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Foods for Beautiful Summer Skin

July 11, 2010 8:10:24 AM PDT
Beth Aldrich is a healthy lifestyle and green living expert from Chicago. She is also the author of an upcoming book, Real Moms Love to Eat. She shares advice and recipes below for healthy summer skin. Green Super Smoothie

Makes: 2 cups, 1-2 servings. Busy people love smoothies-they make a quick and energy-filled breakfast; and the best part is you/and your family won't even taste the greens. Guaranteed!

1/4 cup coconut water (or pure, filtered water)
1/4 cup apple juice (not from concentrate)
1 small ripe banana (peeled and frozen)
1 cup frozen blueberries (or any of your favorite berries)
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
1 Tablespoon of flax seed oil (or similar)
1/2 cup greens (spinach or chopped kale leaves)

Place all ingredients in a blender and process on medium speed until smooth. Serve immediately.

Energy Kale

Makes: 2 servings. When kale is cut into thin ribbons and massaged in the dressing, it softens up and has a smooth texture. Perfect lunch or side dish for dinner.

8 kale leaves, stems removed
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 red onion finely diced
1/2 green zucchini finely diced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Dash black pepper (optional)

Pull the center stem from each kale leaf. Fold kale leaves in half and tightly roll them like a tube. Slice crosswise into thin ribbons/strips. Chop the kale strips crosswise a few times, so they aren't too long. Place in a mixing bowl along with the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Toss well with your hands, massaging the dressing into the greens. Add the zucchini and red onion and toss gently. Season to taste with black pepper, if desired. Stored in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator, will keep for three days.

Papaya: This antioxidant-filled, vitamin C-rich fruit is in season and helps fight wrinkles and maintains skin's supple texture. It also has been shown to increase collagen production, thanks to its super nutrients, improving skin's strength and resiliency.

Kale and Spinach: These leafy greens are the key to great skin. They offer more nutrition per calorie than any other food and are loaded with carotenoids, which can actually increase the SPR of your skin.

Dark Chocolate: Many studies suggest that cocoa is rich in powerful antioxidants called flavanols, which increase blood flow, and in turn enhance your skin's vibrancy. Always choose dark chocolate that's at least 70 percent cocoa.

Wild Salmon: This cold water fish provides one of the richest dietary sources of age-defying, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant, astaxanthin. It also enhances healthy blood-flow, which gives skin a natural glow.

Blueberries: Blueberries are plentiful this time of year and are filled with tons of vitamins and minerals. This blue little berry, fresh or frozen, carries many anti-wrinkle antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, leaving skin vibrant and supple.


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