This article looks at the best way to build a perfectly balanced acne friendly green smoothie that your body and skin will love!
It’s so easy to throw bananas, mangos and some low fat yogurt into your NutriBullet and assume you’ve made a healthier alternative to your sugar-laden cereals. A nutrient packed smoothie high in fats and protein is the best way to start the day but using fruits high in sugar and low-fat dairy products can cause chaos on your skin. Sugar and cows dairy can increase your blood-sugar levels which in the short term will result in a major crash and have you falling asleep at your desk before lunch but in the long run, too much sugar and dairy can cause a hormone imbalance which can lead to acne.
build a perfectly balanced acne friendly green smoothie
Today I’m sharing my magic formula on how to build your own delicious and nutritious acne friendly smoothie every day. I hope it’ll give you lots of inspiration to start experimenting with your own creations!
choose your acne friendly base
When choosing a base for your smoothie, it’s best to opt for acne friendly ‘milks’ that are high in fat and low in carbs. If your omega 3/6 is out of balance then you also need to consider avoiding most nuts (except macadamias as they contain balanced amounts of omega 6 fatty acids and omega 3). If you’re suffering from any kind of inflammation, your omegas 3/6 needs to be balanced in the correct ratio in order to calm the skin and body. Omega 6 are pro-inflammatory so too much of it can cause more inflammation and will make your skin more red and prolong healing time. On the other hand, Omega 3 is neutral/anti-inflammatory so will help decrease inflammation and soothe the skin. Most nuts contain a huge amount of Omega 6 and much less Omega 3 (experts say the ratio of Omega 6: Omega 3 should be about 1:1, but modern diets are usually between 10:1 and 25:1!) so unless you’re getting lots of omega 3 from elsewhere (mackeral, salmon, cod liver oil, grassfed beed, chia seeds, flax seeds) it’s best not to go too crazy with the nuts!
If your enjoying smoothies on a daily basis, your best option is to switch to a more omega balanced alternative such as macadamia or coconut milk, just make sure they don’t contain any added sugar! I get plenty of omega 3 from my cod liver oil, grass fed beed and daily chia seeds and flax seeds so I tend to use almond milk in my smoothies.
Read more about balancing omega levels for acne in this post here
acne friendly ideas for your base:
- Macadamia nut milk
- Coconut milk
- Coconut water
- Almond milk (if you eat plenty of omega 3 elsewhere in your diet)
include LOTS of healthy fat
Fat has been demonised and feared by all over the past few decades as doctors and the government advised everyone to cut down on their fat intake to avoid strokes and heart disease however new research has proven that this is actually all a load of rubbish and while processed fats can cause health concerns, it’s not all kinds fat that should be feared!
Healthy fats are essential for maintaining healthy hormones and a balanced body. Without fat, some of the most important skin healing vitamins cannot be absorbed! Vitamins A, D, E and K all have their own unique acne fighting benefits but without the addition of fat – they’re pretty much useless.
To make sure your body can absorb all the nutrients from your smoothie – make sure you add plenty of fat to the mix – I usually have about 3 tablespoons of fat in my smoothie, usually goat butter, coconut oil and nut butter.
acne friendly ideas to include some fat:
- Goat Butter
- Coconut oil
- Cacao Butter
- Coconut Butter
- MCT Oil
- Macadamia Nut Butter
- Almond Butter (again, watch your omega 3/6)
add some antioxidants
Filling up your NutriBullet with a load of sugary fruits isn’t going to help with any blood sugar issues you’ve got going on and could lead to a sugar crash mid-morning. To make a truly acne friendly smoothie, fats should dominate your recipe and fruits/veg should make up about 10% of your blend. To avoid your smoothie tasting too much like soil, I recommend adding in a bunch of herbs to give your smoothie an extra punch! For example, blueberries work beautifully with basil and coriander and mint compliment a mojito inspired smoothie with limes, cucumber and coconut water!
For more information about GI/GL and your blood sugar, please visit this post here
acne friendly ideas to for an antioxidant boost:
- Frozen Berries
give it a protein boost:
Protein is often the most commonly overlooked element of a smoothie, but after fat, it’s the most important additions you could make for your skin! Adding protein to your morning smoothie will help you stay full till lunchtime and it will also help to keep your blood sugar levels stable. In terms of beauty benefits, protein contains amino acids which are the building blocks for collagen and elastin. Both are key to a healthy complexion as collagen helps build skin strength and elastin helps your skin regain plumpness after it’s been damaged (acne scar super-nutrients right here!)
I know I’ve made a great breakfast smoothie high in fat and protein when I don’t even think about eating/snacking till gone 1pm!
Certain produce, such as avocado and hemp, are a good source of both protein and fat so can satisfy both requirements for a perfectly balanced, acne friendly green smoothie.
why not whey?
I always recommend a plant-based protein over a whey based protein powder or milk/yogurt as the whey in milk/yogurt/protein powder raises the amount of insulin in your blood and can irritate the lining of your gut. This increase of insulin combined with digestive issues can spell bad news for acne sufferers. My absolute favourite protein powder is the Vivo Life Salted Caramel Protein Powder – it’s sooo delicious compared to any other I’ve tried!
In a 6 month study, women with PCOS followed either a high protein diet consisting of 70% or more energy from protein and fat (30% carbs) versus a standard diet of less than 45% protein and fat (55% carbs) to see the effects on weight loss and blood glucose levels. The results? The high protein diet had a greater weight loss, body fat loss, waist circumference and healthier blood glucose levels – 17 lbs weight loss [1.2 stone] compared to 7 lbs! Higher protein meals mean that signification weight loss can be achieved without ANY restriction of calories! This is because higher protein foods keep you fuller for longer so prevent you from snacking on carb loaded foods that cause your insulin levels to go crazy. Head over to the blog for more tips on managing insulin resistant PCOS symptoms through diet! [link in bio]
Read more about how dairy can affect acne here
acne friendly ideas to give your smoothie a protein boost:
- Plant based blend with added superfoods and enzymes to aid digestion
- Hemp protein powder
- Fermented Pea protein powder
- Hemp Seeds
make it creamier
If you’re craving a milkshake style of smoothie that’s rich, creamy and delicious then you may need to add a little something extra to achieve that silky texture.
I find adding macadamia nuts or pre-soaked chia seeds* is an amazing way of turning your average cacao smoothie into something totally indulgent and out of this world!
For the chia seeds, I add 1 tblsp of chia seeds to 2 cups of ‘milk’ the night before then in the morning the chia seeds have expanded and created a gelatinous texture so when you add all the other ingredients and blend it all together it thickens the consistency of the smoothie really well!
acne friendly ideas to make it creamier:
- Macadamia nuts
- Coconut meat
- Chia seeds
give it a super boost
Unfortunately the quality of our soil is decreasing in valuable nutrients with every new generation of crops. It’s because of this mineral depletion of our soil that sometimes fruit and vegetables just aren’t enough. Plants don’t produce nutrients – they absorb them from the soil, so if our soil isn’t rich in vitamins and minerals, how can we expect our veggies to be too?
There are so many superfood brands out there who declare all sorts of health claim and tout their products as a miracle cure for various ailments. While I don’t believe one single superfood in isolation can completely heal you, I do think that there are a certain few useful superfoods you can incorporate as part of a healthy lifestyle to give your smoothies, salads and even DIY face masks a boost.
acne friendly ideas to give your smoothie a super boost:
- Bee Pollen – contains nearly all nutrients required by humans
- Cacao – good source of magnesium to increase energy and calm anxiety
- Reishi – can help lower testosterone levels
- Maca – can balance hormones and increase sex drive
- Wheatgrass – contains a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals
- Camu Camu – rich in vitamin C, helps heal breakouts and scars
- Matcha – rich in antioxidants, neutralises and removes free radicals from the bloodstream
- Chicory Root – a perfect replacement to your morning coffee
add some extra sweetness
As you may have guessed (because I don’t shut up about it!) cutting back on your sugar intake is so important in the journey to clearing your skin. A pinch of cinnamon, vanilla or Himalayan pink salt can enhance the natural sweetness of a smoothie (I always put a pinch of cinnamon and salt in my smoothies!), stevia and yacon syrup are two natural sweeteners that have a GI of 0 and 1 so will not affect your blood sugars at all.
acne friendly ideas to give it some sweetness:
- Vanilla Extract
- Himalayan Pink Salt
- Yacon Syrup
bonus 3 tips to get the most out of your acne friendly green smoothie
avoid these raw veggies
Kale is the superfood of the
month year decade and the high content of vitamins and nutrients makes kale a favourite when it comes to smoothies. While kale does have a place in an acne friendly diet, if you have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, PCOS or suspect you may have cystic ovaries you should always thoroughly cook your kale. Raw kale contains a class of compounds named goitrogens which can interfere with thyroid function and can aggravate PCOS symptoms. Other goitrogenic vegetables to avoid in your acne friendly smoothie include broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
prep the night before
Do you find you never have enough time to make a smoothie first thing in the morning? If you’re busy running round after the kids or just prefer to repeatedly hit the snooze button every morning, there’s now no excuse for not getting your daily smoothie hit! Smoothies can actually retain all their goodness for 12-24 hours – one great tip is to fill your glass jar/bottle right up to the brim before screwing the lid on tightly – this will prevent any air from oxidising the nutrients inside! If you’re a serial snacker, I also recommend making up a couple of smoothies at a time, this way you can avoid any mid-afternoon crashes and enjoy a healthy smoothie instead of reaching for the cake or coffee! Just make sure you drink you smoothie within 24 hours to ensure maximum freshness, nutrition and taste.
time it right
There’s no need to down a smoothie the moment you jump out of bed. You’ll benefit your skin much more if you enjoy a warm glass of lemon water or herbal tea upon waking. Once you’ve got your digestive juices flowing and taken all your supplements you can start preparing (or drinking if you’ve pre-prepped) your smoothie.
What’s your favourite acne friendly smoothie combination? I’d love to hear your ideas and get inspired by you all!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin,