All of us dream of a young, hydrated and, above all, bright skin. And we go all the way to get that result: one night cream, one for the day and, maybe even a mid-morning one. Moisturizer before 20, wrinkle-preventing around 25 already and then off we go with some shock-treatment, because, you know, better safe than sorry. Not to mention scrubs, masks, tonics, serum. A shopping tour in the drugstore and we come home with yet another sample bottle and the dream that it will keep all it promises.“It illuminates the complexion”, “it makes cellulite disappear”, “it feeds from inside even the deepest wrinkles.”: to each its own miracle. But what about feeding our skin along with the rest of our body, instead of relying solely the beloved (and expensive) cosmetics? Here is a recipe for getting that glow.
Cranberry, pear, flax seeds and pollen smoothie
This is a summer smoothie that will make you sparkle. I wanted to spare you some juiced broccoli, so I opted for a true European Superfood: berries. Blueberries and blackberries grow wild this season in our countryside and in our forests. They are rich in vitamins (A, C, E) and perform a powerful antioxidant acion, which is useful to defend the body against the much dreaded free radicals. They are responsible for oxidative stress, which causes the breaking of collagen and elastin, and thus condemns us to premature aging, wrinkles and dull complexion. Blueberries – real treasures that you should always buy organic and use frozen to ensure the maximum vitamin content (just like peas!) – are combined with pears, an often underestimated fruit that deserves to be rediscovered for its emollient, diuretic and satiating properties. Are blueberries and pears to be left alone? Not at all!
Never without leaves, nuts and seeds!
I often see all fruit smoothies. Colorful, beautiful, and for sure tasty. However, I cannot but be perplexed. Every time we drink juice or smoothies, we must question the glycemic impact of that drink. A little trick to overcome this problem is to always add a bit of green leaf vegetables; in this case, I chose baby spinach (which you won’t even taste, I promise!), relieving the share of fruit with vegetables and an essential plant-based fatty acid. In this way, as it is digested more slowly than fruit, it will also slow down the absorption of fruit sugar in our blood. Assimilating the nutrients with the right food combinations is as important as taking the right nutrients.
I have chosen in this case cold-pressed flax seed oil (replaceable with a handful of ground seeds, both to keep in the fridge, I recommend) and a quarter of a cup of sunflower seeds that, besides slowing down assimilation, provide the recommended dose of Vitamin E. Vitamin E, like vitamin C, are two other key nutrients for a skin that shines: they promote healing, support the production of elastin and, being a fat-soluble antioxidant, neutralize free radicals before they damage cell membranes, including the brain’s.
A little magic: BEE POLLEN
Bee pollen is a true “factory” of valuable nutrients, as it contains virtually all of the key nutrients for human consumption. It consists of about 40% of proteins (at equal weight, it contains more proteins than a beef steak, but without the meat’s fat), and it contains 22 essential amino acids in an immediately available form. The rest is made up of carbohydrates, minerals (calcium and phosphorus), plant-based fatty acids and many vitamins (A, D, E, K), including folic acid, precious for pregnant women, and the famous B12, which is essential especially if you are vegetarian.
Actually, you will be happy to know that although animal-derived, it is a totally Cruelty-Free food: it is in fact the food of young bees which collect pollen from flowers (they need 8 hours a day for a month to make a teaspoon!), and deposit it in the hive, to eat it hereinafter. Here it is taken from the insects (but never in a higher percentage of 10%), who continue to collect it until they feel they have a sufficient quantity for the needs of the hive.
The properties of this food are many: it helps digestion thanks to the enzymes and co-enzymes it contains; it is a valuable aid in the treatment of asthma, working as an anti-inflammatory for lung tissues, and helps the prevention of seasonal allergies (a teaspoon of bee pollen in the winter months helps to suffer less from rhinitis in spring); it is a natural antihistamine and helps strengthen the immune system; it contains good doses of rutin, which strengthens capillaries and blood vessels and it is a great help for problems related to ovarian and prostate; moreover, amino acids and vitamins contained protect the skin and support the regeneration. You don’t need large daily doses. Every grain of pollen contains more than 2 million micro-granules of flowers and a teaspoon – the recommended dose – over 2.5 billion! Recent studies have shown that all these properties are amplified when pollen is taken together with the raw fibers of fresh fruit, just as in this recipe.
Get the glow – Evening smoothie (ingredients for two)
1 cup blueberries, frozen
1 cup blackberries
1 ripe pear
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 spoon cold pressed linseed oil (or 2 teaspoons crushed flaxseed)
1 cup of filtered water + 3 ice cubes
Blend everything together and serve with a teaspoon of bee pollen 🙂