Foodmantra for Beauty – 3 Ways to Use Apple & Walnuts for Glowing Skin


I remember watching an episode of Oprah once, very long ago. I was a teenager back then, fighting acne and insecurities related to it. I remember how inspired I was, I wanted to be as confident and as beautiful as the women on that show. I never thought that it would be easy, especially for a girl like me! Even in my growing years I was plump with wavy dark hair and a face dotted with old and new acne marks.

Even so, one little line from that show always stuck with me. It was, ‘Happiness makes you look good’. Even to this day, I believe that happiness truly makes a woman look the best she can look. Well, happiness and a little care will make you feel good about yourself.

To make myself look and feel beautiful, I follow a three-step mantra every single day. ‘Eat well, sleep well and cleanup well’. Trust me, you can follow these simple rules too. Here’s how I do it.


FoodMantra for Better Sleep

I really believe in getting my beauty sleep. Eight hours of stress free sleep. Not only does this avoid puffy eyes, your face looks hydrated and cared for. I’m serious! Stress and lack of sleep speeds up the onset of wrinkles. That means sleeping well prevents your skin from ageing quickly. I know getting that simple beauty sleep can be hard. It is easy to get preoccupied with work, errands and random thoughts. One thing that has worked for me is eating natural foods that have nutrients that help you sleep better.

Walnuts for instance, have melatonin, which is associated with better sleep patterns, and its Omega-3 fatty acids help in relieving stress. Not just that walnuts are loaded with Vitamin B that is also known to be an excellent stress and mood manager. Better sleep and low stress levels are going to make your skin look healthy, hydrated and beautiful everyday.

Walnuts are full of Vitamin E and the antioxidants remove toxins and fight free radicals that also delay the aging process. Walnut oil helps in hydrating and moisturizing the skin. It also reduces puffiness, soothes and relaxes the eyes and lightens dark circles.

Not only are walnuts great for your sleep and skin but also they make your hair better. They are full of useful nutrients like Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and potassium that strengthen hair follicles and prevent hair loss. The natural oil in walnut moisturizes hair and gives them a natural glow. It is also a natural anti-dandruff and anti-fungal agent to prevent scalp infections. The walnut husk is a natural coloring agent that naturally highlights the hair. So in every way possible, walnuts make you look good!


Foodmantra for Eating Well

When was the last time you treated your own self to a delicious breakfast and felt really good about it? I’m tired of people associating anything tasty or sweet with negative emotions like, ‘I shouldn’t’ or ‘this is bad for me’. Eating well makes me really happy. Good food makes you feel energetic, light and happy all day. It carries us through our day. I don’t mean we load up on sugar every morning, but incorporating nuts and fruits in our breakfast can do wonders to the way we look and feel.

Including apples for instance, brightens, tightens and lightens the skin – also know as BLT. The antioxidants in apple prevent tissue damage, potassium is required for the skin, Vitamin A for new skin development and Vitamin C protects the skin. The collagen in apple helps the skin remain youthful and flawless. During the summer it can do wonders for your health and even for your skin! Here’s my recipe that combines the goodness of apple with the richness of walnuts to make a great breakfast.

No-Mayo Healthy Waldorf Salad

Serves 1


Apples, cut into bite size pieces; 1 cup

Walnuts, chopped; 2 tablespoons

Celery, Chopped; 2 tablespoons

Raw Honey; 1 tablespoon

Cinnamon powder; 1 teaspoon

Yogurt; 2 tablespoons

Iceberg Lettuce, ice- cold cups; 2 leaves


In a large cold bowl, add yogurt, cinnamon and honey and whisk into a smooth dressing.

Add in the chopped celery and walnuts and fold it with the yogurt.

Fold in apples and the chill the salad for 20 minutes.

Place ice-cold cups of Iceberg lettuce on a plate and add spoonful of salad into the lettuce cups.

Serve right away!

This recipe makes a great healthy, wholesome and nutritious mini-meal. Perfect to start the day and stay energized. Apple walnuts crepes protect you and make you more beautiful with every passing day. These ingredients are great to ingest and also to apply for a great looking face.


Mantra for Better CleanUp

As I have mentioned above, using walnut and apple together is not only nourishing when eaten, it can also be applied on the skin. It helps in cleaning dead skin, energizing and brightening the face with useful nutrients. A mix of these two ingredients to scrub the face helps get rid of blackheads and makes the skin glow. I find it increasingly difficult and expensive though, to prepare this mixture at home everyday. For regular and frequent exfoliation, moisturizing and nourishment, I have to rely on something that is easier to do.

I found that Himalaya’s  #GentleExfoliatingWalnutScrub turned out to be much cheaper than using actual walnuts and apple. It is great in the summer because the skin tends to darken and my skin is oily, so it attracts dirt and then I get pimples. The Walnut scrub helps me clean, remove blackheads and scrub out dirt from the pores. It also gives that suppleness from the moisture in walnut and that thin glow from the nut oils. When it comes to brightening, lightening and tightening – Himalaya #GentleExfoliatingWalnutScrub uses the same nourishing ingredients but it is applied on the skin and not eaten for breakfast!

I feel really good about the fact that I’m using such rich ingredients that nourish my skin with their nutrients for 130 bucks. It is literally like using the healthiest breakfast of fruits and nuts to clean and nurture my skin. Most importantly, I can use it frequently and regularly to clean my face. I know the scrub boasts its natural ingredients, so I find it way safer than using complex sounding chemical compounds that I don’t understand.
You’ll be surprised to see how hard it is to clean your face properly. Ever so often, we assume that we have washed off the dirt and pollution we attract to our exposed faces everyday. When you look closely, that same dirt clings on to the oil on the face and forms acne, blackheads and makes the face look dotted and patchy. We even wonder why our face isn’t glowing even though we think that we are eating right.

Sometimes we miss including the yummiest and the most important nutrients in our daily diet. We also unknowingly ignore the importance of our sleep and daily hydration; not realizing that what makes us beautiful is the mantra to happiness itself! If you want to look beautiful, don’t forget to sleep well, eat well and cleanup well everyday. Happy Smiling!

Know about more ingredients that benefit your skin, hair and beauty, here.

walnut scrubF


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Foodmantra for Great Skin, Hair & Beauty – 9 Ways to Use Neem — FoodMantra

Foodmantra for Great Skin, Hair & Beauty – 9 Ways to Use Neem


Have you noticed that the best things in nature are concealed in an unpleasant mask? Like the sparkle of a diamond for instance, is hidden in the darkness of coal, and it takes great effort to reap that sparkle. In many ways, Neem is the diamond of the plant family. It may be bitter in taste, yet it is so beneficial for health that in my opinion, it is more precious than diamonds.


Neem leaves, though bitter as hell, are known for the prevention and cure of over hundred diseases. Neem is known to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and even anti-cancerous as per some studies. Although the consumption of neem is frowned upon because of the unpleasant taste, it has been used for cooking, bathing and chewing for centuries in India owing to its powerful medicinal properties. The ancient science of cooking in India incorporates bitter flavours in recipes, it includes such herbs and ingredients to enhance therapeutic properties in food.


Below are some effective ways in which neem can be incorporated into our daily regime so we can obtain the benefits of its powerful healing and protective qualities.



Foodmantra for Neem Leaves & Neem flower


Disclaimer: Pregnant and women who are breast-feeding should avoid ingesting neem because its safety at such times has not been established. It increases the heat and energy in the body and can be spermicidal in large quantities. Drinking lots of water or ash gourd juice brings down the body heat.


#1 Neem leaves in Tea


Tender, young neem leaves can be added to boiling water till the water turns slightly greenish and sipped on its own. It can also be added to your choice of tea. I personally prefer to go for neutral tea like regular green, white or black tea rather than their flavored counterparts. Neem leaves are known to have a calming effect, have anti viral properties and strengthen the immune system.



#2 Neem flower in Thandai


Thandai is a special drink prepared and served during Holi that marks the change of season. Neem is rich in anti-oxidants and prevents viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Neem flowers used in the preparation of Thandai prevents us from catching cold or viral infections.



#3 Neem leaves for Tempering in Curries & Dal


Tender, young neem leaves are less bitter and can be used like curry leaves are used in tempering curries and dals. The small quantity prevents the curry from getting bitter while adding the therapeutic qualities of the wonder leaf to your food.



#4 Neem Leaves in Curry


Blanched neem leaves are used in some South East Asian and Thai seafood curries, such as shrimp curry. Neem leaves are blanched two to three times in hot water to get rid of the bitterness, and then added to shrimp curry with palm sugar and tamarind paste.



#5 Neem flower in Rasam & Rice preparations


Neem flower is less bitter than neem leaves. These flowers are used as a vegetable called Veppam poo in South Indian vegetable curry preparations such as rasam and rice preaprations like Neem Flower tempered rice which uses roasted neem flower powder.



#6 Neem in Bengali Vegetable Curries & Stir Fry


Several Bengali dishes use bitter flavours in the cuisine beautifully incorporated in stir fries and curries. Other than the use of Karela, neem is cleverly used in preparations such as neem begun, which is, eggplants simply tempered with neem leaves, turmeric and some other spices. Neem is known to help control diabetes and purify blood.



Neem for Teeth, Skin & Hair


#7 Neem for Teeth


You may have seen your grandmother or many people in villages chewing the bark of a neem tree. Many toothpaste brands also boast about carrying the properties of neem for healthier gums. Not only does the neem bark strengthen the gums, it also makes your teeth pearly white! It prevents ulcers, infections and bad breath. So next time you see a neem tree, do break a twig and chew it.



#8 Neem for Hair


I remember taking a neem water bath as child when I had chicken pox, to prevent the itching and scars from the pox. Neem leaves boiled in water can be used to rinse and wash hair. Neem water prevents dandruff and other infections on the scalp.


#9 Neem for Skin & Beauty


I’ve had an oily skin and acne issues ever since I was a teenager. Not just that, I tend to get redness on my cheeks as well. Each time people looked at my face, they would start with a chapter on skin care advice. Why don’t you try haldi? Do you go for clean-ups regularly? I think you should use our special 1000-rupee mudpack that will clear up your skin right away!


I’m a real believer in natural remedies; I avoid applying chemicals or never-heard-of fancy sounding compounds on my face, it makes me nervous. I’d much rather try the haldi and neem remedies. Bathing with boiled neem leaves or applying neem seed paste on the skin can help in clearing skin and reducing acne, even so it is really inconvenient to use neem in this way. The problem is, I could never make or apply these natural pastes regularly.


It is tough to include this ritual with a hectic work schedule. Incidentally, I found something that I can fit in my daily routine. The Himalaya Neem pack is easy to use, and can be applied and cleaned in a matter of minutes. The best part is that I don’t need to find and grind the neem seeds, and go through all that pain. I can actually get the goodness of neem without all that hard work. The Himalaya Neem pack has the neem and haldi both. Neem helps disinfect the skin and the haldi also works as an antiseptic to keep germs away. I try to apply it every other day to keep my skin clear and healthy.


I’ve recently started using the Himalaya Neem pack around a week ago. I bought a bottle for 130 bucks last week. It has really helped in clearing my skin and the redness I had on my cheeks has reduced. It has also made my skin softer, cleaner and it looks hydrated. I have an oily skin, so in case you have dry skin and you want to try this pack, do read the label on the back. I had the habit of raiding the kitchen every weekend to make my own face pack, but this one really has helped me. I would use dried neem, haldi powder with some besan. This pack is a lot like that home pack, very natural and safe to use. It is a great idea to incorporate neem in your daily routine, just make sure you don’t have any allergies to any of the ingredients.