A smoothie for younger skin
The big secret to this smoothie’s effects is in the hemp oil. With fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants hemp oil not only helps keep your skin smooth it also protects it against wrinkles. It’s also a source of gamma-linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-6 fat that your body uses in skin cell membranes. Adding pomegranate seeds is also effective in fighting sun-based damage to skin, and contains a nutrient called punicalagin which is thought to help your body preserve collagen in the skin. And the blueberries are packed full of antioxidants, perfect for protecting you against damaging free radicals.
- 1 portion of yogurt (one individual pot)
- a handful of blueberries
- a tablespoon of hemp oil
- a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds on top.*
A smoothie for a sharper brain
With olive oil and the polyphenols contained in it, this smoothie helps protect against dementia, and raspberries add more than a zing of flavour too – research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that eating the berries may prevent age-related memory loss. Cucumbers give you much-need water and they also contain a substance called fistein which has been shown to help prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in mice. The mint adds some fresh flavour to the smoothie but according to research from Wheeling Jesuit University, USA, the smell or flavour of peppermint also improves cognitive function. Green tea has been shown to prevent memory decline too, as well as help prevent Alzheimer’s.
- 1 portion of yogurt
- 10cm of peeled cucumber
- 1/2 a cup of green tea with peppermint leaves (make a cup of green tea and let the peppermint leaves steep in the same water, then remove before making the smoothie)*
A smoothie to boost strong bones
Avocado contains boron which will help you absorb calcium from the yogurt and the leafy greens. What’s more, by whizzing those leafy greens through the blender or juicer your body will gain more access to all the phytonutrients and chlorophyll – which means neutralising acid in your system. If you drink alcohol or ingest toxins in other ways (via foods, pollution, or smoking, for example), chlorophyll helps you metabolise them, ie remove them more quickly from your body. The banana will serve to sweeten your smoothie but it also contains fructooligosaccharide, a compound that promotes healthy bacteria in your digestive system, helping you to absorb calcium and magnesium too (a mineral found in bananas).
- 1 portion of yogurt
- 1 banana
- 1/2 avocado
- a handful of raw mild-tasting leafy greens such as spinach or dark lettuce
*Sugar isn’t great for your skin, brain or your bones, so to sweeten your smoothies try honey, maple syrup, or dark chocolate which contains less sugar than milk chocolate and also more cocoa solids, which are beneficial to your health. Adding vanilla and/or a pinch of cinnamon is also a great way to mask any flavours you don’t like.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.