Throughout my life, I have probably tried every diet known to man: high-protein, low-carb, Slim Fast, the soup diet, that diet where you’re supposed to lose 10 pounds in 3 days eating carrots and little cups of ice cream. (It didn’t work).
In the past year or so, I came across Kimberly Snyder’s The Beauty Detox Diet. In it, she talks about a green juice that gives you tons of energy and improves your skin. Of all the green juices I’ve tried, it’s the best, so I’m outlining the recipe here!
Is Juicing as Good as Skin Care Products?
The best way to get the benefits of an ingredient is to ingest and topically apply it.
In at least one study, conducted by Mavi Cosmetics in Italy, 40 women were split into four groups. The first group was given a supplement called FloraGlo Lutein with antioxidants (10 mg lutein and 0.6 zeaxanthin). The second group was given a topical cream with lutein and zeaxanthin. The third group was given both the supplement and the topical cream. The fourth and final group was given placebo.
After 12 weeks, it was found that either the oral supplement or the cream improved skin elasticity, hydration, and protection against sun damage. However, the combination of oral and topical formulations boosted numbers the most — skin hydration by 60 percent and protection against sunburn by 20 percent (The Journal of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology). Therefore, it is best to both ingest and topically apply ingredients.
Please note one thing: I am not suggesting that you juice instead of eating real food, like some diets do. Instead, I am suggesting that you merely supplement your diet with this juice, as I have.
The Science Behind the Juice
Spinach is a great source of vitamin A (retinoids) and vitamin C (varied forms). As longtime fans of the FutureDerm blog know, vitamin A and vitamin C are two of the staples in my skin care line, with our FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 and FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum 16+2.
Vitamin A has been shown to benefit skin in three different ways:
- Preventing collagen loss by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinases, enzymes that degrade collagen (Archives of Dermatology, 2002);
- Treating fine lines, wrinkles, and mottled skin by increasing cell turnover (Archives of Dermatology, 2002, amongst many others);
- Acting as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals (Methods in Enzymology, 1992, amongst many others)
Vitamin C is necessary for normal collagen formation. (That’s why pirates without enough vitamin C got scurvy and looked all funny — very little collagen!) (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). But beyond normal collagen formation, one study suggests L-ascorbic acid may increase collagen production up to eight-fold because it increases DNA replication at the cellular level: both the transcription rate of procollagen’s coding genes and mRNA levels were found to increase after vitamin C was applied to skin cells (Journal of Investigative Dermatology). It also has been shown to brighten sun spots. And that, my friends, is beautiful science.
Lemons are one of my favorite food products to ingest. Like spinach, lemon is also a great source of vitamin C.
However, lemon is not great to put directly on your skin, because it increases photosensitivity, to the point it is shown to increase blistering (Photoimmunology, Photodermatology, and Photomedicine, 2005). (And given that UV light is the #1 source of aging, why would you want to do that?!)
But you can get the benefits of lemons by ingesting them. Though lemons are an acidic food, lemon forms an alkaline ash when ingested (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1968), which is beneficial for your digestive tract. I find that fresh-squeezed lemon in water or as a part of this green juice is by far the best way to get its vitamin C-rich brightening, tightening effects for my skin!
Apples are also an excellent source of vitamin C, my favorite brightener-tightener. It is important that you keep the skins of the apples on them, as digesting as much fiber as possible with the fructose helps to keep blood sugar levels steady (and cravings at bay)!
Celery is also an excellent source of vitamin C.
If you notice you get a breakout after drinking this use, substitute cucumber for celery, and try again. Celery produces its own natural pesticide group, called psoralens, which can cause skin sensitivity in some persons (Archives of Dermatology, 1990). Is this likely after 3 small pieces, as with this juice? No. But it is still possible, which is why cucumber makes a great substitute.
How to Make It
Start by cleaning all of the fruits and vegetables.
You will need two apples, cored and halved.
You will need two lemons that are peeled.
You will need three stalks of celery, with the leaves and the bottoms removed.
You will also need a big handful of spinach — the more, the merrier! (Just keep in mind that spinach can be bitter. The more novice you are, the less spinach you should use.)
Push all through in a juicer. (Bonus tip: If you put a bag in the collection receptacle, it’s one less thing to clean!)
Drink instantly. Some of the enzymes may be depleted after refrigerating or freezing, so make this as often as you can, and drink right away!
When I first started drinking Green Juice every morning, I didn’t like it at all. It tasted a lot like grass to me (or what I thought eating grass would taste like)! But after a few days, I started to notice that I had more energy after drinking the green juice. I felt lighter, happier, and healthier. I thought it was crazy, but several of my friends and family members who have tried it have also said the same thing.
When I started having Green Juice, I had it each morning with a breakfast bar or eggs.
After a while, I started just having the Green Juice for breakfast. Amazingly, I found I could go from 7 AM until 1 PM without eating, which was something I could never do before. Typically, I’d have an energy bar or shake for breakfast, only to be rummaging around the office by 10 AM, looking for food. But once I started with the morning Green Juice, I really could make it all the way until a late lunch to get food — something that resulted not only in weight loss, but also improved my work flow!
If you often feel tired or fatigued (or if your skin looks that way), try infusing your skin with vitamins from the inside out. One great, healthy way to do this is with Green Juice. After several months of drinking it, I am thinner, and my nails and hair are stronger and thicker!
I hope you loved this post. Let me know your thoughts in Comments!