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I’m fascinated with Sweden…

I mean, the culture and the people are fascinating…and everything there is so beautiful. The country, the scenery and the people.

swedish_model

Sweden is gorgeous… and so are
its people! But what’s their secret?

Maybe you’ve seen it in pictures — or maybe, like me, you’re lucky enough to have been there.

Now, it’s been quite a while since I had the chance to visit Sweden, but I still daydream about that trip. The hiking was amazing, the meals were delicious, and the people were SO kind.

And I couldn’t help but notice one other thing… Everyone’s skin had a healthy glow, and everyone looked so youthful and exuberant.

Naturally, the second I got home, I started researching Swedish skincare — there HAD to be a secret.

At first, it appeared that the average Swedish skincare routine was pretty similar to what I recommend to my patients.

But the more I researched, the more I realized, there was one major difference…

Their diet!

It turns out, the standard Swedish diet is actually a beauty-boosting powerhouse. It’s packed with foods that promote beautiful, healthy, moisturized skin.

Their diet is packed with antioxidants from lingonberries, cloudberries, and rye flour — plus tons of omega 3’s from herring, and Vitamins A and C from root vegetables such as beets and rutabaga.1

It’s a good reminder that what you put in your body is just as important for your skin as what you put on it!

Now, changing your entire diet around is tough…and it’s hard to find certain Swedish ingredients in my local grocery store.

So instead of focusing on the ingredients, I decided to pack all the most important nutrients from the Swedish diet into one easy-to-make, power-packed recipe:

My Omega-3 Berry Blast Smoothie.

smoothie

This smoothie isn’t just delicious — it’s also
a POWERFUL beauty-booster!

And ever since I created this recipe, it’s quickly one of my favorite on-the-go breakfasts… plus, I love knowing that the food I’m eating will help keep my skin healthy and radiant.

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 clementine or tangerine, peeled
  • 1/4 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 tbsp natural almond butter
  • 1 cup spinach, rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup skim milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. If too thick, add a little water to thin it out. If too thin, add extra frozen fruit.
  3. Taste the smoothie – I like mine on the tangy side, but feel free to add honey if yours is not sweet enough for you.
  4. Pour into cup and enjoy! (I sometimes split mine into 2 snack sized portions and keep one in the refrigerator for the afternoon.)

This is one of the most refreshing breakfasts I’ve ever had…and it’s SO easy to make.

It’s the kind of recipe I’d make for myself just as a treat, even if it didn’t have insane skincare benefits.

But lucky for me (and you!) it does great things for the skin. Here’s why.

Antioxidants (berries): Antioxidants are the most powerful when used in combination.2 And like the Swedish diet, this smoothie is packed with a variety of antioxidants with HUGE health benefits…especially if you want your skin to look RADIANT.

sliced_avocado

Omega-3s aren’t just found
in fish. Avocados are a
fantastic source too!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (avocado and almond butter): Helps protect skin from the sun’s rays. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (October 2007)3 found that adults who consumed a diet rich in Omega-3’s had significantly fewer sun-induced lesions than those who did not.

And Omega-3’s are also shown to help strengthen your skin’s lipid barrier…to keep moisture in and irritants out.4

Vitamin A (carrot, tangerine): Chances are, you’ve heard of retinol. It’s a compound that’s been used in skin treatments from acne medication to anti-wrinkle products.

But you may not be aware that retinol is known by another name…Vitamin A.5 And retinol actually binds to skin cells.6 This is thought to not only strengthen skin, but it may minimize the appearance of fine lines.

berries

Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for radiant skin — and
it’s one of the reasons Swedish women GLOW!

Vitamin C (berries, tangerine): As you know, one of the most visible signs of aging is the dark spots that appear on your skin with time and sun exposure.

Luckily, Vitamin C can help preventUV-related photodamage. 7 While it’s not a substitute for sunscreen, it may help slow the formation of dark spots.

All in all, this is one of the most powerful ways to improve your complexion…and as a HUGE bonus, it’s one of the most delicious!

I think you’ll love the way this smoothie tastes, and the way it makes your skin feel…and I just know your skin will look more vibrant and hydrated in no time.

So give it a try and let me know what you think. Something tells me this simple breakfast is going to become a regular part of your morning routine.

Are there any beauty myths or secrets you’re just dying to know more about? Leave a comment and let me know…I’m always excited to get to the bottom of beauty tricks and figure out why they work!

Sources
1 Corliss J. The Nordic diet: Healthy eating with an eco-friendly bent – Harvard Health Blog. Harvard Health Blog. 2015. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-nordic-diet-healthy-fare-with-an-eco-friendly-bent-201511198673. Accessed May 18, 2016.

2 Liu R. Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals. The Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3):517S-522S.

3 Cosgrove M, Franco O, Granger S, Murray P, Mayes A. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86(4):1225-1231. Available at: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/4/1225.long. Accessed May 19, 2016.

4 McCusker MGrant-Kels J. Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the ω-6 and ω-3 fatty acids. Clin Dermatol. 2010;28(4):440-451. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.020.

5 Vitamin A | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University. Lpioregonstateedu. 2016. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrients-health/skin-health/nutrient-index/vitamin-A. Accessed May 19, 2016.

6 Retinoic Acid Receptors and Cellular Retinoid Binding Proteins: Complex Interplay in Retinoid Signaling: Endocrine Reviews: Vol 15, No 1. Endocrine Reviews. 2016. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/edrv-15-1-61#sthash.5kJrZIYM.dpuf.

7 Edlich R, Winters K, Lim H et al. Photoprotection by Sunscreens with Topical Antioxidants and Systemic Antioxidants to Reduce Sun Exposure. J Long Term Eff Med Implants. 2004;14(4):317-340. doi:10.1615/jlongtermeffmedimplants.v14.i4.40.

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