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Fruits for health and beauty: Summer Edition

Posted on June 14 2015

The plethora of summer fruits makes this time of year the most exciting for fruit enthusiasts and for those people who love having beautiful hair and skin. Conatural products make use of only the best quality natural ingredients. So we thought we’d give you an insight into some of nature’s other beauty miracle makers which act similarly to Conatural’s lineup of nature loving skin and haircare products. Find below easy and lazy DIY tips for smoother and brighter skin and hair.

WATERMELON

This delicious low calorie summer fruit originated in Africa and was first cultivated in Egypt. Revered by the pharaohs and even placed in their tombs at burial, they were rightfully taken by its miraculous health benefits.

Vitamins A, C and B6 are chock full in this nutritional superstar. The lycopene, choline and tripterpenoid found in watermelon flesh are all known for their anti-inflammatory properties. This makes watermelon excellent for fighting asthma, arthritis and the inflammation caused by stress, smoking and pollution.

Since 93% of watermelon is packed full of water, it’s a great post workout snack, fuelling the muscles and preventing spasms. It hydrates the skin and maintains the elasticity that’s so important for keeping wrinkles and lines at bay. Weight watchers should indulge in this fruit, the amino acid citrulline prevents your body from accumulating fat and blocks fat created by the cells in your body.

Watermelon can help to combat sunburn and uneven skin tones, the juice is dabbed on with some cotton wool to neutralize any sun induced irritation plus gives you a fairer, more even complexion.

Watermelon seed oil is great for acne prone skin and is popular for being lightweight and non greasy, hydrating the skin with high contents of essential fatty acids.

SKINCARE RECIPE:

Take a cup of watermelon chunks, muddle and drain. Apply this on the face and leave for ten minutes and then rinse off with warm and then cold water to reveal tighter skin. This also acts as an exfoliating mask, removing dead and dull skin cells.

PEACH

Peachy keen for beautiful skin? Peaches are where it’s at when it comes to being packed with hydrating properties, antioxidants, vitamin A, C, K, magnesium and zinc to name a few. It has made its way across the world from China into pies and cobblers and to cosmetics and skincare products where it is widely used for its nourishing and exfoliating flavonoids it contains. These flavonoids too help keep at bay hyperpigmentation and protect the sun from skin damage.

Peach kernel oil is high in essential fatty acids including linoleic acid which helps to keep moisture locked in the skin and remain smooth and supple. Like peaches, it contains anti-aging antioxidants that are beneficial also in fighting cancer and sun damage.

SKINCARE RECIPE:

Next snack time when you reach for a peach, peel it and save the peel for your bedside ritual at night. Rub the fleshy inside of the peel thoroughly over your skin and leave it on overnight. It exfoliates, cleanses and leaves clean, tight pores whilst tightening the skin tissues and leaving a more even complexion.

APRICOT

Apricots, like the delicious ones found in so much abundance in Pakistan in these sweltering summer months are nutritional powerhouses loaded with beautifying properties. Disputed in it’s origin, it has first recorded to have been found and used in Armenia. Just walk down any supermarket aisle where rows of products are dominated by apricot extracts and oils because of their superior nourishing antioxidant compounds and abundance of vitamins and minerals.

Apricot oil is lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin making it perfect for babies and sensitive, irritated skin. It is also effective in relieving ailments of the scalp, dandruff and psoriasis particularly as its non-greasy nature doesn’t allow for buildup to mar the healing effects of the moisture.

Like watermelons, apricot is also a contending source of carotene and lycopene which, as mentioned earlier, are anti inflammatory and are also effective in the treatment of acne and help fight sun damage.

SKINCARE RECIPE:

One part pureed apricot mixed with one part sugar creates a golden delicious scrub. Gently scrub onto your face and rinse to unveil smoother, brighter skin and tightened pores. Go all out and make a big batch for a body scrub.

PLUM

Known to be one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated by mankind, plums first came onto the scene in Eastern Europe and Japan with different varieties occurring in both regions. Plums are rich in antioxidants which have made them globally famous for fighting cancer, osteoporosis and other muscular degenerative disorders such as arthritis. It is also especially beneficial for diabetics as eating plums and prunes safeguards you from blood clotting.

Packed with Vitamins A, C, K and B complex, plums boast a high calcium and iron content too, common deficiencies found in Pakistani women. Not only are prunes famous for having a mild laxative effect, great for cleansing your body and your colon, they are also good for balancing stomach disorders providing alkaline media to combat heavy acid buildup caused from unhealthy foods and airborne impurities and stress.

HAIRCARE RECIPE:

Pit and puree 3-4 plums and strain. The straining is important so that you don’t get little dried out pieces of the peel stuck in your hair. Mix the juice with one beaten egg and massage into the hair and scalp and leave on for 10 minutes. Not only will the vitamin C in the plum juice help to restore shine and luster to your hair, the protein in the egg will help strengthen and repair hair follicles, leave the scalp tighter and more nourished, and remapping widened hair parts.

FIG

Figs first originated in the Middle East and Western Asia, bringing to the world the much needed nutritional benefits and tasty delights that are a popular superfood, much revered by ancient cultures and religions. Cut up and added into to your breakfast cereal of choice or other foods will make you a healthy and happy camper.

High doses of potassium found in figs assist the natural incidence of insulin production, the hormone that diabetics definitively need to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. They contain high doses of flavonoids and other phytochemicals that replace dead skin cells, gear up your skin for sun protection and help to fight acne. Omega 3 fatty acids and high mineral content bring with them cancer fighting aids and keep away bad cholesterol, enriching cardiovascular health. Rich amounts of calcium found in figs place it above other fruits in the fight against osteoporosis and bone decay.

The mild laxative effective that plums are known for is also true for figs, which when eaten either fresh or dried, help flush out toxins and impurities from your system. Boiling figs in water and consuming the mix after cooling down to room temperature can even help naturally pass kidney stones and avoid future occurrences. Mouth ulcers and bad breath too can be relieved from chewing fig leaves and gargling for a few minutes after to leave the skin inside your mouth refreshed and healed.

SKINCARE RECIPE:

The high water content in figs makes them excellent for cleansing and hydrating the skin, with even dried figs being 30% water. Puree whole fresh figs or if using dried, soak with a smidge of water a couple of hours beforehand to loosen up the fibers. Rub evenly all over your skin and lips and leave on for five minutes for the skin to soak up all the beneficial enzymes and become gently moisturized, supple and significantly reduced in wrinkles and fine lines.

MANGO

Nothing says tropical beachy summer vacay like the king of fruits. For mango addicted Pakistanis, you can be sure they’ll travel far and wide to catch in time their favourite varieties religiously once a year. First grown and cultivated in South Asia, the fruit has travelled far and wide to East Asia and then onwards to Brazil, Mexico and the West Indies

Ripe and unripe mangoes vary in their nutrition and benefit to hearty health. One whole cup of either provide 25% of your daily calcium requirement, a whole lot of vitamin A, C, E and B6 in addition to other essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium and phosphorous.

Optimum brain health is maintained by indulging in some juicy mango, the potassium helps to regulate blood pressure levels, helping to combat hypertension. Glutamine acids helps keep brain degenerative disorders at bay.

Pectin loves mango and is found abundantly in ripe mango flesh, giving the mango antioxidant characteristics and fighting against cancers of the stomach and keeping the colon and intestines clean and nourished. Mango hydrates and smooths out the skin owing to its high water content and moisturizing fatty acids.

SKINCARE RECIPE:

Mango pulp pureed rubbed onto the T-Zone and left on until dry is especially effective in removing blackheads and cleansing the pores with beneficial exfoliating action as well. Use weekly for noticeably cleaner and smaller pores.

FALSA

Falsa is native to South Asia and containing properties that are particularly perfect for the inhabitants of these hot and humid regions now including Australia, Thailand and the Philippines where the fruit is cultivated and harvested in abundance.

Primarily known for its refreshing and cooling properties, falsa is an effective blood purifier that makes for clearer skin from the inside. The flavonoids and anti-inflammatory nutrient complex contained within the falsa berry are efficient in the cure and alleviation of osteoporosis and arthritis and environment and lifestyle related inflammation.

Falsa is used for curing respiratory ailments such as asthma, sore throats, colds and bronchitis, helping loosen and discharge excess lodged phlegm and clearing out the lungs. It’s high in fibre, potassium and vitamins A and C and cancer fighting and anti aging antioxidants.

Not just falsa berry, but the leaves and bark of the falsa tree are prepared into pastes that heal eczema, wounds and other various skin ailments including sunburn as they are antibiotic in their action.

SKINCARE RECIPE:

Take falsa fruit and soak for 30 minutes in mineral water. Puree the fruit with the soaking water and strain out the seeds or not if you like the crunch. Puree again or just simply mix in some cumin seeds, sea salt and sugar/jaggery to taste. Serve cold for a summer refresher. This will cool the pitha dosha or the fiery internal heat accumulated inside your body especially in the summer months and helps to avoid skin eruptions and keep acne breakouts in check.

 

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