When you think of healthy food, one of the first images that would come to mind is a salad. This combination of fruits/ veggies with a flavourful dressing is the go-to nutritious meal for many people. Those on weight loss diets and those with strict fitness goals can often be seen munching on salads. But did you know that salads can work wonders for your skin too? Apart from external care, our skin requires internal nourishment too. And salads can provide this nourishment in an efficient and delicious manner. So, if you truly want to enhance your skin health on multiple levels, you need to start consuming more salads.
Also Read: 5 Amazing Benefits Of Coconut Water For Your Skin And Hair
How Can Salads Benefit Skin Health?
1. Because they contain raw ingredients:
Salads are a mixture of fresh fruits and/or veggies that are usually consumed raw. Why is this significant? You see, water-soluble vitamins like B and C may be lost while cooking - especially if the foods are boiled. Even the vitamin A content of specific ingredients may be reduced. These same vitamins are essential for your skin. Thus, consuming raw foods can ensure you get the most out of certain nutrients.
However, this doesn't mean you need to switch to eating raw foods only. Even your skin requires a balanced diet. Although oiling may lead to lesser vitamins (in some cases), steaming, stir-frying, and roasting certain foods allows you to retain their nutrients. In this way, you can add ingredients like chicken, certain types of beans/ legumes and fish to your salad (which are typically not consumed raw). Moreover, when it comes to the skin-friendly compound lycopene, research suggests that cooking can improve its total content as well as absorption.
2. Because they offer variety:
The best thing about salads is that they can be customised. You can personalise the combination of fruits, veggies, toppings and dressings based on not only your taste but also your needs. When it comes to skincare, there are foods that are especially helpful. Hence, you can perhaps mix most of them together to make one salad with maximum benefits.
Also Read: How Beetroot Can Give You Glowing Skin: Key Benefits And Uses To Know
3. Because they can promote gut health
Your gut health also influences your skin health in implicit ways. Salads are known to be high in fibre, which can be great for your gut. Some people may have trouble digesting certain types of salads; hence you may need to consult an expert first. But by and large, fruits and veggies are known to boost gut health in the long term.
4. Because they may improve hormonal balance
Hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc on your skin. It can especially lead to breakouts in the form of acne. Salads can help keep your hormones in check and promote a healthy balance. This is also why those suffering from conditions such as PCOS are often advised to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Tips For Consuming Salads For Skincare:
1. Choose the right veggies
Choose vegetables that will provide your skin with essential vitamins like A, B, C and K. Green veggies, especially leafy ones, are a must. They are the richest source of vitamin K. You can also choose ones that can promote collagen production, and thus help you get radiant skin. They include beetroot, potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli and carrots. Click here to know more.
2. Stay away from store-bought/ heavy dressings
There are a variety of packaged salad dressings available in the market today. But they tend to contain unhealthy amounts of salt, sugar, trans fats and additives. Hence, it is best to opt for homemade dressings. Keep them light and choose creamy dressings only if you are sure. Some people have negative skin reactions to milk products and hence should take extra care.
3. Toss the ingredients with olive oil
You can mix in dried herbs, honey, spice masalas, etc. with olive oil to make a healthy dressing. Not only does it taste amazing, but it will also benefit your skin. Olive oil is known to contain essential fatty acids that hydrate your skin and give it that youthful glow.
4. Don't forget the toppings
Add extra flavour and texture to your salads by topping them with beans, tofu, paneer, chicken, fish, etc. These can bring extra skin-friendly nutrients, like zinc and vitamin K. You can also sprinkle certain types of seeds on top, like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. Click here to know their benefits.
Which Salads Are Good For Skin? 5 Skin-Friendly Salad Recipes
1. Spinach And Chickpea Salad
Spinach is a powerhouse of vitamin K while chickpeas are a good source of zinc. This salad is packed with antioxidants that protect your skin from damage. It also contains vitamin C, thanks to the addition of lemon juice. In this salad, chickpeas, onions, mint leaves and more are tossed in a cumin and olive dressing, served on a bed of spinach. Complete recipe here.
2. Kosambari Salad
If you're looking for a traditional recipe, then this Karnataka-style Kosambari salad is sure to impress. It typically contains moong dal, carrots, cucumber, coconut and mustard seeds. Mix these together, squeeze some lemon juice and serve! Refreshing and wholesome, you'll want to eat this one again and again. Other benefits and recipe here.
3. Egg and tomato salad
Tomato is a great source of lycopene, a plant compound important for skin health. Eggs have a decent amount of zinc. This simple boiled egg salad has a garlic flavour that you are sure to enjoy. Find the full recipe here.
4. Sesame Chicken salad
If you're looking for something more elaborate, then this Asian salad is sure to wow. Rocket leaves, asparagus, almonds, and sesame seeds are tossed in a special spicy dressing and served with grilled chicken. Doesn't that sound yummy? Here's the full recipe.
5. Fruit Salad With Honey Lime Dressing
If it's a fruit salad you're going for, we recommend choosing a honey lime dressing. To make it, just whisk equal parts of honey and lemon juice together, along with some salt and pepper. Pour it over a mix of fruits of your choice: muskmelon, kiwis, grapes, pineapple, apples, peaches, etc.
Make salads a regular part of your diet and your skin will thank you!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.