Hi guys, are you all ready to kick start this awesome and fun series of A to Z skin foods?? YAY…Ok then….
In the skin health world A is for ALMONDS.
Yes, today’s skin food is Almond. We are all too familiar with almonds. Most of the time our moms or grandmoms would soak them overnight and would stuff them into our hands when we used be super late for our school, isn’t it? I am sure most of you all are nodding in agreement. And the most popular Bajaj almond hair oil (Baalon ka kuch karein….remember the ad?)
Anyway, it is a part of our life, but only randomly. It is high time we make it a permanent part of our life and we will have lots to thank for.
Almonds are little powerhouses of energy. One of the most nutritious of all nuts, almonds are a delicious source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Almonds also have another secret weapon for facial protection in their thin brown skins. High levels of antioxidant flavonoids have been detected that work together with vitamin E to defend your skin against environmental damage. Let us see how these benefit us:
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer. These antioxidants will eliminate the toxins and free radicals and will keep your skin healthy. The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin. Hence it is imperative that we eat the skin.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant found in abundance in almonds. Vitamin E is frequently labeled as a skin food because it nourishes your skin. Vitamin E is so beneficial for skin due to the way it protects the collagen and elastin proteins that ‘glue’ your skin cells together from free radical damage. Collagen and elastin are vital for firm and young looking skin. The more they break down, the more tired and dry your skin will look, eventually leading to fine lines and wrinkles. Eating almonds regularly can help provide protective vitamin E to your skin’s cells and keep it looking younger for longer.
- Fatty acids: Omega3 and omega6 fatty acids are essential, and can be very beneficial for overall health. The body can’t create its own fatty acids, which is why we need to get them from dietary sources. Almonds have two very important fatty acids, both linoleic and linolenic acids. Those fatty acids help to reduce inflammation all around the body, which is a general condition that many people suffer from. The fatty acids also help to reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), and they promote healthy skin and hair.
- Magnesium: In addition to helping cells produce energy and protein, magnesium is believed to counter the effects of stress hormones, which can make you age faster and exacerbate acne.
- Increased nutrient absorption: Our body needs adequate amounts of fat in the diet in order to properly absorb “fat-soluble” nutrients, like vitamins A and D. Almonds are also considered one of the only nuts that help alkalize the digestive tract, reducing acid buildup and balancing the body’s pH. A healthy pH level is crucial for proper digestion. When our digestion is proper it definitely reflects on our skin.
- Zinc: Zinc is a trace mineral essential to all forms of life because of its fundamental role in gene expression, cell growth and cell replication. And it’s especially important for clear skin.
In a nutshell, this is a nut to look out for.
You can incorporate almonds in your daily diet in the following ways:
- Sprinkle on your morning cereal.
- Add to your salads to add a nice crunch.
- Add to yogurt, it makes a healthy tasty combination.
- Enjoy a handful of almonds (10 almonds approx.) as a mid meal snack.
- Almond shake is a refreshing drink.
- Almonds can be added to soups.
- Have some imagination and let it run wild!!!!
As promised I am posting a recipe using today’s star -Almonds.
Carrot and Almond soup recipe
7-8 almonds with skin
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup skimmed milk
2-3 black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
salt to taste
1 medium onion
- Heat oil in a saucepan and add onion, diced carrots and almonds. Saute over medium heat for a minute.
- Add salt, pepper, bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves and mix. Add 2 cups of water and boil for 10 min. Strain.
- Remove the bay leaf and puree the sauteed vegetables.
- Boil the strained liquid. Add the pureed vegetables and milk and mix.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot. Garnish with almond slivers.
Enjoy the piping hot soup!!