There are many foods beneficial for our skin, but few match the nutrient capabilities of the following in terms of cleansing, moisturizing, antioxidant, UV protection, strengthening and rejuvenation.
1. When Life Gives You Lemons…
Lemon is a fruit of all seasons and almost always finds place on your kitchen shelf or refrigerator. With its vitamin C content, its juice will keep your skin beautiful. A glass of warm water with a tsp of honey and a dash of lemon juice on an empty stomach every morning is a great skin cleanser.
With its astringent properties, it can be used to lighten the skin tone and also diminish acne scars. Mix lemon and honey and use it as a natural bleach on your skin. This is one of nature’s most potent fruits and the diversity of applications for lemons far exceeds general knowledge.
2. Not All Oils Are Created Equal.
Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin.
It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.
Science has boosted coconut to the forefront of the nutrition scene because of its abundance of medium-chain triglycerides. MCTs can be used as a quick source of energy and seem to support heart and brain health. The lauric acid in coconut oil helps to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi both internally and externally.
3. Not Ripe. Not Ripe. Not Ripe. EAT ME NOW. Too Late!
Apart from being high in Vitamin E, avocados are rich in antioxidants which help protect the skin. Avocados help in regenerating skin cells which makes your skin look fresh, giving a more youthful complexion.
You probably already knew that avocado was a great source of vitamin E, but did you know that because it’s so rich in antioxidants and the good-for-you type of fat, it’s also an anti-aging powerhouse? Studies have shown that the minerals in avocado even help you better absorb other nutrients, like beta carotene. They also contain a sugar called D-manno-heptulose that helps your skin produce collagen, which can prevent wrinkles.
4. Say ‘Ello to Aloe.
Aloe vera juice is excellent if you want younger-looking skin. Have 30 ml aloe vera juice diluted with 100 ml water early morning on empty stomach. And after 20-30 minutes you can have your regular breakfast.
More than 75 potentially active constituents have been identified in the aloe vera plant including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, saponins, and salicylic acids.
Aloe vera contains a multitude of vitamins including A, C, E, folic acid, B1, B2, B3, B6 and is one of the few plants that contains vitamin B12, which helps with brain and nervous system function.
For those who want to make their own aloe vera juice at home, all you need is to harvest the leaf and then immediately remove the rind and the yellow layer just under the rind (aloin).
Multiple studies show promising results for taking aloe vera to stabilize blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and treat irregularity, among many other health benefits. Topical use of the slimy, aqueous gel, which is contained inside the spiky leaves, is known to heal burns, surface wounds, acne, rashes, inflammation and many other skin issues. It makes an ideal everyday hydrating treatment for all skin types.
5. Keep Calm and Drink Tea.
Chamomile tea, a derivative of chamomile flower, has long been recognized for its medicinal and beauty benefits. Research has revealed that chamomile tea increases immunity of the body and increases amino acids that relieve muscle spasms.
Most people associate a cup of warm chamomile tea with calming and relaxing, and for good reason. Chamomile is a flowering herb which contains several chemical constituents which are known to calm the central nervous system, quell inflammation in the body and improve digestion. But it is also innately instilled with amazing healing, anti-oxidant, cleansing and moisturizing properties and is considered a full fledge skincare treatment.
Chamomile makes a great skin tonic when applied to the skin because of its powerful anti-inflammatory and soothing effect. It lightens your complexion and renders it a healthy glow naturally. Use freshly brewed and chilled tea to make wonderful eye compresses for puffy, irritated eyes. Also use chamomile tea to heal acne eruptions and rashes.
6. Ehh, What’s Up, Doc?
Think of carrots as orange wonder wands – good for the eyeballs, and good for clearing up breakouts. No magic here, though, just plenty of Vitamin A, which prevents overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer. That means fewer dead cells to combine with sebum and clog pores. Plus, vitamin A reduces the development of skin-cancer cells.
It helps repair skin tissue and protects against UV damage. Carrots can also be used to prepare an inexpensive and convenient face mask by mixing grated carrot with some honey and applying it directly to the face. Carrots also contain Vitamin C which aids collagen production in the body. It also protects against free radicals to prevent signs of aging like wrinkles, pigmentation and an uneven skin tone.
7. The Great Pumpkin.
The multitude of valuable nutrients in pumpkin really puts it into the “superfood” class. High in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin packs an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and E.
For skin care, the natural enzymes found in pumpkin make it a safe and effective exfoliator — a gentle alternative to harsh chemical peels. Pumpkin also contains the highest concentration of salicylic acid of any plant, which is a beta-hydroxy acid. Salicylic is used to deep clean the pores and remove surface buildup.
Pumpkin is packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which increase cell turnover, to brighten and smooth the skin. It contains antioxidant Vitamin A and Vitamin C to help soften and soothe the skin and boost collagen production to prevent the signs of aging. Pumpkin’s phytonutrients infuse the skin with important elements that bring about cellular rejuvenation and strengthen weakened skin structures. This is especially important for aging or damaged skin, which does not renew itself as effectively as young skin.
8. Is it a Fruit or a Vegetable?
Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. According to studies performed by the worldwide famous centers of medicine, lycopene in tomato products is protective against the risk of skin cancer, which has become the disease of our age, not specifically caused by the sun but by a build up of toxins in the body.
Cooking tomatoes helps concentrate its lycopene levels, so tomato sauce, tomato paste, and even ketchup (if it’s natural) pack on the protection. Consuming minimum 200 g. cooked tomato a day ensures your skin to look young at all times.
9. It’s Purple.
Along with other cole crops, cabbage is a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Cabbage is a great store of vitamin C and vitamin K. The rich deep colour of this vegetable is due to a high concentration of polyphenols (strong dietary antioxidants, possessing anti-inflammatory properties), making it have even more phytonutrients than a green cabbage. Purple cabbage is rich in these antioxidants which has also been found to make skin supple and clear.
10. An Abundance of Digestive Enzymes
This is one fruit that must be purchased organic due to the abundance of genetically modified papaya suppliers. The benefits of this fruit on skin have perhaps been talked about since the time of our ancestors. Papaya is rich in antioxidants and contain a special enzyme called papain, which has a keratolytic effect, meaning that it softens and dissolves “keratinized” or “dead” skin cells and can remove impurities. A glass of papaya milk or just applying the flesh of papaya on your skin can do wonders to your skin.
When consumed, the same enzymes help with digestion. Papayas are very high in vitamin C, carotenoids and several other antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
A very effective way to use the fruit at home is to scrape the inside of the papaya peel and apply the mashed pulp to the skin for 3-4 minutes. A slight tingling or itching sensation and a little flushing is very common, and it’s important not to leave it on for too long before removing with cool water.
sources: Pubmed1, Pubmed2, Pubmed3, ARS1, ARS2, PD, OregonState, NOPR