Products are awesome. Lotions and creams are miracle-workers. And there are certain hair products it’s entirely possible we may die without. But there are some things you just can’t buy in a jar. They’re the vitamins and minerals your body needs to harness its natural beauty-boosting power. With simple vegetables, fruits, and a juicer, you can give your skin, nails, and hair what they really need.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a person who hates to eat healthily. I wouldn’t order a salad at a restaurant if the salad was brought out of the kitchen by a unicorn shooting rainbow-sparkled salad dressing out of its horn. My natural hatred for eating vegetables is why I’m obsessed—obsessed—with juicing. It is just so much easier to get your essential veggie and fruit servings out of the damn way with a juicer!
Why not just buy your juice at the store? Because store-bought juice tends to be processed, and usually contains non-useful ingredients like corn syrup, fructose, or sugar. Even when juice says “100% natural” on the front, it is nothing like raw, fresh juice. It’s been heated and sterilized and has additives to make every batch taste the same, and it was probably made quite a few days ago.
With juicing, you pick up an apple, toss it in the juicer with the skin and seeds and core (but not the pits or stems -- juicers don’t like those), and fresh juice comes out five seconds later. You get all the micronutrients that were in the apple (especially in the skin) and you know exactly what went into your apple juice.
The juicer I own is a Breville Juice Fountain ($149), and I use it almost every day. It rules because you don’t really have to peel most fruits and vegetables—you just drop them into the juicer. That’s the only step.
Through some delicious trial and error, I’ve made up a few beauty-specific juicing recipes for you. Today, I whipped up a juice specifically designed to help you get longer, stronger nails. With all the nail art we’re all doing around here, we need to strengthen our claws, right? This recipe will bring nutrition and much-needed TLC to hardworking nails, the same way a deeply quenching rain delivers micronutrients to over-harvested fields. Here we go!
Longer, Stronger Nail Elixir
Note: If you don’t have a juicer, this would work in the blender. The juice will come out a lot thicker, but the raw nutrients will still be in there.
4–5 large kale leaves with stems removed Kale is nature’s perfect food. This serving has more iron than a steak, and is full of vitamins and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids—the stuff nails go nuts over!
1 large or 2 small mangoes Apart from being ridiculously delicious, mangoes are loaded with vitamins C and A, which nails need to stay healthy.
4 apricots with pits removed Apricots have lots of calcium, iron, and beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A, helping your skin and nails replenish themselves!
about 30 green or red grapes Grapes have vitamins C and K—and the K can help tiny cuticle nicks to clot more quickly. These little fruits also boast high levels of iron and antioxidants that help fight aging in the skin (read: they help keep hands looking younger longer.)
2 whopping handfuls of blueberries Besides their ability to turn nearly any drink purple, blueberries are a wonder food, and have the one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits. The lutein in them also helps keep the tissue around your nails lookin’ fresh.
2 teaspoons of chia seeds Chia seeds are the latest miracle food trend, and it’s no wonder. Found in stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, chia seeds are a complete protein packed with antioxidants, vitamin B, and omega 3 fatty acids.
Prep & Juice!
Wash and de-pit and de-stem everything you need to, then combine everything except the chia seeds in your juicer or blender. Hit the “on” button. If you’re using a blender, add 1 cup of water to help everything liquefy.
When you’ve got your juice together, add the chia seeds to it and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. This helps the seeds expand. Then stir and drink!
This recipe makes about 16 oz., which you need to keep in the fridge in an airtight container and stir before drinking. Drink it all up within two days—fresh raw juice loses its almost-miraculous powers rapidly!
This juice will start as a lovely purple-y green color, but when thoroughly stirred, it will be, um, less lovely—more like a muddy green hue. Who cares though! It tastes like a blueberry grape mango rainbow, and the chia seeds add a pleasant texture.
Shhhh, listen. Hear that? It’s all 10 of your fingernails, strong, drumming, and cheering in unison.