The most common chief complaints I hear in my clinic are lack of glow, skin dullness, acne, and uneven complexion. When I hear any of these things, I first ask what products my patient is using. Then, I always adjust their skin care regimen to better suit their skin-type and address their concerns (although sometimes finding a suitable regimen requires trial and error). Results of your skin care regimen can also be severely hampered by lifestyle and diet choices. Consumption of milk and dairy, for example, is a number one cause of acne in all age groups. Sugar, gluten, wheat, and protein in excess can also trigger skin and hair issues in some individuals. “So, what is it that I can eat?!” my patients ask. Leafy greens, fruits, a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, and plant based proteins are a good place to start. To ensure you get all of these things daily, add my favorite, homemade juice to your diet every morning. I call it the “7 Juice” and it has all the essentials to get your skin glowing and tresses flowing like never before.
Spinach is among my favorite superfoods. It has so many properties that are amazing for skin and hair, especially when you are primarily vegetarian. For one, spinach is high in Vitamins A and C. These vitamins are antioxidants and are essential to collagen formation in the skin. Vitamin C is also known to assist in new cell formation for expedited skin repair and rejuvenation and is an essential component of iron absorption. Iron is one of the key deficiencies I test for when patients complain of hair loss. Lack of iron can cause hair-fall as well as pallor of the mucous membranes and skin. Iron supplements typically cause constipation and GI upset…. but spinach is magical in that it is both iron and fiber to keep you nourished and regular.
2 SUPER SEED-MIX
My favorite mix of super seeds consists of chia seeds, sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. I keep a combination of these seeds pre-mixed in my pantry atalltimes. Each one has unique benefits for your skin and hair.
Chia seeds are a wonderful source of fiber, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and, most importantly, non-dairy calcium. So, when my patients say, “but Dr. Lohia, I neeeeed milk for calcium and healthy bones!” I tell them this is a myth that has been proven wrong. Recent studies show that milk can actually increase your risk of bone fractures and heart disease.
Sesame and pumpkin seeds are both good, and delicious, sources of zinc…. especially for veg eaters. Increased zinc, when consumed or applied topically, helps to reduce oil production in the skin thereby reducing incidence of acne.
3 BEAUTIFUL BERRY MIX
Antioxidants!!! Blueberries and cranberries are easy to find sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight cancer-causing free radicals and have the added benefit of anti-aging. If you have access to Indian gooseberries (or amla), I consider these to be a sacred treasure of India for their health benefits alone. Throw a fresh gooseberry into the mix to get a super-boost of Vitamin C and surplus of antioxidants for enhanced anti-aging, sun damage reversal, and collagen synthesis. Additionally, if you can find goji berries, these are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet and a superb addition to the beautiful berries mix.
Pomegranate is another source of anti-aging antioxidants. See a trend here? This juice should be called “The Real Fountain of Youth”. However, pomegranate seeds carry additional benefits through the oil found in their seeds. Pomegranate oil contains an ingredient called punic acid. Punic acid is not only full of nourishing fatty-acids but also has anti-inflammatory properties that are especially beneficial for inflammatory conditions like rosacea and acne.
5 IN-SEASON CITRUSES (I like Mosambi)
Citrus fruits, like many other things on this list, are packed with Vitamin C for rejuvenation and radiance. An added bonus? They are known to ward off cold and flu symptoms which can be especially useful during the rainy season. They also add a palatable balance of sweet and sour to the juice.
Honey is my favorite sweetener… ever. It, again, is packed with antioxidants. However, it uniquely has antibacterial properties that can help prevent and heal acne. It is great to put directly on skin as a quick, home remedy and even better to consume as part of your morning routine.
7 UNRIPENED/GREEN BANANA
That’s right, a green banana. Although unripened bananas are not typically as tasty as their ripened counterparts, when blended in a juice you can hardly taste the difference. Green bananas carry the same benefits as ripe bananas, however, they have the added benefit of being a rich probiotic. Probiotics are great for your digestive tract. As you will read in my next blog post, there is a strong connection between digestive health and skin health. This hypothesis is known as the “Gut-Skin Axis” and suggests that a healthy GI tract correlates strongly with healthy skin.
Put all 7 of these ingredients in a blender with a liquid base of your choosing. My favorite liquid bases are coconut water for light days and almond milk for days I’m craving something a bit creamier.
If you have a sweet tooth, add dates pre-soaked in warm water prior to blending. And, if you are feeling extra motivated or have loved the 7 Juice so much you are ready to take the next step… add some spirulina. Spirulina is a type of fresh-water algae that has more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than spinach. 2 tablespoons of spirulina also contain 8 grams of plant-based protein for all my veg readers out there. You typically find spirulina in a powdered form that can be easily added to a variety of recipes and drinks.
I know a lot of the things you read online have questionable validity…but I really have found skin and hair solace in my 7-juice blend. Every one of my patients who has tried the juice routine derived noticeable benefits from it after only 1-2 weeks! I hope you too will try it, love it, and let me know what you think XOXO, Dr. Lohia