Happy Camper Smoothie– First Ferment Water Kefir
Juice and pulp of one orange
3 strawberries diced
1 cup spinach
2-3 medium sized basil leaves (cilantro is also delicious as a substitute in this recipe)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1.5 cup first ferment
optional- 1 scoop of protein powder and/or 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey
Combine all ingredients into blender, blend for 30 seconds or so and enjoy!
This week Team Happy Gut shared how water kefir, oranges, and strawberries can all help improve acne prone skin.
We are all striving to keep our bodies healthy and happy, and acne can be painful, itchy and for some induces self consciousness. Our recipe this week features three mighty ingredients to help improve acne, and turn you into a Happy Camper.
As always, the rich probiotics in water kefir provide an incredible base for prevention and intervention with various diseases and medical issues. When it comes to acne, one of the biggest problems is inflammation. Not just inflammation of your skin around the acne itself, but also potentially in your gut. It is surprising what a lack of good flora in the gut can lead to. Many people with acne choose to take a probiotic supplement, and even dermatologists have begun prescribing them to patients. There are even recent studies in Italy and Russia dedicated solely to demonstrating the beneficial effects of probiotics and acne. Though there is nothing wrong with this method, water kefir is much more beneficial because fermented foods contain guaranteed live and more bio-available probiotics, meaning that they are much more effective in increasing and maintaining gut health. Water kefir contains over 30 billion different strains of live healthy bacteria and yeast!
Again, if you are new to water kefir, start with 1-2 ounces and slowly build up over a week or two, to prevent stomach upset but also to gently bring your system into balance, versus shocking it. With acne and inflammation in general, sudden change to the body’s internal balance can sometimes cause a bit of a “flare up” or breakout. Because it is important to reduce the amount of dairy in your diet when combating acne, water kefir becomes the perfect probiotic choice! Is there anything water kefir can’t do? Taxes… it probably won’t be able to do your taxes.
Strawberries are natural anti-inflammatories, and help lower C-reactive proteins, making them powerful allies for helping to heal acne and reduce the symptoms. They are also rich in vitamin C, which is another key player that helps fight free radicals that steal oxygen from cells and destroy collagen, which is needed to keep skin healthy. The fibre in strawberries is also a great acne support, as it reduces constipation which is one of the known contributors to causing painful break outs. They also have a detoxifying effect. The less toxins in your body, the less likely you are to have a breakout, which in turn makes you a Happy Camper!
Who knew that these delicious berries also had even more health benefits!?
Oranges and many other orange hued foods are hailed to help clear up acne prone skin. First, like strawberries, they are rich in vitamin C. Other options include melons, carrots, yams and even figs (which are loaded with magnesium, a key player in balancing out acne-inducing hormones). While carrots and yams may not make their way into your actual ferment, they are GREAT to add to a smoothie for their health benefits, fibre and sweetness. Oranges and melons also have a high water content, and we know how important hydration is to clear, healthy skin! Adding them to your ferments and also your smoothies just doubles that beautiful hydration! Carrots, cantaloupes and yams are also rich in vitamin A, as well as beta-carotene which enhance the effects of selenium, another acne-fighter. So think about throwing some nice, fatty nuts into your smoothies if you want to power up the potency!
PRO TIP: Remember, hydration is key for maintaining clear, healthy skin. While you don’t need to drink 8 glasses of water per day, eating water-filled foods (melons, oranges, cucumbers) will ensure your body is a happy camper and hydrated.
Spinach is another acne fighter that is in our recipes this week (and many weeks for its many health benefits). Spinach is also high in vitamin C, and like strawberries is filled with antioxidants which as we know, fight those pesky free radicals that cause skin damage and can lead to breakouts.
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