A New Lifestyle Was In Order
I discovered the skin benefits of green smoothies by accident. It was August. I’d gained weight. My clothes were snug to barely fitting. I was sluggish with no energy for anything beyond the necessities. I was in need of a lifestyle change. So, I forced myself to renew my focus on health and wellness. Today I exercise—cardio and strength training—five to six days per week. I prepare balanced meals and eat at home more frequently. And to keep from becoming bored I look for new snacks and meals that are healthy and delicious. This is how I began to incorporate green smoothies into my meal plan.
Six weeks into my healthy new lifestyle, and approximately three weeks after I started drinking green smoothies, I began to see the physical changes. Of course, my priority was weight loss. My belly appeared to be flatter and my legs were becoming more toned. I had more energy and I was taking fewer weekend naps. But I also noticed improvements to my skin. My complexion was more clear and healthy looking. Amazing! Yes, I had decreased my sugar intake. And high sugar consumption has been linked to dull, more wrinkle-prone skin. However, my new favorite green smoothie is also a key contributor to my improved skin health.
Boost of Radiance Green Smoothie
When I started making the smoothies, I played with different ingredient combinations. Ultimately, I landed on a kale-based green smoothie recipe that I enjoy. Later I learned that kale contains skin-friendly essential nutrients like vitamin C, copper, and vitamin A.
Kale boosts the health of your skin because of its vitamin C content. Your skin contains collagen fibers, which are long strands of protein that form a network that holds your skin cells together. Vitamin C helps you make the collagen needed for skin strength. Conversely, low vitamin C intake prevents collagen production, and this weakens your skin and causes tears. Vitamin C’s antioxidant function also provides natural protection from the sun. This prevents skin damage caused by exposure to the sun’s rays. A cup of raw kale contains 80.4 milligrams of vitamin C. This is 90 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and the entire recommended daily vitamin C intake for women.
Kale also comes packed with skin-friendly copper. This mineral boosts the synthesis of melanin — a pigment that protects your skin from the sun. Like vitamin C, it helps you make collagen. It may also offer anti-inflammatory benefits for your skin. Copper-dependent enzymes also play a role in wound healing. Each cup of raw kale boasts 1,004 micrograms of copper, which is more than the 900 micrograms you need daily.
Kale also boosts your vitamin A intake. One cup of raw kale provides 335 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents or 37 percent of the recommended daily vitamin A intake for men and 48 percent for women. Vitamin A promotes healthy cell growth. This includes the cells that make up the dermis and epidermis of your skin. Low vitamin A levels affect the cellular makeup of your skin, causing healthy skin to be replaced by dead skin cells.
I’ve provided the case for kale for skin health. Now here is the recipe to the Boost of Radiance Green Smoothie. Yes, there are two cups of kale. But, the kale is balanced by the natural sweetness of the apples, grapes, and strawberries. It tastes great. I promise.
Boost of Radiance Green Smoothie
¾ cup almond milk
2 cups of fresh kale
4 to 5 leaves of fresh mint
1 medium skin-on apple sliced and cored (I use Granny Smith or Gala)
1 handful (approximately 10) fresh, frozen grapes
1 handful (approximately 5) fresh, frozen strawberries
4 ice cubes
1 tablespoon of Flaxseed Flakes
1 tablespoon of Whey Protein
Starting with the milk, combine the ingredients in a blender. I use a Vitamix which handles ice and frozen fruit like a champ. Blend until smooth. Makes two 8oz servings.
Note: I buy fresh grapes and strawberries. Then I rinse and freeze them. This is not a necessary step. However, the frozen fruit helps to thicken the smoothie and keep it cool and fresh. Also, it helps reduce the waste of spoiled fruit.