The summer harvest gives us bushels of fresh foods that support sun defense in our bodies— tomatoes, watermelon, peppers and apricots are just a few of my favorites. I'd also add cherries to that list, since the phytochemical quercetin in cherries helps defend against UVB damage. For a change of pace from your green smoothie, I created this creamy, sweet— and sun protective— Cherry Chocolate Smoothie that's filled with skin-friendly ingredients (and not a bit of added sugar). Beyond their sun defensive qualities, cherries reduce inflammation in the body, calm redness in the skin and fight allergies. Raw cacao power (an even more beautifying alternative to regular cocoa powder) also protects skin from UV damage, reduces redness and boosts skin hydration. It's also rich in sulfur, a beauty mineral that supports strong hair, nails and skin. As a bonus, cacao raises levels of feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins in the brain, making you happy! And the gluten free oats and hemp seeds also give your skin a boost, with plenty of plant-based protein, beauty minerals that support skin elasticity (in the oats), and skin-friendly fats (in the hemp seeds).
Cherries are ripe now, so grab a bag of these beauty fruits (look for organic varieties) and whip up this sweet, beautifying treat today...
Sun Protective Cherry Chocolate Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup pitted and halved organic sweet cherries
- 1/3 cup gluten free whole oats
- 1 tbsp shelled help seeds
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- few drops almond extract
- small handful ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth. Serve immediately.