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  Beauty & Fashion

April 2010
5 Vitamins Vital for Beauty
Sunita Pant Bansal
 
Beauty goes hand in hand with health. In order to look good (improve the physical appearance), one has to first acquire bright eyes, clear complexion, silky shiny hair and a slim body, which is possible only when the diet is rich in certain essential nutrients.

A vitamin rich diet plays a more dramatic role in beautifying a person than any of the cosmetic concoctions. Apart from ingesting them in the diet, vitamins can also be applied externally to nourish the skin.

Role of Vitamins in Beauty
Vitamin A helps to improve the condition of hair and eyes. Dry skin and dandruff are two common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency. Eyes are usually the first affected part of the body, if the diet is short of vitamin A. That is why it is suggested that people who use their eyes a lot (watching television, reading, writing, etc.) should increase their vitamin A intake. Common skin complaints like acne, whiteheads and blackheads can also be rectified by a proper vitamin A intake.

B complex vitamins are very important for healthy hair. A deficiency of these may result in poor growth of hair, dry scalp, dandruff and premature graying. In this context, those who would like to restore their hair colour, would be interested to know that graying of hair has been linked with a deficiency of Para-amino-benzoicacid (PABA) in the body. Its external application as hair-cream is found to be effective in restoring the hair colour.

Vitamin C provides resistance to our body against infections. It also helps the skin to remain firm, apart from maintaining the health of teeth and gums.

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, which include the teeth and the nails. A deficiency of this vitamin results in soft, ridged or chipped nails and dental decay.

Vitamin E is available in the market in the form of capsules. These capsules can be pierced and the vitamin applied on the skin to remove wrinkles, scars, stretch marks and brown age-spots. Vitamin E ointment applied regularly also heals burns.

These vitamins can be taken as external supplements in the form of syrups, tablets or capsules - but only under medical supervision, when there is a definite deficiency in the body. Otherwise it is better to take them in their natural form from the diet.

Over dosage of vitamins is known to result in loss of hair, abnormal growth of the bones especially of the skull (head), enlargement of glands like liver and spleen and neurological (related with nerves) and muscular disorders.

Vitamins From Food
Vitamin A is available in green leafy vegetables (mint, spinach, coriander, etc.), red and yellow vegetables and fruits (carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, mangoes, papaya, etc.), eggs, meat, milk and butter. Beaten egg applied externally, is a very popular and effective hair conditioner - which also helps to get rid of dandruff.

Vitamin B complex is present in all the cereals (rice, wheat etc.) and pulses (dals, rajmah, choley. etc.). Besan (gram flour) is used as a face pack to enrich the skin, and for hair to control dandruff.

All citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are rich in vitamin C. Apart from these, amla, guava and green leafy vegetables also provide this vitamin. Orange peel, lemon juice etc. used in herbal face packs, cleanse and tighten the skin, improve its texture and impart a healthy glow.

Vitamin D’s best source is sunlight, and also milk and milk products.

Vitamin E is present in cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, and liver of animals, and fish. It is also available in the yeast (khameer) used for fermentation of bread.

    
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