Homemade smoothies have been my breakfast of choice for a while now. (Shout out to Lina for introducing me to the world of green smoothies a few years ago.) You see, the benefits of these beverages are that you can load up on multiple nutrients in one batch AND get a good amount of water into your system. We all know the importance of these two substances (nutrients and water) for a healthy body. In this article, I will focus more on the hair and skin by sharing three of my favorite homemade recipes and how they help.
1. My Very Berry Smoothie
The secret is the in antioxidant-packed berries. Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all packed with more antioxidants than most other foods. Phytonutrients, which make up much of this antioxidant capacity, can provide a level of dietary UV protection for the skin and scalp. Antioxidants may also play an important role in cell repair (from damage due to oxidative stress), which translates into rejuvenated skin and healthy follicles.
1/2 cup of organic strawberries
1/2 cup of organic blueberries
a few organic blackberries (optional)
1-1 1/2 cup of distilled water (depending on desired consistency)
1 cup of 100% pure cranberry juice (with no added sugar)
4 ice cubes
*You can use less cranberry juice and more water or use actual cranberries in place of the juice.
Blend and voila!
2. Almond Kale Smoothie
The secret is the in the nutrition-packed kale. This leafy vegetable is loaded with vitamin A (206% DV per cup) and vitamin C (134% DV per cup), which may improve hair growth and scalp circulation, respectively. (I’ll talk more about vitamin A later.) Vitamin C also helps the body to produce collagen, which forms our skin, as well as absorb iron, which is an important nutrient for the hair. The bananas add more of this vitamin and other nutrients to the mix, while the peanut butter gives you extra protein, a building block for our strands.
1-1 1/2 cup almond milk (plain or vanilla)
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
3 ice cubes
2-3 kale leaves (use 4 or 5 if you’re brave enough)
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
3. Sweet Potato Smoothie
The secret is the in the large vitamin A content of sweet potato. These bright orange tubers are full of vitamin A – 231% per 60 g (i.e., a small sweet potato) – which is more than that in either carrots or kale. Vitamin A is reported to “improve the scalp skin condition and promote hair growth, in terms of the keratinization of skin and hair.” It also contributes to healthy, radiant skin. Toss in one scoop of protein powder for extra protein. (CAUTION: Please consult your physician before taking higher doses of vitamin A.)
1 cup banana
1 small sweet potato (cooked)
2 cups almond milk (or more for desired consistency)
4 ice cubes
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
Just blend the ingredients together and you’re done!
 Evans JA, Johnson EJ. “The role of phytonutrients in skin health.” Nutrients. 2010 Aug;2(8):903-28.
 University of Maryland Medical Center Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide
 Yoo HG, Chang IY, Pyo HK, Kang YJ, et al. “The additive effects of minoxidil and retinol on human hair growth in vitro.” Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Jan;30(1):21-6.
Do you make your own healthy smoothie? What is in it?