6 Steps to Building the Ultimate Beautifying Smoothie

via Minimalist Baker

Remember when a “smoothie” was just strawberries, a banana, and some low-fat frozen yogurt blended together?

Sure, it wasn’t exactly the healthiest thing in the world—more like a glorified milkshake—but it was admittedly a lot easier than the multi-ingredient drinks we’ve grown used to.

Now, smoothies aren’t just a yummy drink that looks pretty and tastes like dessert—pack the right stuff into your blender and you’ve got a full-on healthy meal. But in this ever-growing world of superfood powders, protein supplements, ancient herbs, and mystical adaptogens, how do you craft a drink that both tastes good and does your body good? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In our first ultimate smoothie-making installment, we’ll show you how to make the perfect smoothie for brighter skin, shinier hair, and stronger nails.

The base


Alright, starting with a solid base is absolutely necessary—too little liquid and you’ll have an undrinkable slush, too much liquid and you’re bordering on juice territory. I recommend starting with 8 to 16 ounces of a low-sugar liquid like coconut milk or almond milk. Even natural sugars like the kind you’d find in fruit juice cause inflammation, which directly increases the frequency of breakouts.

Nut milk contains healthy fats that will boost skin’s hydration and increase radiance; plus, healthy fats will keep you fuller and more focused until your next meal. If you’d prefer something a little lighter try unsweetened green or herbal tea, which contains antioxidants that protect skin from damage.

Fruits and veggies

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Repeat after me: I will include veggies in my smoothie! Throwing a few green things into your blender is the best thing that you can do to get radiant skin. Leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, dandelion greens, and beet tops contain beneficial anti-inflammatory compounds in addition to minerals like zinc and magnesium, which are both necessary for fighting acne. And adding full veggies will up your daily fiber intake for the day—healthy digestion equals healthy body, people! Mix in one to two cups of veggies per serving.

If you’re going to add fruit in, try to stick to those that are low in sugar. We like pineapple and papaya for their tropical flavor and digestive enzymes, and berries are always a good choice because they’re incredibly high in nutrients. Stick to less than half a cup of fruit per smoothie.

Fats


Think of it this way—your skin’s favorite thing is when you load up on the healthy fats. Just like when you apply a facial oil and you instantly get glowy skin, ingesting fats like avocado, coconut oil, nut butters, and MCT oil nourishes cells from the inside out. These fats will provide hydration to cells, help your skin recover and heal more quickly (like when you just can’t help but pick at that pimple), and improve tone and texture of aging skin.

Protein

Surprisingly, upping your daily protein intake can have a seriously positive effect on skin and hair. Science proves time and again that eating more protein throughout the day can balance hormonal levels, control hunger, and promote weight-loss. If you start your day with a filling smoothie, you’re less likely to reach for those processed chips or sugary coffee drinks when that dreaded 2 p.m. craving hits—and that could save your skin from unnecessary breakouts and exposure to free radicals that cause premature aging. Fit in 15 to 20 grams of protein to your smoothie, especially if it’s going to be a meal replacement.

Superfoods

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Here’s where you can make your smoothie a next-level beautifier—superfoods. Collagen is  your BFF if you’re trying to grow out an impulsive hair chop; a tablespoon of tocos powder can help skin repair itself more quickly after an overzealous microdermabrasion session (and it tastes like vanilla ice cream!); pearl powder softens and brightens the complexion so much, you can ditch your favorite highlighter. For an all-in-one beauty boosting powder, try Moon Juice’s Beauty Dust.

Toppings


You’re almost done! Throw some chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, or bee pollen on top of your drink, snap an Instagram pic, and you’re good to go! Happy sipping!