There are various food ingredients or superfoods which we can incorporate in our day-to-day life to improve immunity, gut health and overall well-being and to get healthy and clear skin. Here’s the list:
♦ Kalonji seeds, also called onion/nigella seeds are packed with 100 essential nutrients including oil, sodium, potassium, iron, arachidonic acid, linolenic acid, protein, copper, myristic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, vitamins and so on. Kalonji seeds are known to treat many problems including migraines, chronic colds, alopecia, asthma, bee stings, paralysis, amnesia, skin disorders, facial palsy, ear aches and respiratory diseases. Kalonji with its immense benefits is also known to treat the stomach due to anti-bacterial properties. Cold pressed Kalonji oil can help with dry skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, dry skin, flaky skin and has benefits to the scalp through massage as it reduces dandruff and promotes hair growth. Add the seeds in your salads or on top of your roti to enjoy its benefits.
♦ Aloe vera is rich in Vitamin C, E and beta carotene which gives it its nourishing and anti-ageing qualities. Aloe vera increases the water content in your skin, it can moisturise the skin without making it greasy. This makes it a great buy for those with oily skin as our skin ages or gets dry and loses its elasticity which can lead to wrinkles and fine lines. Aloe vera is a good source of vitamin C and moisturises the skin by improving the collagen production, it also helps remove dead cells, plus improves the elasticity of skin and makes it smooth. Aloe vera helps to improve digestion and if the body is clean within, it will be shown outside in this case as as radiant skin. Aloe vera has a similar chemical makeup to that of keratin and it rejuvenates the hair with its own nutrients, giving it more elasticity and preventing breakage. It removes dead cells from the scalp, which allows your hair to grow and also reduces dandruff.
♦ Wheat germ is loaded with protein, iron, and B vitamins such as folate which helps in improving blood haemoglobin level and purifies blood. The high fiber content of this super seed helps prevent constipation and aids digestion. This means less toxins and glowing skin with proper blood circulation.
♦ Black sesame seeds help restore your skin’s radiance and elasticity. It is packed with essential fats, oleic acid, amino acids, potassium, and fiber, and also has anti-ageing properties!
♦ Watermelon, due to its vitamin A content, which is required for healthy sebum production keeps our hair and skin moisturised. The vitamin C from watermelon helps in the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to the skin and hair. Watermelon also contributes to overall hydration, which is vital for having healthy and lustrous looking skin and hair. The lycopene inhibits various inflammatory processes and also works as an antioxidant to neutralise free radicals and keeps our body away from stress. Beta carotene is known for its remarkable antioxidant and anti-aging properties; it keeps us young at heart and prevents age-related cardiac problems.
♦ Beets reverse dull skin by stimulating the lymphatic system and removing waste from our cells. Beets are a great source of iron which can also increase the oxygen-carrying ability in the blood by 400 per cent. This brings brightness and vitality to the skin and reduces the appearance of cellulite by strengthening the dermal skin layer.
♦ Lemon helps in keeping the entire system alkaline and removes fat-soluble toxins as well as old hormones from the body which may trigger breakouts and worsen oily skin. Lemon is a superb source of vitamin C plus it contains the flavonoid ‘limonoid’, which kills bacteria in the mouth and intestines, preventing bacterial-driven acne flare-ups and helps boost the collagen production in skin.
(The writer is the Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.)
Pic credit: Noah Buscher on Unsplash