By Sonalika Rawat
The arrival of summer in India is not particularly a cheerful time for us. We all dread the unbearable heat and sweat. The blazing hot sun leads to skin tanning, pigmentation and dullness. We often resort to Skin care routines which however, only have short term effects.
“A healthy outside starts from a healthy inside” ~ Robert Urich
Therefore, its crucial for us to keep our eating habits in check. I am sharing some of my Nutrition tips which will not only protect you from skin from damage but also give you that desirable “summer glow”.
- All that’s ice is not wise: Drinks like cold coffee, iced tea or even a chilled beer may provide you an immediate cooling effect; but these drinks are loaded with sugar and are dehydrating. Instead, choose a homemade Lassi or buttermilk. You can also have fresh coconut water, green tea, lemon water or a homemade Jaljeera. Summer season often observes an increase infection and keeping yourself hydrated using right drinks will help flush out the toxins off your body.
· Cumin Seeds roasted 2 tablespoons
· Amchur Powder 1 teaspoon
· Lemon slices for garnish
· Fresh mint leaves 2 tablespoons
· Fresh coriander leaves 1/2 teaspoon
· Lemon juice 2 tablespoons
· Ice cubes as required
Pound the cumin seeds, black salt and amchur in a mortar with pestle. Grind the mint leaves and coriander leaves with sufficient water into a smooth paste.
Add the lemon juice and pounded masala and mix well. Put ice cubes in two tall glasses. Divide the concentrate equally and top up with water/ soda.
Mix well. Serve immediately, garnished with a slice of lemon.
2. What does your gut say? Gut health should always be our top priorities no matter what time of the year. However, during summer, your gut health affects your skin as well. Poor gut health often leads to gut inflammation and can impair the protective function of the epidermal barrier, which causes a decrease in the antimicrobial peptides produced in the skin and an increase in the severity of infection. Combine this with ambient conditions for bacterial growth during summer and we have some serious skin problems.
To avoid this, have foods rich in probiotics. Foods rich in probiotics include: Homemade Dahi, Idli, Dosa, Dhokla, Apple cider vinger, homemade pickles, homemade buttermilk and Kanji. As long as you are loading up on Probiotics, don’t forget the prebiotics. Prebiotics, simply put, are the fibre and complex carbohydrates that cant be broken down by human cells but instead by Probiotic bacteria and used as their fuel. Prebiotics are mainly found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
PRO TIP: Eat your salads a few minutes before your meal to activate the gut bacteria and improve the digestion process.
If you want to get into the depth of the right nutrition and skincare tips and techniques for Indian skin, then you must buy the book ‘No One Has to Know: Smart Anti-Ageing for Indian Skin’ by Dr. Jamuna Pai.
3. Fruits, nature’s candy: Personally, the variety of fruits we get during summer in one of the few things that I love about summer. My personal favorite is watermelon. This one is packed antioxidants, vitamin C and Vitamin A which are needed for maintenance of skin Collagen. Watermelon is 92% water and electrolytes, making it an excellent choice for staying hydrated. Other fruits that are great for your skin are Pineapple, pomegranate, cucumber (yes, it’s a fruit), tomato, kiwi. Potassium in banana keeps your skin hydrated; Malic acid in the apple keeps the skin firm and youthful. Comment below, what is your favorite summer fruit?
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acid: During summer, there is a high incidence of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and Rosacea. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to be anti-inflammatory and increasing dietary omega-3 fats is an important step towards healing the skin. Consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may lead to smoother, younger-looking skin with a visible reduction in inflammatory skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. Sea food, fish oil in particular, has the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids. However, if you are a vegetarian or simply don’t like eating fish, you can get your omega-3 fatty acids from Ghee, olive oil , flaxseeds, eggs, chia seeds and walnuts.
- Add some sass to your H2O: Let’s face it, even though we are well aware of the benefits, sometimes drinking plain water gets boring. Sassy water instantly elevates the taste of the water. Sassy water has become famous as a weight loss drink. But, little do people know, that it is excellent for getting that naturally radiant and supple skin. Sassy water keeps body and skin hydrated and provides the skin with some essential minerals and vitamins. It also restores the electrolyte balance in the body and keeps bloating and water retention at bay. There are many variations of sassy water out there; but my personal favorite is the classic mint, cucumber, ginger and lemon combination.
|Classic Sassy water:
· 2 litres of drinking water
· 1 cucumber, chopped into slices
· 1 lemon, sliced
· 2 tsp of grated ginger
· 10-12 mint leaves.
Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher and let it infuse overnight.
Drink this water throughout the day.
Editorial Note: For more informative insights on nutrition, check out our section on Nutrition Inspiration.
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