It’s old hat that whole foods are good for you. YES! We know that now, without a doubt, right? I feel like a broken record with this stuff some times, but I am STOKED on it! Whole foods taste exquisite, I want to shout it from the rooftops.
For the month of August, one of my fellow blogger friends, Charissa , of Colourful Palate is hosting a colourful smoothie challenge for the month of August. The rules are that you post a picture to twitter of the smoothie you’re drinking for every day of the month, and whoever posts the most, wins an awesome prize pack! I took on the challenge not only because I do drink my green smoothie about 4 times a week, but also to switch it up a bit. It’s always the same! Celery, spinach, apple, pear (or nectarine & peach), lemon juice and banana. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it gets boring after awhile! The smoothie I have for you today was inspired by Colourful Palate‘s Tropical Smoothie. I’m also a crazy fan girl of Kimberly Snyder, and wanted to keep with her Beauty Detox philosophy.
Pineapple does wonders for your skin. Pineapple contains a plethora of the enzyme called bromelain, which helps break down proteins. It also improves circulation and reduces mucus in the body, which results in soft, healthy skin.
It also contains a load of Vitamin C. You know that Vitamin C is good for you, but do you know why? These are the questions I find interesting, yo! Vitamin C helps the body form a protein – collagen. Collagen helps you grow new skin cells and blood vessels. Hello, beautiful skin! Vitamin C is also said to help cognitive & neurological functions, boosts your immune system, increases absorption of plant-based iron, and helps wounds heal. That’s one heck of a bonus to beautiful skin, don’t you think?
Also found in pineapple, is a mineral called Manganese. This mineral is critical in helping the skin to heal, while also regulating blood levels.
Yowza! Let’s down that pineapple, eh?
Oh… I’m not stopping there…. Next up is mango.
The World’s Most Popular Fruit
Oh, mango, you beautiful fruit, you! You may find this hard to believe, but globally, the Mango is the worlds most popular fruit1! Crazy, but I don’t doubt it, because they are so incredibly tasty. It just so happens that they are loaded with beauty boosting vitamins and minerals2. Vitamin C is the most present, followed by Vitamin A, Folate, Fiber, and Vitamin B6. All these are beneficial to our bodies in a number of ways! Vitamin A is critical to your vision, helps your immune system, is great for reproductive health, and bone growth. Folate helps prevent spinal defects in babies of mothers who take it. It also helps the body make red blood cells, and improves cardiovascular health. Fiber helps keep you regular, and keeps you from being constipated. The kicker with fiber though, and why I like it so much, is that it slows the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. This is particularly why I am not fond of juicing. All the awesome fiber in those fruits and vegetables are stripped out! Go the smoothie route, bro. I’ve heard people say that they avoid fruit because they contain sugar. This is complete nonsense too, again, because of the fiber! I believe you have to really look at the fruit as a whole. Mangoes are also a good source of Vitamin B6, which aids in creating hemoglobin for the body, which is responsible for the carrying of oxygen to all of our body tissues! Besides being quite tasty, all these facts make a great case for the mango taking that first place prize.
So, you want beautiful, glowing eyes, do ya?
Bananas are supa-rich in Vitamin B6, which helps prevent irritability (simmah dahn nah!) and insomnia. They also contain magnesium, which promotes better sleep patterns. Do you know what this means? Git outta here, dark eye circles!! That’s right! If you suffer from dark circles under the eyes, keep up with the bananas, man.
That’s not all that bananas have to offer either, dude. Tryptopahn, an essential amino acid, and the natural carbs it contains help you stay in a good mood! They are also a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin A, and natural oils. What this abundance of vitamins and minerals means for you:
- Reduces dark circles under the eyes
- Prevents irritability
- Better sleep and sleep patterns
- Keeps you feeling fantastic!
- Promotes better digestion
- Keeps you more regular
- Contributes to healthier blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Reduces anxiety
- Regulates bodily fluid levels
- Helps keep the skin moisturized
Bananas are at their best when they are yellow with black spots. They are more alkaline-forming this way, and since our body pH is intended to be more alkaline than acidic3, that’s a big bonus! YEAH!
Some like it hot!
The cayenne pepper in this smoothie is a wink and a nod to Thai cuisine. One of the first Thai recipes I ever encountered was a simple one – slices of pineapple dusted with cayenne pepper. I thought that was so weird at the time, but it is FANTASTIC! I thought I’d give it a shot in this smoothie, and it was a HIT! There’s just enough to let you know it’s there, but it won’t set your mouth on fire. I’m a fan of spicy, so start with a smaller amount if you’re sensitive!
Cayenne pepper contains an element called capsaicin, which is what causes the heat in the pepper. This is said to raise the metabolic rate, thus burning more calories. You burn more calories, then in turn, you lose weight! Don’t convert to an all hot-pepper diet just yet! Though it does raise metabolism, it’s not a super-wonder drug! Doctors don’t want to “over-sell” this fact, but it can’t hurt to add it to a dish here or there, which is what I’ve done with this smoothie!
Ancient Mayan and Aztec societies thought that hot peppers were aphrodisiacs! This compound releases endorphins, making you feel happy, and energized! It also curbs appetite for a short while, and is a powerful antioxidant. The higher the heat, the higher antioxidant properties the pepper possesses4.
If these facts aren’t reason enough to whip one of these puppies up right now, I don’t know what is! You’ll be on your way to beautiful skin, glowing eyes, and overall better health in no time!
- Serves: 4
- Serving size: 16 oz
- Calories: 215
- Fat: .8
- Saturated fat: .2
- Carbohydrates: 55.2
- Sugar: 40.4
- Sodium: 67.5
- Fiber: 6.4
- Protein: 2.5
- Cholesterol: 0
- 4 Cups Chopped Pineapple
- 4 Cups Diced Mango (I used two mangoes)
- 2 Bananas
- 1½ Cups Coconut Water with Pulp
- 2 Teaspoons Diced Fresh Ginger
- ⅛ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- Place all ingredients in a blender, blending in batches, depending on the size of your blender, and blend on high for one minute. Divide into four glasses and serve! Will keep in the refrigerator for one day.
P.S. If you’re looking for the most kick-ass blender on the planet, bite the bullet and get the Vitamix blender. It makes your smoothies and soups smooth like velvet, and it goes and goes without quitting. I’ve had mine for about 5 years, make smoothies about 3-4 times a week, and have not had a problem. **Knock on wood!** I really like this particular model because it has smoothie, hot soups, and cold dessert settings which I use regularly too. They also sell re-furbished ones that are way more affordable than the brand new ones. Check them out!
1 WebMD – Mad About Mangoes
2 Mango.org – Mango Nutrition
3The Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snyder
4 WebMD – Peppers and Your Health