(Written by Shahnaz Husain- Beauty Expert)
Internal good health and external beauty are two sides of the same coin. The good health of the body reflects on the skin and hair, in terms of clear, flawless skin and thick, shiny hair. Diet and nutrition play a crucial role in both health and beauty. One of the easiest ways of supplying nutrients to the body is through fresh juices of fruits and vegetables. They are the richest sources of the vitamins, minerals, trace elements and enzymes, which are invaluable for beauty. Juices are in a form which is quickly and easily assimilated by the body, because they are easily absorbed into the blood stream.
Being rich in the essential nutrients, juices revitalize the blood, organs and glands. They also have a calming effect on the nerves. Thus, they are of benefit to both mind and body. They also help the process of cell-regeneration. This is of vital importance, as the youth and beauty of the skin depends on the efficient renewal of healthy cells. Taking fresh juices also helps to strengthen the immune system and prevents early degeneration and aging. Juices have long been a part of naturopathy, because of their powerful cleansing and curative actions. They help to cleanse the body of toxins and wastes and also purify the blood. The functions of the internal organs and glands improve and this, in turn, is reflected externally, on the skin, hair, eyes and nails.
The health of the skin and hair is directly related to the kind of nutrition the body receives. A balanced diet, which includes a variety of natural foods, is the best source of the essential nutrients. Fluids are also extremely important. Apart from adequate intake of water, one can also have the freshly extracted juices of fruits and vegetables. In fact, this is one of the best ways of supplying the body with the essential nutrients. It also helps to detoxify and purify the system. If the body receives adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, it can make you look and feel better than the most expensive facial treatments. Vitamin C is important for the health of collagen, the tissue which gives the skin its firmness and elasticity. Most skin problems and even hair loss can be caused by nutritional deficiencies, or the accumulation of wastes in the system and both these are the result of faulty diets.
Juices can be extracted from almost all fruits and vegetables. You can choose from apples, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, pomegranate, beetroot, carrots, cucumber, tomato, spinach, cabbage and so on. Start by taking small quantities and increase the amounts gradually. Once your body gets used to it, you can have juices daily.
It is essential to remember that juices must be diluted with water. They should also be taken fresh, immediately after extraction, so that all the nutrients are intact. The fruits and vegetables should be very fresh. Lemon juice or orange juice may be added for flavour, but try to avoid the addition of salt and sugar. In fact, without sugar, juices can make ideal low calorie drinks for losing weight. Juices and vessels in which juices are kept should not be made of aluminium or any corrosive material. If you have any illness with diet restrictions, be sure to seek your physician’s advice regarding the fruits and vegetables that are permitted for you.
Recently cold-pressed juices are becoming popular in India and many ingredients are added to increase the nutritional value and the taste. Some of these ingredients are vanilla beans, aloe vera, amla, etc. Or, cucumber can be combined with celery and lemon juice during summer. They also contain minerals that help to cleanse the system. Gourds are also available in summer and have high water content. Bottle gourd (lauki) can be combined with tomato and carrots to make juices. Experts say that cold-pressed juices contain more nutrients. Green juice, made by the cold pressed method, is said to be rich in enzymes. It helps to detoxify the body and also makes the system more alkaline. It can contain greens like spinach, mint, parsley, celery, cucumber, lemon juice and fresh ginger.