By Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom
Have you ever thought about foods that are good for you “inside and out”? They’re what I call double duty foods because you can eat them but also use them as a beauty product. Not only are these foods good for your health, they are also a plus for your wallet, because these homemade beauty products cost just pennies compared to store brands.
Here are some of my favorites. I’d love to hear about some of yours!
1. OLIVE OIL
INSIDE: Olive oil is a heart healthy fat. It’s high in monounsaturated oleic acid (a kind of fat), which protects the heart. It’s rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants. Extra-virgin olive oil has the greatest benefits (first press of the olives).
OUTSIDE: It’s a great hair conditioner; a pure fat, it provides much needed oils to dry hair (glossy hair has natural oils). Massage it in, and cover your head with a shower cap – leave in for at least 10-15 minutes for optimal conditioning. Wash thoroughly with shampoo!
INSIDE: Rich in fiber; contains both kinds of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Regular consumption can help lower cholesterol (the soluble type of fiber action) and support a healthy digestive tract (insoluble fiber – like a roto-rooter).
OUTSIDE: Coarse chopped oatmeal is a great exfoliator – aim for steel cut (those bigger, edgier particles). Make a paste with water (add ground almonds, or use alone), and use as an exfoliating scrub on your face, hands, and/or feet.
OUTSIDE: Grinding them up coarsely provides a good exfoliator for face, hands, or feet. Mix with oatmeal for an even more effective mix.
4. LEMON JUICE
OUTSIDE: A great natural bleacher/lightener for hair. Use with caution on face, if at all! Can use a lemon rinse after shampooing for color enhancement of light hair. Or put lemon juice on your hair and go out in the sun for a natural bleaching effect. Shampoos contain this, but why spend money – just use your own lemon juice.
INSIDE: This tasty addition to meals or to eat on its own is rich in heart healthy fat.
OUTSIDE: Avocado is a pure creamy fat, perfect for facial moisturizer (or can use on hands). Just mash and apply to face and relax for 5-10 minutes or longer.
6. CHILLED CUCUMBERS
INSIDE: Cucumbers are mostly water, so they are great for hydration. They contain small amounts of many vitamins and minerals – like vitamin C and potassium. When eaten with the skins on, they are a good source of fiber.
OUTSIDE: A soothing eye treatment for puffy and tired eyes.
7. FROZEN SLICED KIWIS
INSIDE: Loaded with vitamin C, and fiber. Kiwi is a low-sugar fruit and mostly water.
OUTSIDE: Another soothing eye treatment for puffiness; thought to help under-eye dark circles with repeated use.
7. BUTTERMILK OR KEFIR
INSIDE: Dairy is a triple duty food: rich in vitamin D, calcium, and protein. Especially great for bone and muscle health.
OUTSIDE: Soothing to skin – especially feet. Can be used in the bath (takes a lot more!). The fat and milk solids helps to moisturize feet. Make sure very chilled before using. Dump a container into a foot bath and soak.