This delicious chocolate smoothie is rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin) which is used to treat angular cheilitis and seborrheic dermatitis! I developed this smoothie after discovering that I had angular cheilitis which is dry, cracked, crusting skin on the corner of the mouth.
Vitamin B2 deficiency is a major cause of angular cheilitis along with deficiency of vitamin B3, B5, B6, B12 and stress. I also have seborrheic dermatitis on my cheeks and nose which is why I knew it must be vitamin B2 deficiency, as the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis and angular cheilitis are strong indicators of B2 deficiency.
So I looked in my my nutrition textbook for food sources of vitamin B2. According to Liska et al. (2004) the richest sources of vitamin B2 are animal products such as organ meats, fish and eggs. As I am vegan I looked down the list and saw that almonds are a rich source, as well as mushrooms. These are foods that I am not eating much of. I needed a way to get these foods into my everyday diet and had the idea to create a smoothie!
||Vitamin B2 (mg)
The UK reference nutrient intake (RNI) for women between the age of 15-50 years is 1.1mg. So I worked out how much of each ingredient I would need to get near to my RNI.
I am going to drink this smoothie everyday for a month and see if my angular cheilitis and seborrheic dermatits disappear! If there is no improvement it is either because it is caused by something else such as stress, or I am not absorbing nutrients well and need to work on my digestion!
I had some cacao powder to hand so added some into the smoothie mix to give a delicious, chocolatey flavour!
Makes 1 litre
50g Cashew nuts
50g Sunflower seeds
3tbsp Cacao powder
200ml Almond milk
500ml Filtered water
If you have time, soak the almonds and sunflower seeds in filtered water overnight. The next morning drain and leave to dry.
Add all the ingredients in the blender. Blend well for 1 minute.
Pour into a glass and enjoy your smoothie!
Store in the fridge. Avoid exposure to sunlight which destroys riboflavin.
Liska, D., Quinn, S., Lukaczer, D. et al. (2004). Clinical Nutrition A Functional Approach. 2nd edn. Washington: The Institute for Functional Medicine. p111
Having had chronic eczema since I started university in 2006, I am thrilled to have recently noticed a huge improvement in the clarity of my skin, and I wanted to share with you some of the things that I have been doing!
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is red and inflamed skin around the nose and cheeks accompanied by dry skin. It can cause self-esteem issues as we are expected to have perfect skin like the flawless models in magazines. The condition can be caused by chronic stress or a toxic body since the skin is the last place that toxins are eliminated from the body. Also it may be a sign of systemic inflammation throughout the body.
Here are the things I have been doing recently that have had a positive impact on my skin:
- Source of Life – Liquid Gold Multivitamin – this delicious tropical fruit flavoured liquid supplement is packed full with over 120 superfood extracts and contains more than the RDA of vitamins and minerals that a healthy adult requires. It was recommended to me by the nutritionist at the student clinic. After a month of taking it I noticed that my eczema had dramatically reduced and people I knew commented on my clear skin! I am continuing taking it for the positive effects!
- Drink more water – the nutritionist said I should be drinking 2 litres of water everyday. I noticed that I would have more regular and easy bowel movements after drinking at least 1.5 litres in a day which actually gave me clearer skin. This is because the toxins ingested in everyday life e.g. pesticide residues, chemicals, air pollution were not recirculating into the blood stream, but were being quickly removed from the body and therefore not reaching the skin.
- Sleep well – After a good nights sleep I wake up feeling refreshed and look in the mirror and my skin is clear. It worth going to bed early to feel and look better the next day. Check out my post 10 Tips for Sleeping Well
- Reduce stress – removing toxic relationships or situations from your life can greatly reduce your stress levels and improve your health. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or listening to relaxing music can help to calm down the adrenal system, reducing stress on your body. Find out more tips in my post How To Deal With Stress.
- Omega-3 – the nutritionist pointed out that I needed more omega-3 in my diet as I am vegan. The best vegan sources of omega-3 are flaxseed, hemp seed, rapeseed and walnuts. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory reducing redness and swelling in the body as well as repairing damaged skin cells. I now eat a teaspoon of ground flaxseed with every meal and have noticed an improvement in my skin condition! I also use hemp oil to moisturise the dry skin on my cheeks and around my mouth as it is very soothing and reduces the dry patches.
- Vitamin D – deficiency of this vitamin is common as we tend to spend most of our lives indoors. I was diagnosed with insufficient levels of Vitamin D by the doctor and after 3 months of spending time sitting in the sunshine and taking Better You Vitamin D sublingual spray which the nutritionist recommended as it is easily absorbed, my levels were back in the normal range! Several studies have shown that increasing the vitamin D levels improved skin condition and I have definitely noticed an improvement!
- Earthing – walking barefoot outside on the grass decreases stress on the body and reduces inflammation. Our bodies absorb electromagnetic radiation from computers, TVs, wifi, mobile phones etc and this causes a build up of positive ions in the body which cause health problems such as depression, insomnia, chronic pain and inflammation. When we take off our shoes and walk barefoot on the earth, the negative ions we absorb neutralise the positive ions and we soon feel more relaxed and happier. That is why people feel better after sitting on the beach!
All these things have contributed to my improved skin condition, but I would say that Source of Life Liquid Gold had the most dramatic impact. I am sure a healthy diet of fresh, organic foods is also contributing to my clearer skin!