Eat your way to Perfect Hair and Skin


In the fast-paced world of today, we barely get a good night’s sleep, not on all 7 nights of the week anyway. Amidst all the responsibilities and obligations that we ought to take care of, we often don’t find the time to look after our skin and hair. A great way to deal with this pressing issue is to include some of the time-tested foods in our diets! Wondering which are these foods, and how exactly can these foods become a part of your daily diet? Well, this is where our Nutritionist Ankita steps in. Here, she spells it all out in great detail – all for your convenience!


GRAPEFRUIT


Also known as ‘chakotara’ in Hindi, is loaded with nutrients.

  • It is high in fibre, low in calories

  • It comprises bioflavonoids and other compounds that protect the body against serious diseases

  • The Vitamin C content of Grapefruit helps stimulate the production of collagen, which offers the much-desired smoothness and elasticity to the skin

  • The Retinol content of this fruit makes the skin soft and aids the renewal of damaged skin

  • Grapefruit contains potassium that helps smooth wrinkles and age spots, while also providing a protective shield against UV rays.

  • Vitamin C and Vitamin A in Grapefruit juice help support hair growth. They also help reduce dandruff, thereby preventing hair fall.

  • Grapefruit proves to be fairly effective in getting rid of chemicals accumulated on the hair follicle as a result of hair treatments, dust, pollution, gels, sprayers etc.

How to Incorporate Grapefruit in Your Regime

  • Eat it as a fruit

  • Drink it as a juice or add it to smoothies

  • Mix the juice with coconut oil and apply on the scalp and rinse it after 30 mins


CUCUMBER


A staple in salads, Cucumbers are known for their high water content. However, they also entail many benefits some of which are put down below!

  • Cucumber is rich in antioxidants, dietary fibre, Vitamin K and Vitamin B-Complex.

  • It is loaded with minerals including but not limited to copper, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.

  • Cucumber reduces inflammation and helps balance pitta levels in the body

  • The mildly astringent property of Cucumber helps cleanse the skin and tighten the pores. This further helps reduce breakouts of the skin.

  • Cucumber peels are rich in silicon and sulphur, both of which are known to promote hair growth.

  • The cooling properties of Cucumber seeds help balance the heat-linked stress on the hair.

  • Vitamin C in Cucumber stimulates new cell growth, while folic acid aids in combating environmental toxins that make the skin look tired or prematurely aged.

  • The Caffeic Acid in Cucumber helps minimize wrinkles and protects from sun damage.

How to Incorporate Cucumber in Your Regime

  • Eat it as a part of salads

  • Add it to smoothies

  • Mix Cucumber Extract with Alovera Gel and Honey, to create a natural face mask

  • Keep slices of cucumber on the eyes, as a way to reduce dark circles and puffiness around the eyes


ALMONDS AND WALNUTS


Two of the most used nuts, Almonds and Walnuts not only form a great snack but also prove to be a delicious addition to traditional sweets. Some of the most prominent benefits of these nuts include -

  • They are an excellent source of proteins, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, fibre, selenium, magnesium, Vitamin E, potassium as well as zinc.

  • The chief protein in almond known as Amandin comprises about 12% of arginine, which helps reduce high blood pressure.

  • The fatty acid content of almonds and walnuts aids in promoting the strength and texture of hair.

  • These nuts help prevent the skin from unwanted dryness and reduce pigmentation.

  • Their anti-inflammatory properties enhance the smoothness of skin, and help slow down premature greying. They also help minimize the formation of wrinkles.

  • Helps to reduce oxidative stress and scavenges free radicals helping to treat acne and pigmentation and reduces dandruff on the hair scalp.

How To Incorporate Almonds and Walnuts in Your Regime

  • 5 pre-soaked Almonds and 1-2 Walnuts can be consumed as a part of a healthy breakfast.

  • Almonds can be consumed in the form of almond milk

  • Traditionally, Almond and Walnut Powder were added in porridge or kheers to ensure a healthy dose for all members of the family.

  • These nuts can be added to laddoos.

  • Almonds and Walnuts can be consumed in the form of dry-fruit milkshakes.

  • Walnuts can be added to baked goods such as Cookies and Brownies.

  • Almond Oil can be massaged on hair scalp for healthy and lustrous looking hair.


COCONUT


While Coconut Oil has been used for centuries as a part of daily skin and hair care regime, a vast majority of people are often oblivious to the benefits of Coconut and its by-products. Some of the benefits include -

  • Coconut contains a decent amount of lauric acid – thereby offering anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, which makes it a great cleanser.

  • It helps restore dry, damaged and hair because of its excellent moisturizing properties.

  • Coconut boosts hair follicles thus promoting hair growth.

  • The Vitamin C in coconut milk supports the elasticity and flexibility of our skin

  • Coconut comprises copper which helps prevent wrinkles, sagging of skin and age spots.

  • Coconut milk contains natural fatty acids, which help treat dry and irritated skin and remove bacteria, thus providing an excellent moisturizing effect, especially for skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

  • Coconut is a proven dandruff cleanser.

  • It helps calm the vatta-pitta doshas of the body.


How to Incorporate Coconut in Your Regime

  • Consume coconut water, preferably once daily in the summer season.

  • Consume coconut milk directly, or use the milk in dishes such as solkadhi, vegetable stew etc.

  • Eat raw coconut pulp.

  • Consumer dry coconut as a snack, by combining it with Sesame Seeds (Til) and Jaggery (Gud).

  • Use fresh Coconut to garnish everyday dishes.

  • Dry Coconut can be used as a key ingredient in multiple traditional sweets such as Nariyal Barfi and Laddoos, as well as baked delights such as cookies.


ALIV

Also known as Halim Seeds or Garden Cress Seeds offer a wide range of benefits including the ones listed below -

  • It is a rich source of iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, dietary fibre, Vitamin E and Vitamin A.

  • Aliv comprises of amino acids such as glutamic acid, leucine and methionine, as well as linolenic acid.

  • It helps balance kapha and vatta doshas.

  • Aliv acts as a natural anti-oxidant, and helps improve skin tone, promotes cell generation and even protects skin from environmental pollutant.

  • It promotes hair growth and gives a shiny dense look to hair.

How to Incorporate Aliv in Your Regime

  • Aliv can be used as a main ingredient in Laddoos along with coconut, jaggery and ghee.

  • Aliv can be used in the preparation of kheer

  • Alive can act as a great garnish over salads and soups

  • If 1 Tbsp of Aliv is soaked overnight in water, it can be consumed in the morning, preferably with 1 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice.



SOY PROTEIN

Soy Protein is essentially an Isolate Powder made using defatted soybean flakes, with the objective of acting as a replacement for animal protein in a person’s diet. Some of the benefits of Soy Protein are as follows -

  • It is an excellent source of iso-flavonoids , protein, dietary fibre, calcium, zinc, folic acid, iron, potassium, essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and lecithin.

  • The anti-oxidant properties of Soy Protein help in regeneration of skin cells.

  • Soy helps even out the skin tone, by reducing pigmentation caused as a result of sun exposure and hormonal changes.

  • The iso-flavonoids in Soy Protein reduce acne

  • It minimizes roughness and chapping of the skin, thereby preventing hormone related aging

  • Soy is known to improve hair texture and hair strength. It helps repair damaged hair and supports hair growth.


How to Incorporate Soy Protein in Your Diet

  • Soy flour can be added to your regular flour in making rotis or breads

  • Soy protein can be added in soups or stew

  • Buffalo or Cow Milk can be replaced by Soy Milk.

  • One of the processed forms of Soy is Tofu, which can be used as a main ingredient in many dishes, especially in salads, stir fries and curries.

  • Soy chunks can be added to rice, noodles and many other every day recipes such as cutlets.



We hope that you now have a fair idea of some of the most dependable foods that can help boost your immunity and overall health, even during the harshest of winters! If you need any further assistance on understanding and acting upon your body composition, feel free to make an appointment with our star nutritionist, Ankita Vaidya and Stay tuned to Nth Sense for more tasty and healthy tips from Ankita Vaidya.

Ankita Vaidya

Nutritionist, Post-Graduation in FOOD SCIENCE and DIETETICS