The Spices Missing from Your Diet That Will Change Your Beauty Routine
Why the secret to glowing skin & shampoo-commercial hair might be hiding in your pantry.
This much we know: There’s no proverbial magic bullet or shortcut when it comes to anything worth doing or having (bummer, we know). Especially health. The next best thing, though? Spices. Not the Baby, Scary, Posh, or Sporty kind (although there is Ginger—dad joke!), but the sort that’s hiding somewhere in your long-neglected pantry. Incorporating even half a teaspoon of what you probably have stuffed back there (somewhere behind the vitamins and protein powders from your weird pseudo-Paleo phase) can go a looooong way in terms of eating for beauty. So we consulted with TULA (a line of probiotic-powered skin care) founder Dr. Roshini Raj for a list of precisely what we should be getting more of. Add them to your AM smoothie, sneak them into your coffee—just find a way to get them in, and let your skin, hair, nails, and everything else thank you.
OK, so this is the one you’ve probably already heard good things about, but allow us to explain turmeric thusly: It’s the Justin Timberlake of the spice world, in that it literally does everything. For one, it’s packed with healthy fiber, calcium, vitamins, and then some. And its antiseptic and antibacterial properties help with acne and breakouts. It also increases bile flow, which is a gross-sounding process that helps break down fat. As per Dr. Raj, it also helps improve blood circulation (which equals prettier, more radiant skin) on top of being an anti-inflammatory and “an excellent source of iron and manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, and potassium,” according to Dr. Raj.
There’s a reason why your mom tries to get you to drink ginger ale when you’re sick: It’s amazing for getting your digestive system back up and running. It’s been demonstrated to assist in the process of detoxing your gut and eliminating toxins (and, as we know, gut health is the key to just about everything). It also helps to ease the pain of period cramps (major key).
This is another one you’ve probably already heard championed for its powers in the world of weight loss by a Dr. Oz-y type. And while it’s true that some studies indicate cinnamon can assist in improving blood-sugar levels and cholesterol, there’s also a host of benefits for your skin. Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, which, according to Dr. Raj, “not only protect the body from free radicals, but are also good for your health, as they can help repair damage caused to your skin and organs.” Plus, it slows the glycation process, which binds sugar and protein in our bodies and can lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Arguably best of all, it’s not exactly a stretch to incorporate into your daily routine: Try adding it to your oatmeal or coffee one morning, and go to work with a superiority complex knowing you already ingested something insanely good for you in one fell teaspoon.
Basically, think of garlic’s benefits this way: Hair follicles need certain nutrients to make the shampoo-commercial hair of your dreams. Garlic is high in an amino acid by the name of cysteine, which helps your follicles perform at the highest level to sprout strong, shiny, healthy hair. It’s also loaded with allicin, which helps increase blood flow to the scalp, which—you guessed it—stimulates hair growth.
Like you need another excuse to frequent La Esquina. Cilantro helps to detox the body of heavy metals, as it hosts chemical compounds that bind to toxic metals and help them exit your system (good thing, because that sounds terrifying). That, and it’s actually been proven to help reduce blood pressure and treat anxiety, too. On that same tip? Cilantro’s been found to improve the quality and restfulness of sleep (the virtues of which, in relation to your beauty routine, are basically through the roof). Dr. Raj notes that it’s also “a fantastic source of potassium, iron, vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, and calcium.”
According to Dr. Raj, “Fennel seeds can help decrease skin redness as well as irritation. They can also reduce and minimize the sensitivity caused from long sun exposure. They can be great for your hair; just by adding some crushed fennel seeds to boiling hot water, you can make a rinse that helps decrease dandruff and increase strength of hair.” Even skin + strong, shiny hair = no further explanation needed.
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