A nutrition-dense diet abundant in fresh, organic, antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits does more than make you feel good -- it helps you look good too with healthy, glowing skin. The following smoothie recipe includes five taste-pleasing ingredients that provide plenty of skin-healing vitamins, antioxidants and other essential nutrients.
Equipment and Ingredients
This recipe makes about 30 ounces or two smoothie servings. To experience maximum benefits, it should be consumed immediately, so half the recipe sufficient for one person.
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large cucumber
- 2 oranges
- Half a banana
- Half a can of coconut juice/water (about 5 ounces)
- A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Cucumber is very hydrating due to the high water content (up to 95%), and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Carrots provide high amounts of vitamins and phytonutrients, such as lutein and lycopene. Studies have shown that lycopene and β-Carotene (a Vitamin A derivate, abundant in carrots) increase the body's defenses against UV damage, therefore protecting the skin against sunburn.
Banana tastes great in a smoothie, but it also contains vitamins and flavonoids, which have antioxidant effects.
Coconut water is a great source of vitamins B and C, which are a powerful antioxidants and promote repairing of the skin. The tropical water also provides cytokinin, a class of phytohormones that have showed significant anti-aging properties.
Oranges add vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency has been associated with impaired collagen synthesis, and therefore loss of skin elasticity and the formation of wrinkles.
Wash the fruits and vegetables and peel the carrots, oranges and bananas. Cut them into small chunks and combine them in your blender with the coconut water and cinnamon, if desired. Process the smoothie until it reaches your desired consistency, and serve it immediately.
Don't Forget to Chew!
You may be tempted to simply drink your smoothie. However, you should chew it as if you were eating it, or at least swish it around your mouth to let it mix with your saliva before you swallow. Chewing releases an enzyme called ptyalin (a form of amylase) that helps digest carbohydrates and proteins.