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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. 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 vitamins, minerals, trace elements and enzymes, which are invaluable for beauty. Juices are in a form that is quickly and easily assimilated by the body because they are easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Being rich in 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. Taking fresh juices also helps to strengthen the immune system and prevents early degeneration and ageing. Juices have long been a part of naturopathy, because of their powerful cleansing and curative actions. They help cleanse the body of toxins and wastes and 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.
A balanced diet includes the intake of fluids. Apart from water, one can also have freshly extracted juices of fruits and vegetables. In fact, this is one of the best ways of supplying the body with essential nutrients. 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 toxins in the system.
Recently cold-pressed juices are becoming popular in India and many ingredients are added to increase the nutritional value and taste. Cold pressing juicers are available. 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.
Juices can be extracted from almost all fruits and vegetables. You can choose 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.
(The article is contributed by Shahnaz Husain, a Padma Shri Award recipient and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement and the head of a global network of franchise ventures and 375 formulations)
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