Several studies have linked diet to skin appearance, firmness, and elasticity. The more fruit, vegetables, and healthy foods you consume, the better your skin will look.
That being said, it’s hard to eat salads all the time and consume enough healthy greens. According to a report by the CDC, only 10% of Americans eat the daily recommended amount of fruit or vegetables, and a diet lacking in them wreak havoc on our skin.
One way to mitigate this problem is to blend collagen-rich foods. They are easy to make at home and can be consumed in 5 minutes or less.
If you prefer juices, find the collagen-rich juice recipe: here.
ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
Spinach is high in b-carotene, which “inhibits free radicals,” making it beneficial for your skin and body. B-Carotene is known to be a photoprotective agent, and protects your skin when exposed to UV Rays (aka sun).
Spinach is one of the richest sources of Vitamin E and has been shown to help with collagen production when applied topically. Internally, the effects are similar.
Kale is the mother of all dark, leafy greens. One cup of raw kale has the following nutritional benefits:
Not only is it full of antioxidants, it has the added benefit of multiple vitamins. It even helps you absorb more calcium than milk!
Martina C. Meinke and her team studied Curly Kale Extract for found that it encouraged new collagen production in skin and “reduced thickening of the dermal elastic fibers.” They found evidence to suggest that curly kale can prevent the skin from aging.
Vanessa Palermo, Fulvio Mattivi, Romano Silvestri, and the rest of their team studied the anti-aging properties of apple on yeast cells. They found that apples did extend the lifespan, pointing to some evidence that apples can protect cells. While it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from a study on yeast, perhaps future research will show these effects on humans. For now, we’ll toss it in our juicer.
Ginger adds a great flavor to any juice or smoothie. It’s hot and zesty with a slightly sweet flavor. Add your ginger slowly until you find the sweet spot for your taste buds.
In addition to being anti-inflammatory, research shows that ginger has anticancer potential from its anti-oxidative stress effects. As stated in one study, “The rich phytochemistry of ginger includes components that scavenge free radicals produced in biological systems.” Ginger strengthens the body against free radicals, which are shown to cause cancer.
Ginger is good for your skin, and it’s good for your body.
Banana needs to be added for taste. It makes your smoothie creamy and slightly sweet.
Don’t skip the banana!
A Few Notes On Blending…
Not all blenders are created equal. Some machines blend your drink into a smooth consistency with NO visible particles left. Others make disappointing drinks with pieces of kale, and the blenders break after a few months of usage.
The ULTIMATE blender is, of course, the Vitamix.
This machine blends beautifully every time. There are no pieces of spinach, kale, or apple left.
Trust me, the better your machine blends, the most likely you are to enjoy the taste of your smoothie. I’ve used less than superior blenders and been left with chunky drinks that are hard to swallow.
Of course, the perfect smoothie comes at a steep price. A Vitamix retails anywhere from $349.95 to $719.95.
There are a few ways to save when buying your Vitamix.
First, Costco sells the E320 Explorian Vitamix for about $250. I don’t believe they sell this blender consistently since I have only seen it a few times, but it is possible to get it. (*A word of caution, Vitamix certifies they’re blenders, but only purchases from their website. If you buy it from Costco, and something happens to it, you will deal with Costco’s return policy and guarantee.)
Second, Vitamix has a Certified Reconditioned line on their website. These blenders have been tested by the company and you can buy a 8-year warranty for $75. The 5 year warranty comes free. A Certified Reconditioned Vitamix can be around $200 cheaper than its newer counterpart.
Third, Vitamix does occasionally have sales. The last one I remember was on Mothers Day. Check their website on these days to snag a deal: Black Friday, New Years Eve, Mothers Day, and Thanksgiving.
Organic vs. Conventional
To buy organic or not…that is the question.
There is research to suggest that pesticides can cause “nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea,” and a whole host of other problems. For this reason, I always recommend organic produce. It may cost more, but it’s worth it.