December is here, and so is dry skin. Sometimes I suspect that I am turning into a snake, you know, because there’s no way I can wear shorts, or even those capris for the next couple of months. Winter is that time of year when the skin feels the effects of the weather the most.
It is all very well to talk about keeping your skin moisturized, what kind of moisturizer is great for which type of skin and all that – but if you’re the sort that is always on the go, or too plain lazy (like me) to “waste” time on pampering the self, then here are some great ways to trigger your body to do its job. And enjoy the process! Because it helps in the long term through overall health benefits, and not just to maintain sexy winter skin.
We’re talking about foods that help keep healthy, skin. Here we go!
Fruits, especially tropical fruits such as guava, pineapples, papaya, kiwi – all of which are easily available – have Vitamin C, the super ingredient that fights free radicals in the body. Vitamin C is also a great antioxidant that’s part of your skin, and consuming these fruits will ensure that the balance is maintained. Another way Vitamin C helps is by making your body produce a protein called collagen which maintains the elasticity and suppleness of your skin.
A cruciferous veg that fights cancer and is antioxidant rich, broccoli is also rich in vitamin C and E. these guard the skin from getting damaged by the winter sun.
A fabulous source of Vitamin E, almonds are great as snacks or in your cereal, salads and cakes. Particularly toasted. Almonds are also added to a variety of rice and side-dish recipes. By eating almonds, you benefit by getting your skin nourished the yummy way.
Whole wheat bread and pasta
Selenium is an essential mineral in whole wheat bread and pasta. It is an antioxidant that protects skin from weather damage, keeping it supple.
Carrots promote healthy skin with their beta carotene content. This is an antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A in your body when you eat carrots. It repairs your skin tissues. You can enjoy raw carrots (a la Karamchand), in salads, or cooked. Apparently cooked carrots are more beneficial than when eaten raw.
I just love these, aside from the fact that they have to be peeled. My mom would arrange them on the pressure cooker lid after switching it off, so it could dry up in the heat, making it easier to peel. They are rich in zinc, which is great for cell health and helps in skin renewal. You can eat pumpkin seeds as a snack, in ‘chivda’, in your cereal – or any other way you can think of enjoying them.
Okay… so this is not a food, but it is a super-essential skin care ingredient as it helps keep your body hydrated, flushes out toxins and carries necessary nutrients to all parts of the body. The result? Healthy skin. You know what to do to get enough water into your diet.
That wasn’t so hard, huh? Except that I feel quite hungry after writing this!
Okay, here I must say that individual genetics and lifestyle influence how healthy your skin is – and the foods listed here can combat acne, prevent wrinkles and generally make you look better!