Fruits and vegetables are vital to our health but many of us are guilty of the lack of these included in our diet. Instead, the processed food that we so commonly eat outweighs the intake of fruits and vegetables which are rich sources of nutrients, vitamins and fibre, essential to our overall well-being.

Following up on our previous blog post on fruits, we now share with you which kinds of vegetables can benefit your skin (and of course your health too)!

Carrots

Carrots are high in beta carotene, which are absorbed into the body to aid in the production of Vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy, glowing skin. Large amounts of vitamins (K, C and B6) and carotenoids (anti-oxidants) found in Carrots can help combat free radicals that causes damage to skin cells. Consuming Carrot juice can also keep your skin hydrated. However, do eat Carrots in moderation as excessive consumption may cause the skin to have a slight yellow/orange tinge.

Broccoli

High concentrations of Vitamin A and Vitamin C can be found in this cruciferous vegetable. Vitamin A helps in the production of healthy cells in the skin, while Vitamin C helps the skin with collagen repair and production, while protecting the skin from free radical damage. Broccoli also contains a great source of folate, which is essential in healthy cell regeneration, and sulforaphane, which studies have shown that it helps in reducing incidences of cancer.

Tomatoes

Studies have shown that properties in tomatoes help function as an internal sunscreen that blocks harmful UV rays. High concentrations of Lycopene found in tomatoes also help in skin renewal, and has anti-ageing properties for the skin. Moreover, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium in Tomatoes are effective in tightening your pores, and also work as an astringent to deep-clean. For a quick home DIY facial, try mashing up tomatoes and apply to a clean face.

Garlic

Garlic is widely known for its strong medicinal value, despite its pungent smell and taste. Holding anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, Garlic helps to relieve skin bacterial infections thereby helping the skin to stay clear and free from impurities! The large number of antioxidants present will also make your skin healthy and looking young.

Potato

Potatoes are high in starch and thus are a good source of carbohydrates, but it also means that they are culprits to your weight gain. However, do you know that Potatoes can be included into your skincare regime as well? Potatoes have properties that make it an anti-aging agent. Washing your face daily with potato juice may help improve the skin’s clarity, and even reduce appearances of wrinkles! Additionally, you may wish to cut a few slices of raw potatoes and place them over your eyes to reduce dark eye circles.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are often used in skincare products as it is really an effective vegetable that helps one to achieve glowing skin, treat various skin problems and even reducing dark eye circles. Containing antioxidants and large amounts of water, Cucumbers help to moisturize and hydrate tired skin. Cucumbers can also help to reduce redness of the skin. Also, Vitamin C in Cucumbers aids in collagen production, which helps to promote elasticity in our skin.

Avocado

Avocado is rich in nutrients and vitamins A, C and E which helps to soothe and soften the skin. Also present is Niacin (Vitamin B3) which helps to soothe dry, irritated, or red blotchy skin. Avocadoes are also great for making facial masks at home as their buttery texture allows easy application, and what’s more is that the various nutrients and vitamins can be easily absorbed into the skin, leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft after application.

As the saying goes, “you are, what you eat”. Don’t forget the importance of including both fruits and vegetables into your diet for a healthier you, and a healthier skin. Fruits and vegetables have abundant nutrients and vitamins that act as our skin food whether they are being consumed, or applied as a mask! 🙂

About Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. It’s also required to synthesize collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Our bodies also need this essential vitamin to grow, maintain and repair tissues, including the bones and teeth.

Unlike most mammals and animals, however, humans are not able to produce Vitamin C. So… where do we get it?

Hint: A lot of food contain more Vitamin C than the friendly orange.

P.S Excessive intake of Vitamin C can be harmful.

#1 – Red and Green Hot Chili Peppers

Vitamin C: Red (and Green) Hot Chilli Peppers

Credit: Melissa Yakas

Chillies are an excellent source of Vitamins A, B, C and E and minerals like molybdenum, manganese, folate, potassium, thiamin, and copper. Chilli contains seven times more Vitamin C than oranges.  Chillies have been included in Ayurvedic medicines and used as a tonic to ward off many diseases. Good for slimming down as they burn calories easily, they also stimulate the appetite, clear the lungs and stimulate the digestive system.

#2 – Guavas

Vitamin C: Guavas

Credit: Nailah Khalfan

Being rich in Vitamins A and C, guavas are often touted as “superfruits”. If the seeds are eaten too, you’ll also be ingesting omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Guavas contain over four times more Vitamin C than oranges and also have good levels of the dietary minerals potassium and magnesium, and a broad, low-calorie profile of essential nutrients.

#3 – Capsicum – Bell Pepper, Chili Pepper, Peppers

Vitamin C: Bell peppers

Credit: Jessica Lewis

The stronger the colour of the bell peppers, the higher the concentration of antioxidants. A small bell pepper could provide up to three times more of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C, much more than any citrus food. Each colour of the bell peppers have different phytochemicals and provide different nutrients.

#4 – Fresh Herbs (Thyme and Parsley)

Vitamin C: Herbs

Credit: Brooke Lark

Thyme

The same-sized portion of dried thyme contains 14 mg of Vitamin C. Vitamin C contains antioxidants, which help your body resist infection during times of stress. Sometimes called the anti-ageing vitamin, Vitamin C produces collagen important for the formation of bones, teeth, ligaments, tendons and maintains the youthful appearance of skin.

Parsley

If you have a weakened immune system or digestive problems, or don’t have an appetite, you could try parsley. Rich in Vitamins A and C, parsley is an excellent source of iron, calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and chlorophyll. Parsley is also richer in Vitamin C than oranges.

#5 – Dark, Leafy Greens

Vitamin C: Dark leafy greens

Credit: Joanna Kosinska

These are a rich source of Vitamins C, K, E, and B, as well as iron, calcium, and fibre, which are essential for good health. Recent studies have shown that Vitamin K plays an important role in preventing osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Vitamin E has been shown to prevent skin cancer.

#6 – Broccoli

Vitamin C: Broccoli

Credit: Joanna Kosinska

Broccoli contains twice the amount of Vitamin C compared to an orange and has almost as much calcium as a glass of milk. It contains high levels of both calcium and Vitamin K, which are both important for bone health, prevention of osteoporosis. Thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains, it also helps to detoxify and repair the skin.

#7 – Kiwis

Vitamin C: Kiwis

Kiwis contain great nutritional value. They are rich in many Vitamins, flavonoids and minerals. In particular, they contain a high amount of Vitamin C (again, more than oranges), as much potassium as bananas and a good amount of beta-carotene. Kiwis are also great for people with poor digestion, thanks to their high-fibre content and unique mucilage, making for a gentle and effective laxative.

#8 – Papayas

Vitamin C: Papayas

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Papayas are very low in saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, and rich in Vitamin A. It is highly rich in Vitamin C, Enzymes and Potassium, both of which are needed for a healthy immune system. Papayas may, therefore, be a healthy fruit choice for preventing illnesses such as recurrent ear infections, colds and cases of flu.

#9 – Oranges

Vitamin C: Oranges

Credit: Jessica Lewis

Juicy, sweet and renowned for high concentrations of Vitamin C, oranges make a perfect snack or a zesty tang to many recipes. However, eat these in moderation! Too many oranges can cause dryness in the mouth and sore throats. Children that eat too many oranges are likely to suffer from glossitis, periodontitis, pharyngitis, etc.

#10 – Strawberries

Vitamin C: Strawberries

Credit: Artur Rutkowski

Strawberries are healthy and nutritious for a number of reasons, including the fact that they are rich in Vitamin C. Just one cup of whole strawberries contains 82 mg of Vitamin C, which is significantly more than other fruits. This fruit also contains 3 grams of dietary fibre as well as 20 mg of calcium and 239 mg of potassium per full cup.