Hair and skin are the two components of our physical being which reflect our health. Dry lacklustre hair, dull sallow skin and broken, chipped nails are a sure indicator of deterioration of health, which we do not need a doctor to diagnose. People wonder why despite eating a lot they do not look healthy, but there are many reasons why they may have problems with their skin and hair:
- Too much processed food in the diet: Besides being low in nutritional value, it is also acidic and may lead to dandruff and hair fall.
- Not enough raw salads, due to which the diet is enzyme deficient and results in a dull, sallow complexion.
- Constipation is the mother of all ills.
- A high-stress lifestyle with inadequate mental rest.
- Recovering from any disease.
- Sudden weight-loss.
The right diet would contain:
- An adequate amount of protein like soya, black channa, or for non-vegetarians, fish and eggs.
- An adequate amount of zinc and chromium, which is easily available from nuts and seeds.
- A diet comprising of 50 percent fresh (raw) foods and 50 percent cooked foods.
- Sulphur and silicon in vegetables like broccoli, sea vegetables, onion.
- Biotin found in brown rice and soya.
- A little bit of flaxseed oil for the essential fatty acids and also to maintain the ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
- All the B vitamins found in coloured fruit like papaya, watermelon, oranges etc.
- Vitamin C found in amla and all the citrus fruits.
- Alfalfa sprouts or leaf extracts or triphala daily.
For acne-prone skin: 1 teaspoon of karela juice mixed with amla and lauki juice clears the skin very well; if it is combined with bathwater containing neem leaves, even better.
For pigmentation of skin: The ideal diet must contain all fresh salads and one teaspoon of karela juice in the morning.
For sensitive skin: A soothing aloe vera gel works well (but first do a patch test).
For skin allergies: Along with a food elimination test with non-vegetarian foods and milk or wheat is essential; also employ de-stress techniques like pranayams.