Banish the Bronzer!


Posted on April 4th, by Helen in Diet, Skin-Saving Smoothies. No Comments

Banish the Bronzer!

In about a month, beauty magazines are going to be telling you how to fake a fabulous faux glow with bronzing lotions and spray tans. But we’re not going there this year. We want you to embrace your natural skin tone and protect your delicate dermis from the sun and potentially harmful chemicals that lurk in self-tanning products. We also don’t want to fake a tan because it perpetuates the idea that tanned skin is beautiful. However we know that many women still associate a paler complexion to looking ill. Is there a safer way to achieve a healthy glow? A new preliminary study is suggesting that carotenoid-rich smoothies might do the trick. Nutritionist Allison Tannis reports – with three refreshing recipes for you to try. We’ll glug to that! 

Forget the blush and bronzers, eating lots of carotenoid-rich foods (yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables) can help give your skin a smoother and slightly redder/yellower hue. Carotenoids are the cause of the orange, red and yellow pigment in fruits and vegetables like carrot, cantaloupe, tomato, orange, papaya, pumpkin, spinach and bell peppers. And, along with polyphenols, carotenoids also keep fruits and veggies from getting sunburned.

One of the easiest ways to get more carotenoid-packed foods into your diet is with a smoothie a day, and researchers at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus are doing just that to measure it’s physical effects. The eight week trial (video below) investigated whether a carotenoid-rich smoothie affected body composition, skin colour and brightness. Initial data of the study suggest positive, significant results. Of note, as of early 2014, the study’s results have not yet been published as they are awaiting peer-review.

Keep in mind that it’s not just your skin that will reap the rewards of carotenoids – population studies suggest that diets high in carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Start your blenders and relish all of the head-to-toe benefits of a carotenoid-rich smoothie.

So go ahead, start your blenders and relish all of the head-to-toe benefits of a carotenoid-rich smoothie.

Vanilla Papaya-Banana Smoothie

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Ingredients: ¼ cup vanilla yogurt + 1 cup low-fat milk + 1 ripe banana (peeled) + 1 cup papaya (peeled, seeded and chopped) + 1 cup ice cubes

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Peach, Berry (& Shhh… Spinach) Smoothie 

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Ingredients: 1 cup frozen peach slices + ½ cup frozen blackberries + 1 cup packed spinach leaves + 1 ½ cup grape juice + ½ cup ice (if desired)

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Mango Lassi (Dairy Free)

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Ingredients: 1 cup almond or soy milk + ½ cup diced, frozen mango + ¼ tsp fresh lemon juice + Pinch of salt + ½ tbsp of honey (or agave nectar); Mint leaves to garnish

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Tips

 

Carotenoids are better absorbed by your body when fats are also present, so try adding a dollop of peanut butter or fish oil into your smoothie to improve carotenoid uptake.

 


 

About the Expert Allison Tannis, BSc MSc RHN is a nutritional scientist and registered holistic nutritionist based in Halifax, NS. She wrote Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles.

 






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