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8 Foods For Your Skin Featured

07 May 2013
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When it comes to glowing flawless skin, you may think only creams and lotions can do the trick. We showcase some foods that literally feed your skin from within, making it healthier and more beautiful.

♥ Oranges:

What they do:

They are loaded with Vitamin C, which protects your skin from damage from environmental factors like ultraviolet rays. Vitamin C keeps your gums healthy and helps your skin to make collagen, which is necessary to keep it tight and wrinkle free.

• How to consume:

You need 200 mg of Vitamin C per day. There's enough in one orange for your entire day's needs. It's better to consume the whole fruit than just have the juice. Smoking is a no-no as it decreases the absorption of Vitamin C into the system.

• Conditions it helps:

○ Bleeding, tender gums.

○ Healing wounds.

○ Prevents skin from looking dull due exposure to the sun.

♥ Papayas:

• What they do:

This delicious, low-calorie fruit is not just a dieter's delight; it comes packed with carotenoids that release Vitamin A. Vitamin A has an antioxidant effect; it protects your skin from damage and keeps it young. It is also known to decrease the risk of cancer.

• How to consume:

About 200 gm (a big bowlful) is adequate. The part near the seeds is the richest in nutrients, so it should not be discarded. Instead, just lightly flake off the seeds with a fork.

• Conditions it helps:

○ Dry skin and dry mucosa (the lining of your mouth and eyes).

♥ Whole grains:

• What they do:

These are full of vitamins of the B group; these vitamins are essential for normal skin functioning, growth of new cells to replace dead ones and to maintain the skin's strength against infections and stress. Niacin in whole grains also helps skin cells to absorb nutrients from the blood and break them to release energy.

• How to consume:

Select breads, biscuits and pastas that mention 'whole grain' instead of just wheat flour in the ingredients. Try to eat unpolished rice (brown rice). You could also add wheat bran (husk of wheat) to your chappatti dough.

• Conditions it helps:

○ Peeling, cracked skin.

○ Rough hands and feet.

○ Mouth ulcers, sore tongue, rawness at the angles of your mouth.

○ A disease called pellagra, where skin becomes dark, flaky and burnt.

♥ Sunflower seeds:

• What they do:

These light, crisp, nutritious morsels are filled with the goodness of essential fatty acids. They help your skin secrete natural oils that lubricate it and prevent water loss, keeping your skin soft. They improve hair texture and decrease blackheads.

• How to consume:

A few teaspoons once or twice a week is enough. Alternately, use sunflower oil for cooking.

• Conditions it helps:

○ Diseases like psoriasis, where you get pink, scaly patches on your skin and cracked soles.

○ Diseases like atopic dermatitis, where skin is excessively dry and sensitive and keeps breaking into rashes.

○ Some forms of acne.

♥ Green tea:

• What it does:

Green tea is loaded with flavinoids and antioxidants. Drinking it is the best gift you could give your skin. Sunlight, UV rays and free radical (chemicals) in the atmosphere can damage your skin cell's structure and leave it incapable of repairing itself, making you look older and wrinkled before your years. It may also cause skin cancer. Antioxidants in green tea battle these agents, helping your skin stay younger.

• How to consume:

Soak a tea bag or a teaspoon of tea leaves in a cup of hot water for at least three minutes to get the full extract. This is available at any pharmacy. Adding milk neutralises the antioxidants, so it is best to have it black.

• Conditions it helps:

○ Wrinkled, aged looking skin and sunburns.

○ Rashes due to sun exposure.

○ Pigmentation due to menopause or pregnancy.

♥ Pulses:

• What they do:

Pulses are not just a rich source of protein that helps your skin cells grow, they also contain a nutrient called biotin, which helps decrease dandruff and is effective in controlling hair fall. Regular intake keeps your nails stay strong as well.

• How to consume:

Pulses must be cooked well to break the outer protective coats and release the vitamins inside. Whole pulses are better than the de-husked variety. Whole moong or urad dal are the best. Body builders beware; eating raw eggs prevents absorption of nutrients like biotin, causing its deficiency.

• Conditions they help:

○ Dull lifeless skin gets a glow with a high protein pulses-rich diet.

○ Stops hair loss, decreases dandruff.

○ Helps brittle, dry nails.

♥ Aloe Vera:

• What it does:

This miracle plant's products have no end to their virtues. Drinking aloe juice is beneficial for patchy, irritated skin, preventing and treating acne and preventing pigmentation.

• How to consume:

About 30 ml daily is enough. Buy packaged juice only, which is available with chemists. Don't try to eat the plant jelly directly as you could take in harmful inedible substances from the leaf surface.

• Conditions it helps:

○ Acne, pigmentation, skin rashes, heat rashes and allergic reactions.

♥ Nuts:

• What they do:

These may be high in calories but they are also rich in zinc, which is needed for skin cells to grow, multiply and protect themselves from free radicals. It is also helpful in maintaining immunity (capability to fight infection) of the skin and helping in normal hair growth. They also contain essential fatty acids that prevent dryness of skin and hair.

• How to consume:

A fistful of groundnuts, walnuts, almonds and cashew nuts once or twice a week will give you all health benefits, without shaking the foundations of your calorie count chart. Do remove the skins if you like, but have whole. Avoid coffee and tea as they decrease absorption of these nutrients from nuts.

• Conditions they help:

○ Children with sensitive skin or skin allergies.

○ Hair loss and rough, unruly hair.

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