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Skin Deep
Text by Faye Remedios
Published: Volume 17, Issue 5, May, 2009
Eat your way to smooth, flawless skin with these super foods, urges Faye Remedios

GLOW FRIENDS

  • Dates: Dr Jaichandran Thampi, director of spa, Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, recommends having a couple of dates soaked or boiled in milk every day. “Milk and dates supply the necessary minerals required for healthy growth. Dates have the quality of cleansing as they contain tanin and as such help in maintaining the normal tonicity of intestines and indirectly help the skin as well,” he says.
  • Saffron: Also known as kesar, this is one the most expensive and exclusive skin foods that makes skin glow. “It can be had with milk, either for internal or even external application. It has anti-carcinogenic as well antioxidant properties, says Thampi.
  • Carrots: “They’re an excellent source of vitamin A and also high in antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre. And they protect you against skin cancer due to prolonged exposure to ultra-violet rays of the sun,” says Dr Rohini Wadhwani, cosmetologist and medical director of Skin Essentials, Mumbai.
  • Mangoes: Are a rich source of vitamin A and an ideal food to repair and prevent any skin damage, making it glow with health.

EASY ON THE EYES

  • Gooseberry: Indian gooseberry helps keep eyes healthy and bright and contains more than 80 per cent of water and also has protein, carbohydrate, fibre, minerals and vitamins especially vitamin C which is necessary for the synthesis of collagen fibre that keep the skin intact and toned. This helps in reducing wrinkle formation and slows down the ageing process, preventing dark circles around the eyes. “This could be consumed internally with honey,” says Thampi.
  • Rose: A special preparation of rose petals and jaggery can be taken internally to improve vision and reduce dark circles around the eyes. “Mix a few rose petals with a teaspoon of jaggery and consume this Ayurvedic preparation to ensure that the delicate skin around the eyes stays healthy,” says Thampi.
  • Berries and blackcurrants: “Contains polyphenols as well as high amounts of vitamin C, which help fight the pigmentation around the eye area and is also a free radical scavenger. This builds the neo collagen and thus makes the skin firmer giving the eyes a fresh and rejuvenated look,” says Dr Apratim Goel, owner Cutis Klinic and dermato-consultant, L’Oréal Paris.

FOREVER YOUNG

  • Sprouted green gram: Green gram, on account of its soft and easily digestible quality of proteins, helps in the repair and maintenance of cells and thus improves skin. The best way to consume it is in its raw form or it may be mildly steamed; two tablespoons a day is good enough, believes Thampi.
  • Soy foods: This is a great way to help delay the ageing process and reduce wrinkles and dry skin. Soy foods are rich in vitamin E, which helps in the formation of new cells.
  • Tomatoes: Rich in lycopene which refills antioxidant levels in the skin and helps in fighting wrinkles, advises Wadhwani.

BANISH THAT SPOT

  • Green tea: Is rich in flavonoids that help protect skin against acne, pigmentation or wrinkles, says Pooja Makhija, consulting dietician, Clay Wellness, Mumbai.
  • Garlic: Destroys bacteria that can cause acne by breeding inside your pores. Garlic also increases the immune function of the skin, says Goel.
  • Probiotic curds: “This is very important for healthy skin because it improves your immune system and kills bacteria that cause acne and other skin problems like psorasis,” says Makhija.

SO SUPPLE

  • Wheatgrass: A good source of essential fatty acids and fatty alcohols, vitamin E, complex carbohydrates and proteins, it helps improve skin tissues. About five grams daily is sufficient, says Thampi.
  • Whey: Because of its easily digestible protein content, it helps to control sugar levels, thus promoting tissue repair and damage.
  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and mandarins contain two compounds that are needed for healthy skin: vitamin C and limonene.
  • Plant and seed oils: Wadhwani advises including oils from olives, nuts and avocados in your diet which provide the skin with a healthy glow. The presence of vitamin E in these oils ensures the production of new cell growth, keeping skin supple, smooth and moist.

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