Beat the Winter Skin Woes with Fruits
Onset of winter rings in the bells of festivity; the embrace of silence and peace; the snow and the fireplace; warmth and togetherness. However the dryness of winter and southern borne sun also weighs heavy on the skin, as the skin appears dry and flaky. The lips are chapped and the feet are cracked.
Winter accelerates skin aging. Due to unhealthy food habits, there can be toxins accumulated in liver and large intestine; buildup of cholesterol and other ailments that become prominent in winter. Skin is an organ and it reflects our inner health. Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness. "Sleep, drink water, and treat your skin." - Georgia Louise.
Mother Nature lays out a feast of seasonal fruits to combat the various ailments that spike during winter and tars the glow and beauty of the skin. Antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and tocophenols; vitamins (A, C, D and E), and essential omega-3-fatty acids, have been known as agents for promoting skin health and beauty. Fruits provide vitamins and minerals that negate all related deficiency that can add to skin woes. The fiber in fruits helps to clean toxins from large intestine and liver. The US Food Plate recommends that half of our plate should be fruits and vegetables.
Grapefruits exhibit powerful antioxidant qualities as they contain beta-carotene, lycopene, and the phytonutrients limonoids and naringenin. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, half a grapefruit provides 64% of our vitamin C needs; 28% daily value (DV) of vitamin A and 4% DV of potassium as per 2,000 calorie diet. Some amount of folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin E, copper and other minerals present in grapefruits all add to the overall health. Vitamin C in grapefruit helps to fight free radicals that accelerate skin aging. Vitamin C also helps build collagen that maintains skin elasticity. One tends to drink very less fluids in winter because one does not perspire. Grapefruits are 90% water. Regular intake of grapefruits in winter helps to keep the skin and the body hydrated. Potassium and flavanones intake helps to reduce risk the of ischemic heart disease deaths. Both are found in grapefruits. Grapefruits also help to detoxify the liver. Healthy heart, liver and large intestine reflect a healthy skin. Grapefruit can be added to any mask and exfoliate pack.
Avocado contains monounsaturated fats (MUFA), vitamins A, B6, C and E; folic acid, magnesium and potassium that keep skin supple and glowing. One tends to eat more fatty foods in winter to beat the heat by building insulation through adipose fat. However, excess cholesterol depositions can appear as xanthomas like lesions anywhere on the skin, which can aggravate in winter. Winter season witness peak of cases of heart attack, cardiac arrest and strokes and the root cause of all is cholesterol. Avocado and all fruits are devoid of cholesterol. Essential fatty acid deficiency may cause pimply rough skin at the back of the upper arms also called chicken skin. Avocado provides the healthy fat option and helps to lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride. Essential fatty acids bring a glow to the skin and combat dryness and wrinkles. Avocado puree can be used as bread spread or the fruit can be added to salads for quick intake.
Gooseberry also known as amla is rich in Vitamin C, fiber, manganese and antioxidants. It is traditionally known to remove ama or toxins from the body and eliminates free radicals thereby promoting healthy skin. Amla boosts immunity and digestion. Amla is 87% water. Amla juice, muraba, pickle are popular ways of consumption.Topically gooseberry (Amla) powder paste made with lukewarm water helps to tone the face. Its acts as blood purifier and keeps the skin clean. The iron content of amla helps in red blood cell regeneration. It also contains Vitamin (B5, B6, B1), calcium, phosphorus, potassium that promotes general health of the body and skin.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants. Lycopene helps to mitigate oxidative damage in tissues. â-carotene and lycopene help to protect the skin against sunburn (solar erythema) by stepping up the basal defense. Lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment found in red fruits (except berries) and vegetables. Tomato juice or tomato puree is an important ingredient of facial masks. Topical application of tomato helps to reduce pores, blemishes of facial skin. Tomatoes are 94% water and its regular intake helps to keep the skin supple. Tomatoes also increase levels of procollagen, that promotes skin elasticity.
The skin of grapes is rich in resveratrol, which is an antioxidant - natural polyphenol. Resveratrol can protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Grapes provide a photo-protective function to the skin and promote a healthy heart. Resveratrol has more binding sites in the epidermis than the dermis and can inhibit mitochondrial apoptotic events owing to damages from UVB exposure. Grapes are also rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin B2, copper, and a host of health-promoting phytonutrients.
Papaya is a rich source of papain, vitamin (C, A, E), folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. Topically papaya has been used for skin exfoliation, skin whitening, hair removal and burn wound healing. Papaya repairs and hydrates the skin and also reverse the signs of aging. Soluble dietary fiber and water content in papaya, aids normal bowel movement. Papain is a natural exfoliator often found in various anti-wrinkle creams. Papaya intake is a natural anti-wrinkle remedy. Make papaya a regular feature of your diet to get a glowing, wrinkle free skin.
Bromelain enzymes present in pineapple help in collagen synthesis and maintain skin elasticity. Pineapple is also an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. It also contains copper, beta-carotene, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid. Topical use of pineapple juice fights acne, fine lines, sunburn, moles, blemishes, black spots and uneven skin tone. Pineapple is 86% water. Thiamine helps in energy production and antioxidant defenses.
Anti-aging properties of pomegranate help to rejuvenate the skin and protect it from UV radiation. Pomegranate stimulates keratinocyte cells (skin cells) and helps in cellular regeneration.
Pomegranate juice replenishes dull and dry skin. Pomegranate seed oil regenerates the epidermis. The antioxidants polyphenols help to fight acne, age spots and sunburn. Pomegranates have ellagic acid, an antioxidant that helps to reduce collagen breakdown. It stimulates collagen-producing cells called fibroblasts that prevent sagging of skin and wrinkles.
Other fruits that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals to maintain skin elasticity and moisture from within are:
- Plums are next to strawberries in having highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) activity as per a study. Plums are rich in Vitamin (C, K), fiber and other minerals.
- Berries like cranberries, strawberries have high free radicals neutralizing activity.
- Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Kiwi also contains vitamin E, copper, and dietary fiber, potassium, folate and manganese.
- Banana keeps the skin moisturized in winter owing to its Vitamins (E, C), potassium, fiber and water content.
- Oranges contain 88% DV of vitamin C and 9% fiber.