The skin is one feature of our body used a lot as a benchmark of beauty and healthiness – it is therefore only natural to yearn for perfect, glowing skin (as especially as we grow older).
While genetics play a significant role in how your skin turns out to be, there are steps that you can take to make it look as good as possible regardless – and I’m not talking about resorting off-the-shelf skincare products and/or professional beauticians (although that may help too).
I’m referring to fruits – rich in all sorts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can help you regain and maintain young, healthy and supple skin. Here are a few that are especially noteworthy:
Often mistaken as a vegetable (because of their frequent use in vegetable salads), tomatoes are in fact fruits that are rich in nutrients which can boost the health of your skin: vitamins A and C, proteins and lycopene are some of the more prominently beneficial constituents of this fruit. Lycopene, in particular, is a chemical that lends the fruit its red color – but more importantly, its antioxidant nature has a number of positive effects that can be observed simply by regularly consuming tomato juice!
For instance, you can cleanse and lighten up your skin tone, get softer skin, alleviate irritation, reduce oiliness, tighten up pores, minimize acne problems, and do away with nasty blackheads. Got a sunburn? No problem, apply some tomato juice (mixed with buttermilk for best results) to the affected areas to speed up the healing of damaged skin cells.
If you’re hesitant to apply store-bought tomatoes on your skin because of potentially harmful chemicals they may have been exposed to, you could consider growing your own – even planted indoors away from the sun, you can get a steady supply of fresh, safe tomatoes all year round using a grow light!
Gooseberry is laden with vitamin C – about 90% by content! Also an antioxidant, this nutrient is needed by your skin to remain youthful and repair cell damage. Indian gooseberry (aka amla), in particular, has long been regarded as a treatment for stomach ulcers, metabolism issues, and liver conditions, aside from its positive effect on human hair and skin.
If you’re worried about developing wrinkles and dark spots, the same vitamin C makes gooseberry an excellent dietary element for countering aging. Moreover, you also minimize the chances of developing pimples and acne. Besides consuming it raw or as a juice (I would advise mixing it with some honey to reduce some of its bitterness/sourness), you can also use it as a face mask by combining amla powder with yogurt and honey.
Who doesn’t love to eat them as a snack – but these delicious, easy-to-manage fruits have more uses than merely filling up your belly! Bananas contain a ton of healthy nutrients – besides vitamins A, C, and B6, they are also a rich source of potassium and fiber.
The Vitamin C, as discussed above, contributes towards improving the quality of your skin in a multitude of ways, but even the peel of the fruit has a role to play: Its antimicrobial properties make it useful for treating pimples, acne, warts, bruises and mosquito bites – it is the high potassium content present in banana peels that make this possible.
Mashed or pureed banana may be applied to one’s skin to get the benefits discussed above – you may also mix it with other substances e.g. regular milk, coconut milk or fuller’s earth, for enhanced results. The peels can be rubbed and/or taped to portions of the skin affected by warts, acne or other types of irritations – remove once the peel becomes brown.
The age-old adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ certainly seems to apply to dermatologists: the malic acid that they so liberally contain lends the skin a firm, youthful and healthy outlook without damaging upper skin layers the way conventional stronger acids used in beauty treatments do (painfully so, in some cases).
Furthermore, the high fiber content of the fruit will regulate your bowel movements, so that waste material is removed from your body in good time which in turn contributes towards the clearer skin, free from pimples.
Papaya is yet another great source of vitamins A and C, along with magnesium and carotenoids. What distinguishes it from other carotenoid-rich food sources (e.g. tomatoes, carrots) is that the ones it contains are more readily available for your body’s use once consumed. In other words, you will notice the benefits much faster.
Carotenoids are associated with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties – in the context of skin care, this translates into the prevention of early skin damage and skin cancer. Furthermore, carotenoids have anti-aging and UV protective effects.
There are many other fruits besides these that you can consume for healthier skin, so even if you (surprisingly) don’t like the ones I’ve listed above, finding the perfect healthy snack for your skin is but an internet search away!