Hi everyone, it's Ru here from short, small, & sweet. I'm very excited to be guest-posting for Jena today on Clean's The New Black. I'm a green beauty enthusiast who made the switch to natural/organic products since last September, and I'm also interested in healthy eating choices. As they say, beauty is not only skin deep; nutrition plays a very important role in maintaining and strengthening our skin condition. Personally, I have seen a difference when I eat clean, as opposed to when I indulge in processed foods or foods high on the glycemic index scale.
Today I will be sharing with you some superfoods that I use regularly in my green smoothies. I don't use all of them everyday - well, certain items can be pricey so I pick-and-mix my superfoods accordingly to match the taste of the ingredients I will be using in my smoothie. Read on to find out more, and there's a recipe for one of my fave smoothies at the end!
Supercharge Your Green Smoothie
Coconut oil / Coconut water powder: Don't get me started on coconut - I love that tropical flavor so much! I'm sure many of you know the benefits of coconut oil on our skin and hair. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but it mainly consists of short and medium chain fatty acids, which digest easily and are metabolized directly in the liver for increased energy1. Coconut water is well known for its hydrating factor, and it's also wonderful for detox-ing the body, which equals clearer, healthier skin.
Also use it in/for: (coconut oil) cooking, baking, oil pulling
Spirulina: Rich in chlorophyll, this dark blue-green algae is packed full of vitamins and minerals. It is believed to boost our immunity, and enhances our natural cleansing and detoxification system. Spirulina is also rich in beta-carotene, which is good news for our eyes and skin. I love adding spirulina especially when I make a vegetable-based smoothie; of course you can add it to fruit-based ones too, but I find it makes the color of the drink, err, a little unappetizing.
Also use it in/for: cooking, baking, mix with raw honey to make a facial mask
Maca powder: Maca is a Peruvian plant that only thrives on the slopes of the Andes at 12,000 to 15,000 feet above sea level. It's most well known for its ability to increase libido and enhance fertility, though those aren't exactly the reasons why I take it. Maca is high in amino acids, which regulate our hormones and may help reduce breakouts if your acne is hormone-related2.
Also use it in/for: cooking, baking, making lattes
Matcha (green tea) powder: Matcha is one of my most recent addition. Known for its potent antioxidant, catechins, this creamy green powder detoxes, boosts immune system, and lowers bad cholesterol. Some people might need some time to get used to the taste, but you can't detect it once you add it into your smoothie.
Also use it in/for: baking, making lattes
Chia seeds: This is the one ingredient that I always include in my green smoothies. An edible seed used by the Mayans and Aztecs as a staple diet, chia is naturally gluten and grain-free, and it delivers a ton of nutrients (including Omega-3) with few calories 3. I like using chia seeds as it has a high amount of fibre which aids digestion, thereby eliminating toxins in your body. It's high protein level helps reduce those sugar cravings, so less inflammation, yay!
Also use it in/for: omelettes, mix with nut milk to make a yummy pudding
This recipe is one of my faves. Green smoothies make a very refreshing treat (especially in summertime) and you feel so much better knowing you're having a nourishing snack. Not only you cleanse your body during detox, it ultimately helps to keep our skin clear and radiant.
- 1 cup water
- 1 handful spinach
- half a granny smith apple
- 2 stalks of celery
- half cup frozen pineapple/mango cubes
- juice from half a lemon
- 1-inch ginger, peeled
- Cilantro & basil, stems removed
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut water powder
- 1 tsp spirulina
I usually place the "hard" items (frozen foods) first into the blender to ensure they get pulverized properly. Of course you can always swap or exclude certain ingredients, and if you're new to green smoothies, add more fruit than vegetables. Usually the ginger/lemon can help to mask any raw taste, and the herbs add a nice layer of flavor. Enjoy!
1. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 26. (n.d.). Agricultural Research Service United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved August 12, 2014, fromhttp://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3655?qlookup=chia&fg=&format=&man=&lfacet=
2. Clark, M. (2011, March 1). Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World. The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2014, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/dining/02Appe.html?_r=4&
3. Gonzales, G. (2011, October 2). Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved August 12, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P
A green beauty enthusiast who is obsessed with baking coconut desserts, loves an occasional knit, and tries her best at being short, small, & sweet.