Beauty, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is “the qualities that gives pleasure to the senses or exalt the mind.” Beauty is predominantly a concern for the female population. There is an old saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” However, there are definite social concepts of physical beauty, and individuals who are perceived to be beautiful enjoy advantages than their less attractive counterparts. Women in particular always faced pressure to conform to a particular standard of beauty. However, men increasingly face the pressure to look good as well.
Through the decades, women have managed their appetite by rigorous fasting and concentrating more on extracurricular activities. In India, fasting is one of the common practices. Many women were and are inclined toward ritual-based fasting and distanced themselves from the act of eating. They believed only through severe fasting and abstinence one mind exercise and improve. Ayurveda (ancient medical compendium) describes how to be content with simple food like porridge and soup in order to enhance one’s creativity.
Many of our religious rituals are based on scientific principles of good health, although most of them have become so steeped in superstitious beliefs that the original ideas on which they were founded have become lost and forgotten. However, it originated as a means of restoring, rejuvenating, and preserving good heath. In ancient times, regular fasting was followed by enlightened sages as a method of internal purification, based on the idea that one fasts, the body processes are allowed to rest.
Beauty, health, and food are connected. Food is the primary thing that affects us. “You are what you eat” is a concept that has been known in every culture and civilization.
People are becoming aware of the links between food, health, and beauty. This has made them more receptive to the idea of personal care through proper diet, nutrition supplements, and physical activity. Eating right and getting more exercise are the best ways to enhance appearance and restore a sense of well-being.
Eating a nutritious and balanced meal regularly can increase the chances of living a longer and more robust life. And looking good is also an interesting side effect of healthy eating. The good thing is that many of the same foods that are good for heart, brain, and other vital parts of the body are said to be great for external appearance as well. Nutritional components of specific foods can help one with complexion and overall appearance. A diet rich in “phyto-compounds” can stimulate DNA repair, increase collagen production, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow.
Traditionally, Asian countries such as India, China, Thailand, and Japan offer dishes full of rice, legumes, and seafood. The Indian meal is delicately balanced with all food groups, mainly based on a vegetarian diet. Being more beautiful could be as simple as having regular cups of warm chai. According to Ayurvedic medicine, staying warm burns toxins. Practitioners say drinking hot fluids, eating spicy foods, and taking warm showers stave off the sick seasons as well. For the biggest dose of antioxidants, eat five servings of colored vegetables and fruits a day.
10 Popular Beauty Foods
Curry Leaves are loaded with iron. Using mature leaves in cooking promotes healthy, strong hair.
Many Ayurvedic texts points out that having amaranth greens along with mung dal (split green gram) will make one’s eyes sparkle.
Fenugreek seeds are natural body coolants, it also helps to flush the toxins out of body. Using them in sambar and curry regularly will help reduce acne and clear the skin.
Gooseberries are rich in vitamin C, which prevents pigmentation clumping and strengthens capillaries so that it doesn’t break or bruise easily. Honey-preserved gooseberries are found in Indian stores, and is an added bonus. Taking one fruit a day will supply all the essential vitamins to the body.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which decrease aging by lowering inflammation. Antioxidants can also increase collagen production and tighten the skin, making one look younger and healthier.
Taking cucumber in juice form along with other vegetables will make tired eyes brighten up. For instant relief, one can cover his or her eyes with cucumber slices.
Snacking on almonds will be beneficial to cell restoration. It gives skin a more youthful appearance and will in turn help fight the early signs of aging (fine lines and wrinkles).
Using poppy seeds in health drinks or applying its paste on dark lips may eventually lighten the pigmentation and pinken lips.
Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants. Taking one cup of pomegranate juice a day, will enhance health, and give a radiant complexion, and bright, clear eyes.
Mangoes are rich in carotenoid; having a cup of mango chunks along with warm milk before bed time may help keep your skin supple and smooth.
Malar Gandhi is a freelance writer, who specializes in culinary anthropology and gourmet Indian cooking.