India is a bountiful country and our Vedas have always been a great source of information. Ayurveda today is considered an exact science and the West borrows heavily from it. From glowing skin to healthy hair, from improved digestion to increased lifespan, ancient Ayurveda has the secrets to uncover everything. Even so, time and again we look towards our counterparts in the West hoping for “advancements” to help us achieve the perfect skin, hair and health when in fact, Ayurveda has inspired these advancements the world over. We’re giving you a lowdown on seven Indian superfoods that will give you luscious hair, radiant skin and great health.
While the West is just waking up to the benefits of this yellow superfood, our grandmothers have been the biggest propagators of Turmeric or Haldi’s benefits. From flu to sore throat, swollen ankles or recovery from an injury – turmeric milk is an elixir of life in every Indian household. It has anti-inflammatory properties that curb swelling. It also has anti-bacterial properties that help decrease acne-causing bacteria. You’ll often notice brides applying “Ubtan” – an Ayurvedic face and body pack known to increase a bride’s beauty before her wedding. Turmeric is a key ingredient in every “Ubtan”. Forget turmeric lattes, make your own turmeric milk and get that glowing, blemish-free skin.
Also popularly known as Ramdana is a cheaper and healthier alternative to Quinoa. It is gluten-free and very high in amino-acids. Amino acids help produce collagen and elastin which makes your skin healthy and delays ageing of skin. It also has Lysine, which is very important for the health of your hair. Amaranth also helps in controlling weight and sugar by lowering insulin levels
Amla or Indian gooseberry:
Apart from being incredibly delicious, Amla or Indian gooseberries are a great source of Vitamin C. In fact, Indian gooseberries have more Vitamin C than oranges. As we all know, Vitamin C helps brighten dull skin. Amlas have also long been used in hair masks for centuries in India.
Coconut oil is an all-round champ! There is nothing that coconut oil can’t fix. From scars to dryness, weight loss to internal detox, coconut oil is extremely versatile and easy to incorporate in your day to day life. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, keeping infections at bay! If you have scarring from acne and pimples, regular application of coconut oil reduces scarring considerably. Coconut oil also has a great impact on stretch marks. Regular application using the traditional Indian “champi” on hair also tames unmanageable hair, fights dandruff and dryness. Consuming one spoon of raw, cold-pressed coconut oil also helps in weight loss and cleanses your digestive track.
Forget kale, beet greens are a great source of iron, Vitamin E and potassium. We often discard and throw away the green leaves from beetroot. BIG MISTAKE! Always use them in salads instead of kale, spinach, rocket leaves. Not only do they taste great, they are packed with far more vitamins and minerals than any other green leaf. Packed with anti-oxidants, beet greens are a great source of fiber giving your hair and skin strength, tenacity and nutrients from the inside.
Jamun, Indian blackberry:
We all love are blackberries, blueberries and raspberries but since these fruits are no indigenous to India, they are fairly expensive and not available easily. Jamun is a wild seasonal stone-fruit that is high in calcium, potassium, iron and Vitamin C. As we all know, Vitamin C brightens skin, strengthens immunity and keeps infections, pimples at bay. Jamun is also popularly known for controlling blood sugar. It’s delicious, tastes great in lemonades and should definitely be consumed when it’s in season for that extra boost of nutrients for your immunity and skin.
Moringa or Indian drumstick:
Moringa is truly an underrated superfood. It is known to have anti-ageing properties. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, calcium and a plethora of other nutrients, moringa is also inflammatory and rich in anti-oxidants that are vital for the health of your skin and hair. We know a lot of people who are averse to the taste and texture of moringa but you can make a great juice or hot soup using moringa that tastes delicious! Moringa helps remove toxins from blood effectively helping your skin stay clear of acne and pimple causing bacteria.
Are you looking for tips and tricks on how to achieve healthy, glowing skin and luscious hair? Read this article by Ritu Deswal to find out easy DIY hacks and tips o monsoon hair, makeup and skin.