Healthy foods for a beautiful you

Post image for Healthy foods for a beautiful you

All of us want to look beautiful, but beauty starts from within. So to look good, one should have a healthy and nutritious diet and do regular exercise.

Experts say ‘You are what you eat’ – from the countless hair on your head to the nails on your toes. Your outer appearance, without the make-up, of course, reflects your inner state of health, which in turn reflects your lifestyle.

Obesity surgeon Dr Manish Motwani says, “Our body normally maintains a balance between caloric intake and caloric expenditure. However, when this balance is upset, it results in weight loss. Therefore, weight loss and weight gain are largely dependent on your dietary intake and physical activity. People who are overweight are full of fats and carbohydrates. They need to utilise the huge store of body fats and carbohydrates. Hence, their diet should be very low in carbohydrates and fats. They should have more of fibre and proteins to satisfy their hunger pangs.”

To lose weight and to look beautiful, he says, one should have more of fibre in the form of fruits, vegetables, oats, whole grain cereals like jowar, nachni, bajra, carbohydrates like rajma, chana, lentils. Also, they should chew their food well and eat smaller portions every three to four hours and incorporate at least two to three portions of skimmed milk products daily and drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day.

To control excess weight, Dr Motwani suggests, one should avoid starchy foods like rice, potatoes, pasta, red meat and fried foods. Dry coconut and groundnut should also be avoided. Also, avoid fasting during the day and eating at night.

Clinical nutritionist Swati Bhushan says, “Consuming unhealthy foods can reflect on your skin in the form of wrinkles, acne and inflammation. Treating skin problems with topical application like lotions, soaps, scrubs, toners and creams is not the only solution. Overuse of skincare products, which consist of chemicals, can harm the skin in the long run.”

Various nutrients, especially certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, have a major role to play in healthy and young-looking skin, she says. “These nutrients, when combined with a balanced diet can nourish our skin, making it look youthful and healthy. Studies show that vitamins C, E, A, B complex and minerals like zinc and selenium help improve skin health and appearance.”

Dietician Dr Soly James agrees. “Deficiency of certain nutrients and inadequate fluid intake can make your skin dry and make you look older. One should have lots of fruits and vegetables with bright colours, such as dark, leafy lettuce, blueberries and oranges, as they give your skin essential vitamins C and E. Carrots, spinach and mangoes and papaya are a yummy way to look good as they are rich in vitamin A.” He also suggests the following tips:

- Avoid drinking tea or coffee; instead replace it with green tea or buttermilk as it is rich in antioxidants, which shield your skin from ageing.

- Fenugreek tea, when taken internally, does wonders to the skin.

- Almonds and fish oil help keep the skin moisturised and looking younger as they are rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.

- Fruits like plums, citrus fruits (oranges, sweet lime, and lemon), strawberries, amla, blueberries and blackberries; and dairy products are rich in zinc and selenium that help prevent skin inflammation.

- Cucumber, with its high content of vitamin E and water is good for skin care and moisturising. Its juice has purifying and detoxifying properties, prevents hair loss and wrinkles, and helps in treating acne.

- Apples contain vitamins and pectin. Pectin helps in absorbing unhealthy oils and toxins from skin and neutralise skin-damaging toxins.

- Consume eight to 10 glasses of water per day and avoid dehydrating foods and beverages such as caffeine (cola, chocolate, coffee, tea) and alcohol. Water acts as a body purifier, by removing toxins and waste from your body.

Foods good for you…
Vitamin C : Strawberries, lime, sweet lime, oranges, guavas, radish leaves, fenugreek leaves, coriander, cabbage, capsicum, green chillies, cauliflower, bitter gourd, and sprouts.

Vitamin E: Corn, vegetable oils, nuts, spinach, olives and wheat germ.

Vitamin A: Fish liver oil, eggs, butter, cheese and fortified milk. B carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A, is found in deep yellow fruits and vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B: Brewer’s yeast, used to make bread or any food or beverage made with brewer’s yeast. A diet that includes fruits, vegetables and grain products should be sufficient to get the required amounts of vitamin B.

Selenium: Whole grain cereals, seafood, garlic and eggs.

Zinc: Oysters, lean meat, and poultry. Also, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Although these vegetarian foods are good sources, availability of zinc is lower in these foods due to the phytic acid content. Sprouted grains and pulses destroy phytates. A vegetarian diet often contains less zinc than non-vegetarian diet. Therefore, vegetarians should consume plenty of foods that are rich in this mineral.

Essential fatty acids: Omega-3 and omega-6. Though we get plenty of omega 6 from grains and oils, our body is often deficient in omega-3. Omega-3 is found in oily fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna and sardine, flaxseeds and nuts like almonds and walnuts.


Previous post:

Next post: