And grow with health. By Dr Preethi Nagaraj Beauty is only skin deep goes an old adage. In the present day, where a person is judged mainly by their external appearance, it unfortunately does not seem to hold good. It is interesting to note that a majority of Indian youngsters spend over `4500 per month on cosmetics alone (according to a survey conducted by Association Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India ASSOCHAM in 2013). It is no wonder that consumers are spoilt for choice with creams and serums that claim to make the skin glow. But how many of these cosmeceuticals have ingredients that actually penetrate the skin barrier and work their wonders inside the skin?
A sure way of ensuring healthy, beautiful and youthful skin is by eating the right types of food. Here are five foods that can make your skin glow.
Tomatoes: Rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that neutralises the harmful free radicals generated by the sun’s UV-A and UV- B rays and prevents sun burns and skin redness. It also has anti- ageing properties. The lycopene content in processed tomato products like tomato juice and ketchup is much higher than that in fresh tomatoes.
Pomegranates: A powerhouse of antioxidants called polyphenols – tannins, anthocyanins and ellagic acid – which quench the free radicals responsible for skin ageing. Ellagic acid has depigmenting properties and is an ingredient in skin lightening creams of international brands like L’Oreal. Pomegranates thus help fight against wrinkles, age spots and freckles.
Walnuts: Rich in ω – 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and biotin, they help in keeping the skin soft and supple. ω – 3 fatty acids and vitamin E help in restoring the skin moisture levels in dry skin. Biotin helps in strengthening hair and nails and is an important therapeutic ingredient in hair supplements. A small handful of walnuts a day provides 100 per cent of the recommended daily intake of ω – 3 fatty acids.
Spinach: Rich in vitamin A and vitamin C – two powerful antioxidants. Vitamin A is converted in the body to retinol, the active ingredient in popular anti-ageing products. Retinal increases the skin cell turnover and prevents wrinkles and lines. Vitamin C boosts collagen and plumps up the skin. Spinach also has vitamin K, which strengthens the blood vessels and is especially useful for dark circles.
Papaya: Papaya is loaded with beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, which has anti- ageing properties. Raw papayas also have an enzyme called papain, which causes mild exfoliation and can be used topically. It is especially useful for combination and oily acne prone skin.
What makes these skin- friendly foods more special is that they can be either eaten raw or incorporated into soups, salads and curries thus ensuring your skin health in a natural way.