emotional distress, medicine side effects, and menstruation. Acne can affect more than just your skin - people with acne tend to suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, and even depression.
The skin is an organ that interacts and is influenced by the body - it's known that our skin can reflect the state of our health, and experts have even developed face mapping to tell which areas of the skin correlate with underlying conditions. This interaction plays an important role in treating acne through nutrition. So, to create an anti-acne smoothie diet, the first step is to look at the connection between nutrition and acne.
Here are examples of nutrients that contribute to a clear and smooth complexion:
- Vitamin A - Helps hydrate skin cells while decreasing sebum production. A powerful antioxidant that helps defends against acne and blemishes.
- Vitamin C - Provides antioxidant benefits such as blocking free radicals and repairing damaged cells. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen and wound healing.
- Beta Carotene - A precursor to vitamin A, Beta Carotene is essential for healthy skin.
- Vitamin B6 - Helps stop acne caused by hormonal fluctuations. Insufficient amounts of Vitamin B6 can cause dry skin and chapped lips.
- Zinc - Supports a healthy immune system and has shown to prevent acne by maintaining the normal activity of the oil glands.
- Folic Acid - Folic Acid helps flush out toxins from the body, which can aid in the treatment of acne. It helps keep your skin moisturized and have a natural glow.
The Acne Project, a website focused on treating acne, groups smoothies into three categories by color to help you identify and learn about their health benefits. These are:
- Green smoothies
- Orange smoothies
- Dark red, blue, and purple smoothies
Green smoothies are called such because they come from leafy sources. Packed with micronutrients, phytonutrients, and vitamins, they help strengthen the immune system and work with red blood cells to distribute nutrients throughout the skin layers, from the surface to the base hypodermis.
Meanwhile, orange smoothies are made with citrus fruits loaded with Vitamins A and C, providing stronger skin cells that fight against pimples, while dark red, blue, and purple smoothies contain antioxidants and nutrients that defend the skin against free radicals. They particularly prevent bacteria from building up in the dermis regions.
Remember to vary up your choice of smoothie, and don’t treat them as a replacement to your daily food intake. Including a nutrient-rich drink to your meal while maintaining a healthy diet will definitely bring the best out of these refreshments.
Some Ingredients You Can Use
Smoothies can be made of almost any healthy source found around you - it really depends on your preferences. We have listed down some of the best fruits and vegetables to include in your drink.
- Avocado. Considered a natural moisturizer, avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids that can improve the appearance of the skin and prevent acne. These good fats also help maintain the right moisture of the epidermal part of the skin, giving it a softer look. Add this to your diet to help prevent dry skin and pimples.
- Cucumber. How about turning a favorite salad ingredient to a blended drink? Cucumbers have essential minerals that can hydrate, alkalize, and cool the skin. These nutrients are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making them perfect for reddened skin and acne problems.
- Mango. Very common in tropical countries, mangoes are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. These vitamins have the ability to stimulate the production of collagen, giving the skin a smoother, rejuvenated look.
- Coconut Oil. Studies have found that coconut oil can help fight skin problems such as dryness and eczema. The lauric acid found in this oil is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, and has shown to be effective against acne since this condition generally involves the presence of bacteria on the skin.
- Ground Flaxseed. If you want a nuttier flavor in your smoothie, try using ground flaxseed. This ingredient contains omega-3 linolenic acid that has shown to reduce skin inflammation and add moisture.
- Turmeric. This is another powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient for the skin. Turmeric is a popular addition to various healthy recipes because of its many nutritional properties, including its skin enhancing benefits. Add milk if the taste is a bit too strong.
The list goes on for these healthy smoothie ingredients. Also try kiwi fruit, parsley, carrot, almond milk, cilantro, and ginger. At the end of the day, the recipe will depend on your preferences for the taste, level of sweetness, and if you have a hankering for something sour or spicy.
When To Drink Your Smoothie
You can always enjoy a fresh glass of smoothie anytime of the day, but here are a few ideas on when to drink one.
- During Breakfast. A smoothie blend is a great way to perk yourself up in the morning and ramp up your daily performance. It’s recommended to have this drink along with your breakfast. If you have a morning workout regimen, drink it either an hour before the workout or right after the session.
- At Lunchtime. If you like your lunch smoothie as a meal replacement, consider a green smoothie as it contains most of the macro and micronutrients required for a balanced meal, but if you prefer solid food for lunch, you have a wide array of options for ingredients.
- Snack Time. You may also take snacks in between the major meals of the day. There’s nothing wrong about having another glass of smoothie mid-morning or mid-afternoon, but the ideal ingredients are those that are lower in calories since you don’t want to ruin your appetite for the next big meal. Blend in nuts and seeds as they are perfect for satisfying snack time cravings.
- As A Dessert. If you have a sweet craving for dessert but want to keep it healthy, smoothies are a great option. Spruce it up by adding cashews, dragon fruits, and ice cream.
- At Night. Viewpoints are divided about having a smoothie at night, with some not recommending the drink during dinner time. However, nutritionist Frances Largeman-Roth noted that drinking smoothies at night can address sleep issues for those who find it hard to doze off at this hour. She added that this is not a direct fix but the nutrients in the drink can help.
Now that you have plenty of ideas about what to put in your next glass, it’s time to apply them to your daily routine. It only takes a pinch of your kitchen skills to make this awesome blend. How about pairing this tasty beverage with some of the best natural skin care products around?
Here at TreeActiv, we use only the best natural ingredients we can find for your personal care and wellness. In fact, some of the ingredients in our products can be blended into smoothies. We’d love to let you know about them. Visit our homepage at www.TreeActiv.com to explore our full range of nature-powered products and ingredients.