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Gayatri and Sandhyavandana SIGNIFICANCE OF UPANAYANAM -

Gayatri and Sandhyavandana

Upanayanam does not mean just putting round the neck three strands of cotton thread. It means that there are not only two eyes but a third also. That is the jnana netram (wisdomeye). Open that eye and recognise your swa-swarupa (own form); that is what is taught. Upanayanam means additional eye. They say that the eye must be opened and for that purpose they give training in pranayamam (breath control). After that they give Brahmopadesam (Initiating about Brahman), give the boy a begging bowl and tell him to go about begging. The first bhiksha is mathru (mother’s). When the father gives Brahmopadesam, the mother gives three handfuls of bhiksha (rice) to enable the young boy to do manana (repeat inwardly), the upadesa given by the father. He is expected to fill his stomach by begging, stay in the Guru’s house for training and realise his self by opening the jnana netram. That is the significance of Upanayanam.
If the Gayatri has not been chanted for three generations in the family of a Brahmin, they cease to be Brahmins. The quarter where such Brahmins live cannot be called an “agrahara”. It is perhaps not yet three generations since Brahmins gave up the Gayatri. So they still may be called Brahmins.
In the same way if the Brahmin family has not performed sacrifices for three generations its members will be called “Durbrahmanas”, degenerate Brahmins. Even though degenerate the label “Brahmin” sticks to them. There are prayascittas (expiatory rites) by means of which the corrupted Brahmins will be remade true Brahmins. But there is no such hope for a Brahmin in whose family Gayatri has not been chanted for three generations. A member of such a family ceases altogether to be a Brahmin and cannot be made one again. He is just a “Brahmana- bandhu”, a kin or a friend of Brahmins. The same rule applies to Ksatriyas and Vaisyas with regard to the Gayatri mantra; they become “ksatriya-bandhus” and “Vaisya-bandhus” respectively.
The spark I mentioned earlier must be built into a fire. The spark by itself does not serve any purpose. But it has in it the potential to grow into a bright flame or a radiant fire. At least on Sundays, all those who wear the sacred thread must do Gayatri japa a thousand times. They must not eat unclean food, goto unclean places and must atone for lapses in ritual observances and in maintaining ritual purity. Henceforth they must take every care to see that their body is kept chaste and fit for it to absorb mantric power.
Even in times of misfortune the Gayatri must be muttered at least ten times at dawn, midday and dusk. These are hours of tranquility. At dawn all creatures including human beings rise and the mind is serene now. At dusk all must be restful after a day’s hard work: that is also a time of calm. At noon the sun is at its height and people are at home and relaxed and their mind is calm. During these hours we must meditate on Gayatri, Savitri and Sarasvati.
In the morning the dominant presence is that of Visnu, at noon that of Brahma and at sundown of Siva. So we must meditate on Gayatri in the morning as Visnu personified, at noon as Brahma personified and at dusk as Siva personified.
Gayatri contains in itself the spirit and energy of all Vedic mantras. Indeed it imparts power to other mantras. Without Gayatri-japa, the chanting of all other mantras would be futile.
We find hypnotism useful in many ways and we talk of “hypnotic power”.Gayatri is the hypnotic means of liberating ourselves from worldly existence as well as of controlling desire and realising the goal of birth. We must keep blowing on the spark that is the Gayatri and must take up the Gayatri-japa as vrata. The spark will not be extinguished if we do not take to unsastric ways of life and if we do not make our body unchaste.
Gayatri-japa and “arghya” (offering libation) are the most important rites of sandhyavandana. The other parts of this rites are “angas” (limbs). The least a sick or weak person must do us to offer arghya and mutter the Gayatri ten times. “Oh only these two are important aren’t they? So that’s all we do, offer arghya and mutter the Gayatri ten times a day. ” If this be our attitude in due course we are likely to give up even these that are vital to sandhyavandyana.
A learned man remarked in jest about the people who perform arghya and mutter Gayatri only ten times thus applying to themselves the rule meant for the weak and the unfortunate: “They will always remain weak and be victims of some calamity or other”. Sandhyavandana must be performed properly during right hours. During the Mahabharata war, when water was not readily available, the warriors give arghya at the right time with dust as substitute.
Arghya must be offered before sunrise at noon and at sunset. Once there was a man called Idaikattu Siddhar who grazed cattle.
“Kanamal konamal kandu kodu aadukan pogudu par ”
“Kanamal/r” means before you see the sun rise and “konamal/r” means when the sun is overhead and “kandu” is when you see the sun before sunset. These are the three times when you ought to offer arghya. “adu” means “niradu”, bathe in the Ganga. “kan” here means “visit Setu” or have ” have darsana of Setu”. “Pohutu par”- by bathing in the Ganga and by visiting Setu your sins will be washed away. Here is mentioned the custom of going to Kasi, collecting Ganga water there and going to (Setu) Ramesvaram to perform the abhiseka of Ramanathasvamin there.
Only by the intense repetition of Gayatri shall we be able to master all the Vedic mantras. This japa of Gayatri and arghya must be performed everyday without fail. At least once in our lifetime we must bathe in Ganga and go on pilgrimage to Setu.
If a man has a high fever, people looking after him must pour into his mouth the water with which sandhyavandana has been performed. Today it seems all of us are suffering all the time from high fever! When you run a high temperature you have to take medicine; similarly Gayatri is essential to the self and its japa must not be given up at any time. It is more essential to your inner being than medicine is to your body. Sandyavandana must be performed without fail everyday. Gayatri-japa can be practised by all of us without much effort and without spending any money. All that you require is water. Sandyavandana is indeed an easy means to ensure your well being. So long as there is life in you, you must perform it.
Gayatri must be worshiped as a mother. The Lord appers in many forms to bestow his grace and compassion on his devotees Mother loves us more than anybody else. We know no fear before her and talk to her freely. Of all the forms in which Bhagavan manifests himself that form in which he is revealed as mother is most liked by us. The Vedas proclaim Gayatri to be such a mother.
This mantra is to be repeated only by men. Women benefit from the men performing the japa. Similarly when the three varnas practise gayatri-japa all other jatis enjoy the benefit flowing from it. We may cease to perform a rite if the fruits yielded by them are enjoyed exclusively by us.
But we cannot do so if others also share in them. Those entitled to Gayatri mantra are to regard themselves as trustees who have to mutter it on behalf of others like women and the fourth varna who are not entitled to it. If they fail in their duty of trustees, it means they are committing an irremediable offence.
The mantras are numerous. Before we start chanting any of them, we say why we are doing so, mention the “fruit” that will yield. The benefit we derive from the Gayatri mantra is the cleansing of the mind (cittasuddhi). Even other mantras have this ultimate purpose, but cittasuuddhi is the direct result of Gayatri-japa.
Even in these days it is not difficult to perform sandhyavandana both at dawn and dusk. Office goers and other workers may not be at home during midday. They may perform the madhyahnika (the midday vandana) 2 hours 24 minutes after sunrise that is called “sangava kala”.
We must never miss the daily sandhyavadana unless we find it absolutely impossible to perform. When we fall ill, in our helplessness we ask others for water or kanji in the same way, we must ask our relative or friend to perform sandhyavandana on our behalf.
Let us all pray to God that he will have mercy upon us so that the fire of mantras is never extinguished in us and that it will keep burning brighter and brighter.
“Astra” and “Sastra” are terms used in Dhanurveda (military science) to denote two types of weapons. Knife, arrow, spear, club and so on-real weapons-come under the term “sastra”.”Astra” is what is energised by a mantra into a weapon. If you discharge just a darbha or a blade of grass chanting or muttering the appropriate mantra it will be turned into a weapon. Sastras are also discharged similarly with mantras. If you hurl something at a object or person muttering the mantra proper to it, the object or person will be destroyed when hit.
The twice-born (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas) have the duty of discharging “Astras” every day to destroy asuras or the evil forces besieging mankind. Does not “Astra” mean that which is discharged, thrown or hurled? What is the “Astra” which is to be thrown or discharged [by the twice - born]? We throw water so as to drive away or destroy the demons or evil forces that have taken hold of the minds of people. This water, the astra, is the same as the libation offered during sandhiyavandana. We must keep this purpose in mind when we offer arghya : “May sinfulness and falsehood be annihilated. May the sun of knowledge shine brightly. May those obstacles that keep the sun of knowledge dim in us to be demolished.“Whatever you do or do not do, you must perform this arghya thrice a day. Do it somehow ” holding your breath”
When a person does a job earnestly and whole-heartedly, we say that he does it “holding his breath”. As a matter of fact sandhyavandana is to be performed holding one’s breath. If we do this all the evil forces will be destroyed. Nowadays all we do is to hold our nose with our fingers. The sastras do not say, “Nasikam ayamya”, but say, “Pranam ayamya. ” It means, instead of merely holding the nose, control the vital breath, the prana itself or the life force.
All work must be done with one-pointedness. There must be such one-pointedness of the mind to turn water into a weapon(astra). The breath is controlled for this purpose.
You will ask: “How is it that if you control your breath the mind will be still? “
We see that when the mind is still the breath also stops. When our wonder is aroused, when we are grief-stricken or when we are overjoyed, the mind becomes one-pointed. We exclaim “Ha” and the breath stops for a moment. But soon we breathe fast. We do not stop breathing with any effort on our part-the stopping is involuntary. The mind stops when it is enwrapped or absorbed in something. Then we heave a sigh-take a long breath-making up for the momentary stoppage of breathing. We learn from this that, when breathing momentarily stops, the mind becomes one-pointed. This is the reason why the breath is controlled when arghya, libation, is offered.
If we practice pranayama we will train ourselves to have mental concentration. This is important to yoga. Practicing pranayama for long is difficult and it must be done under the guidance of a guru. In sandhyavandana we do it only ten times. For some rites it is performed three times as a preliminary step. If we had practiced pranayama regularly from the time of our upanayana we should have become yogisvaras by now.
What we do we must do properly. When we practice pranayama as a part of sandhyavandana we must stop our breath for 30 seconds or so, not more. When the vital breath stops, the mind will become still. If the arghya is offered in this state the evil forces will be truly be driven away. The water that we pour or throw when our mind is still will turn a weapon to destroy all evil.
After employing the arghya weapon against the evil forces, we must perform Gayathri-japa. Pranayama we must do according to our ability, holding the breath for a while, then realising it: this process may be repeated without controlling the breath for too long a time.
All the steps in sandhyavandana- samkalpa, marjana, arghya-pradana, japa, stotra, abhivandana-have for their purpose the blessings of Isvara: this is stated in the samkalpa that we make at first. From beginning to end sandhyavandana is dedicated to Paramesvara and pranayama is an important part of it.
According to the sastras even the sick must do pranayama three times a day.This means that breath-control is not such as to cause trouble or discomfort. Indeed it could mean a cure for the illness and a prescription for long life.
“Rsayo dirgha-sandhyatvad dirghamayuravapnuyuh Prajnam yasasca kirtim ca brahmavarcasameva ca – Manusmrti, 4. 94”
In abhivadana we mention the name of the sage from whom we are descended. It is our duty to observe Vedic rituals at least for the fact that we belong to the gotra of that sage. After him there have been so many rsis in the line. We use the terms “trayarseyam”, “pancarseyam”, “ekarseyam”, meaning that, in the gotras concerned, there were three sages, fives sages, one sage. . . They must have lived long and secured knowledge, fame, Brahmic lustre and spiritual eminence by performing sandhyavandana. This is what the Manusmrti stanza means.
By our neglect we should not sever the thread, the tradition, handed down to us uninterruptedly. We must perform sandhyavandana as an offering to Paramesvara and must do so understanding its meaning and with faith and devotion. There must be one-pointedness in it and no mantra must be left out.
We sin with our mind, speech and body. I told you that these sins must be washed away by performing rites with the same mind, speech and body.
In sandhyavandana we mutter the mantras with our mouth and, even as we repeat the Gayatri, we meditate on it with our mind and in such rites as marjana (sprinkling of water) we acquire bodily purity.
Sandhyavandana is karmayoga, bhaktiyoga and jnanayoga combined [it unites the three paths of karma, devotion and knowledge].
20    Scientific Explanation of Gaytri Mantra
A sceintific explanation was offered by modern experts about the Gayatri Mantra: According to Astro-Physicists and Astronomers, a Sound is produceddue to the fast movement of Earth, Planets, and Galaxy or the Milky Way, called Akshya Ganga, with some 100,000 million Stars. The Galaxy, the Moon and the Earth-all revolving around the Sun-each moving on their own axis at a mind boggling velocity of 20,000 miles per second, produce the Sound and the Sages named the Super Sound  as OM. The Sum of the Gayatri Mantra states: The Earth (*Bhur), the Planets (*Bhuvaha), and the Galaxy (* Swaha) are rotating on their own axis at a great velocity as the Sound OM, which is the Formless Entity. The total Kinetic Energy genrated by these movements balance the over-all energy consumption of Cosmos and this is named the ‘Pranava’ or the Body Energy ie Mass of Galaxies multiplied by two: Mass x Velocity x 2. That Supreme Entity (God) who manifests in the Form of Utmost Radiance (The San or Savitur) is indeed worthy of surrender (Varenyam). One should meditate (Dheemahi) upon the Light (Bhargo) of that Entity (Devasya) and perform the chanting of  OM. May He(Yo) guide in the right Direction (Prachodayat) our (nah) Intellect (dhiyo)!]]

NOTE: The above are the Two  Versions of Sandhya Vandana Vidhi followed by Scientific Expanation of Gayatri Mantra. The  Essence of Dharma Sindu is continued further.

Brahmachari Dharmas: Tatra Sandhyaatrayam agniparicharanam bhaiksham cha nityam, Tatraagni kaaryam praatah Saayamcha/ Tatra palaasha khadiraashwattha shami samidhah shreshthaastadalaabherka vetasaanaam/ Bhavadcchaabda purvikaa bhikhaa Vipraanaam saacha vipra griheshvewa, Aapaadi Shudra griheshu  Aamaannam griheeyaat/ Asya Brahma Yagnopi nithyah, Saa chopaajkaranaat poorvam /(Trikaala Sandhya, Agni Paricharya and Bhiksaatana are regular duties. Agni Karya is required to be done possibly once in the morning and again in the evening or atleast in the evening properly. Samidhas or twigs of the palasha, khad ira, ashwattha, and shami vrikshaas are the best; failing which Arka or Vetasa samidhas are alternatives. Brahmanas should also perform ‘Bhikshaatana’ by clearly uttering the words of ‘Bhavati Bhikshaam dadaatu’ that too among the Brahmana grihas only, although raw rice among other residences too are acceptable. Yagna Karya is a regular duty of a Brahmana after performing Upakarma.) The left-over food of the Guru, or of elder brother or father might be eaten by a Brahmachaari. Day time sleep, application of kaajala on the eyes, paada rakshaas, Chhatra or sleeping on cots are forbidden acts. Taabula Bhakshana, Abhhyanjana snaana or oil baths and eating in glass plates are prohibited to Brahma chaaris, Yatis and widows. Consumption of honey, impure ( Ashoucha) food, Shraadhaanna is also debarred. Mekhala-Danda-Yagnopaveeta- Koupeena-Kati Sutra are to be worn on the body of Brahmachari always and if any of these items are misplaced or torn, they must be replaced forthwith after discarding the earlier ones in running water flows.  Referrring to the aforementioned Yagnopa -veeta Prayaschitthas, the following be also noted: If the Sacred Thread slips down one’s body by mistake, there must be four Ajyaahutis in the Grihaagni or otherwise by reciting the Mantras of Manojjoti and Vraatapatibhischa/  In case the Sandhyaagni Kaaryaas are deficient, then the Japa of Maanastoke Mantra hundred times. If there is a lacking of Bhiksha then the Japa of this Mantra be done eight hundred times twice over  and resort to Punarupanayana. Alternatively, Tam Vodhiya Japenmantram Laksham chaiva Shivaalaye, Brahma chaari Swadharmaeshu nuunamchet purnametitat/ (  The Brahmachaari concerned should perform a lakh Japaas of Tam Vodhiya Mantra in a Shivaalaya) After his Upakarma, he should recite the Mantra, execute Vishnu and other Devas and thentake up Vedaadhyana. This Mantra is also recited at the time of Aksharaarambha and Vidyaarambha also. In fact in the earlier Yugas even Brahmacharinis were required to recite this Mantra after Upakarma and at Vedaarambha : Dwija Streenaam Yugantarey mounji bandho Vdaayhayanmam chaasiit, Kali Yugetu naitadwayam Atah Streenaam Vedoccharaadou Doshah/   (Brahmanis in Kali Yuga are forbidden to have the Samskaraas of Upanayana and Upakarma and as such are barred from Vedoccharana is a sin). Anadhyaaya -Adhyayana Dharmas: In Kali Yuga, the Andhyaaya or those days when Vedaadhyana is forbidden are the  two Pratipaada Tithis of any month, two Ashtamis, two Chaturdashis, Purnima and Darsha Tithis, Uttaraayana and Dkakshinaayana, and all the Sankranti days and the Surya and Chandra Grahanas. Excepting these days, Veda Shastraadikaas are required to be read, recited, analysed and cogitated upon about their meaning and even the  ‘Goodaardha’ or Inner import.The Pradosha time of Chaturthi etc.tithis are supposed to be extremely significant for Anadhyaana. However, Vedanga, Ithihasa, Purana and other Shastras are exempted from the forbidden days of Andhyaya. Also, in the context of observing Nitya Karmas, Japas and Kamya Karmas/ Vratas, Yagna Karyas, Veda Parayanas, and Vedopadeshas, Anadhyaa is not applicable. As regards, Anadhyana Dharmas, it is necessary to touch the feet of Guru at the time of commencing and terminating Veda Pathana. Also before ‘Pranavocchaarana’ and after it, Bhumi sparshana or touching Earth is required to bedone. Vedaadhyayana is permitted in the night’s prathama Yaama as also the last. During the middle Yaamas, one should sleep to attain Brahmatwa. Also, no Brahmana could ever curse or entertain any trace of thought to the parents and Guru at any point of time; this has to be strictly observed by way of ‘ Manasaa-Vaachaa-Karmana’ dictum; indeed the goodness one might reap in the Veda pathana or for that matter any Adhyayana would be negated.’Samaavartana: The word Samavartana basically means taking Snaana after securing the blessing and instruction of Guru; hence the origin of the word Snaataka; this is done after providing compensations to the Guru in the form of Bhumi, Gold, Cow, horse, umbrella, foot wear, minumum three Vastras, foodgrains and vegetables. It is said that each Akshara or Alphabet learnt from Guru needs to be paid for by way of redemption of indebtedness to the Guru. A Snaatak is considered so in three ways: Vidya Snaataka, Vrata Snaataka and Paripurna Snaataka. A  student who learns from his Guru in a Gurukula by twelve years is a Vidya Snataka; he who assumes the Upanayana Diksha, Savitri Vrata Diksha and Vedadhyayana for twelve years is a Vidya-Vrata Dikshobhaya Snaataka; finally a person who not only spends far  more than twelve years with his Guru  for Vedaadhayana, Vratas, Sandyhagni Karayas, Bhikshaatanaadi Brahma charyaacharana, Sarva Srotriyaacharana, and Vivahaadi Grihasta Dharmaanucharana like Ritu kaala Bharyaa gamana, and observance of sarva grihastadharmaas is a Sampurna Snaataka. Samaavartana Kaala Nirnaya:Samvartana  is a post-Upanayana Kaala Karya; this needs to be therefore forbidden on Anadhyaaya-Pradosha Kaala, Mangal Shani Vaaraas, Dakshinaayana- and Pousha-Ashaadhas. Thus apart from  the Riktaatraya, Purnima-Amavasya-Pratipaada Tithis, last three Tithis of Shukla Paksha, the complete KrishnaPaksha, Guru-Shukraastamadaadi kaalaas, Dinaksahya Bhadra Vyatipaata doshas etc, the kaala Nirnaya is to be made on any other Shubha Kaalaas are propitious  for the Samvartana Kaala. To execute the Samaavartanaadhikaara Pradhaana Homa, the Shubha Nakshatras are Pushya, Punarvasu, Mrigaseerha, Revati, Hasta, Anuradha, Uttara, Uttaraashaadha, Uttaraabhadra, Rohini, Shravana, Vishakha, Chitra and Jyeshtha. Then the Sankalpa has to be made by the Brahmachaari as follows: Mama Brahmacharya lopa janita Sambhaavita Sakala Dosha Parihaara dwaaraa Samaavartanaadhikaara praaptyaa Shri Parameshwara preetyartham Aajya homa purvakam Krucchatrayamaacharishye/  After the Sankalpa since Kuucchaatraya Vrata is being initiated, Agni Pratishtha be done and after Chakshusi Aajyena,  Four Ajyaahutis be done mainly to Agni-Vaayu and Surya , besides one Aajya each to Agni-Prithivi and Maha Devata; Vaya-Antarisha and Maha Devata; Aditya-Dyuevata/ Ashwini Kumaras; Chandra-Nakshatra- Dikpalaka and Maha Devata ; and  to the Eight-some of Agnim Dwirvibhaavasum Shata Kratum Vasum Agnim Vaayum Suryam Prajaapatim/ The finale Mantraayukta Ajyaas be executed as per the Procedure and Prayaschitta Prayoga be completed before the Samavartana Sankalpa be made by the Brahmachari Vatu himself addressing the Parents if aliveand perform Naandi Shraadha before the Snataka Vrata. The do’s and don’t’s of the Snataka Vrataas includethe following:  There should be no Snaana without ‘Shastra Vidhi kaarana’; no sleep in nudity excepting Stree sangama kaala; no running and jumping in rains; no mounting of trees; no getting into water wells; no swimming across rivers or water-bodies by hands; no act tending to risk in general and so on. Besides the must-do’s  include Nitya Yagnopaveeta dharana;  Nitya dharana of Jalayuka kamadalu, Chhatra; Shira Vastra; paada  raksha ,  Suvarna Kundala, Dharbha Mushti, Nityaadhyana-parata; Anaacharana of eka bhojana and eka paatra with Bharya; Nitya Bhojana to three or five Vipraas and Atithi Seva overnight.The Brahma chaari would resolve as follows:  Shuklaambara dharassaam Sugandhi Priya darshana –ssyaam, Vibhave sati Jeernavaasaa malavadwaasaascha na shyaam, Raktam Vaasah shareera -peedaavaham vaa vastram  na dharayishye/ (I shall wear clean, white and scented robes with good smell; with the aquisition of some wealth I shal discard uncouth and torn clothes; shall not wear red clothes as they disturb my mental peace); except those of my Guru’s I shall never wear other’s clothes, jevellery and maalas; shall never wear other’s yagnopaveetas and footwear; shall  never see the shadow in water; shall not teach to the unworthy about gyan, dharma, vrata as these indeed are worthy of Upadesha; shall not offer  my Ucchishta Bhojan nor the remainder of homa sesha prasaada  to a low class person even a house maid or male helper; shall never stand in well water and perform ‘Aachamana’ as there might be a blemish while doing so in running water; shall not perform Aachamana by the water brought by another person; shall never try to clean one foot with another foot of my own; shall never move about with a hidden head in the day time; shall never take my food or greet another person with my footwear on; shall never draw or drag a chair or bench with my feet; shall try to perform only that many Vratas which I could perform properly; in case deficiencies are noticed in the conduct of Vratas that I perform, I shall observe Upavasa one day but is the deficiencies occur to my wanton negligence then I shlaa observe Upavasa for three days; and shall provide food for atleast three Brahmanas at each of my own meal). 

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!!!!!GOOD MORNING!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

10 Foods to Eat Every Day for Perfect Skin=HEALTH=

10 Foods to Eat Every Day for Perfect Skin=HEALTH=

1. Red bell peppers

Red bell peppers are a tasty vegetable that can be enjoyed either cooked or raw. One red bell pepper contains more than 100% of your daily vitamin C needs. It also contains significant amounts
of dietary fiber and vitamin B6. Moreover, it is rich in carotenoids
that can help prevent wrinkles and increase blood circulation to your
skin, helping it look more youthful. Due to their carotenoids, red bell
peppers are also great to fight acne.
A red bell pepper is a perfect, low calorie snack that contains about 30 calories and has a really satisfying crunchy bite. Keep slices of red bell peppers in the fridge, so you will always have something
healthy and tasty to reach for when you are having a snack attack. The
fiber that a bell pepper contains will help you to feel full longer with
very little calories. Plus, you will have a flawless skin!

Dark chocolate

2. Dark chocolate

This is one of my favorite foods to eat every day for perfect skin!Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and flavanols that promote glowing skin. The antioxidants in dark chocolate will help reduce roughness in
your skin and protect it against sun damage. Moreover, cocoa relaxes
arteries, increasing blood circulation that leads to healthier skin.
I usually buy cocoa powder or raw cacao for less fat. And if you like dark chocolate, eat your ounce of dark chocolate every day and make sure you choose at least 80% cacao content in order to avoid milk and
added sugars found in a traditional chocolate bar.

Coconut oil

3. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat with about 90 percent of calories as saturated fat. It
contains lauric acid, a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent that
keeps away viruses, infections, inflammation and acne. Coconut oil is
also rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, which are perfect for
keeping your skin moist, soft, and wrinkle-free.
I use coconut oil as a body cream and consume 1 tbsp. of raw coconut oil every day. Coconut oil is especially good for your thyroid. Plus, there’s considerable evidence that this oil can help lose weight. So
many health benefits, don’t you think?
Green tea

4. Green tea

Well, so I know green tea is actually a beverage, but tea leaves come from a plant! Even though I love black tea, I drink green tea every day because I know that it is a great source of
antioxidants and a unique amino acid, L-theanine that helps relax your
body and lower stress.
When the tea is hot, the bionic brew releases catechins, a kind of antioxidant with proven anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea may also reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Drink 3 or more cups of tea every day for better results.


5. Spinach

Spinach is a healthy and nutrient-rich food you should certainly include in your everyday diet. You may hate spinach, but it is a wonderful source of iron, folate, chlorophyll, Vitamin E, magnesium, Vitamin A, fiber, plant protein, and Vitamin C. Due to their
antioxidant abilities, Vitamins C, E, and A are especially great for
your skin.
Spinach contains antioxidants that fight against all types of skin problems. Add it to your everyday diet and see what happens. By eating spinach, you’re just cleaning your skin from the inside out!



Chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds are all great for your skin. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are both rich in selenium, Vitamin E, magnesium and protein. Selenium and
protein keep all wrinkles away, Vitamin E enhances moisture in your skin
and magnesium lowers your stress levels. The healthy Omega 3 fatty
acids in flax, chia and hemp seeds are perfect for fighting wrinkles and
acne. Plus, these seeds are rich in protein.



Papaya is a wonderful fruit which has a rich history and numerous nutritional benefits. It is very low in calories (only 39 calories per 100 g!) and also contains no cholesterol. So if you are trying to lose
weight, consider eating papaya every day to maximize its health
A great beauty food, papaya is low in fructose and is excellent for digestion! The antioxidant nutrients found in it, including Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, are great at reducing
inflammation and acne. Moreover, Vitamin C may also protect your skin
against sun damage.



Carrots are good not only for your eyes, but also for your skin. They are especially good for clearing up breakouts. Carrots are rich in vitamin A and they help prevent the overproduction of cells in the outer
layer of the skin. That’s where excess sebum combines with dead cells
and clogs pores.
Another great reason to snack on some carrots is because Vitamin A reduces the development of skin-cancer cells. So make sure you nibble on a half-cup of baby carrots every day for perfect skin. I love carrots
and I think they make a great snack.



Salmon is an excellent food to fight stress, anxiety, and depression. Salmon also provides most of your daily vitamin D needs. And as you may already know, Vitamin D is responsible
for keeping your heart, bones, colon and brain healthy. It also helps
prevent colon cancer, anxiety, depression, heart disease and bone disease.
Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are excellent for fighting inflammation, wrinkles and acne. Its high omega-3 content also helps hydrate your skin from the inside out. Moreover, eating salmon
keeps your scalp hydrated and promotes strong, healthy hair.


8. Celery

Another food to eat daily for perfect skin is celery. Many of us underestimate this veggie, but celery contains Vitamin K that keeps the blood circulation healthy and helps to reduce high blood
pressure. This can reduce your stress level, and as you know stress can
cause bad skin, migraines and even cancer.
Celery also contains natural sodium, potassium and water, and can help to prevent dehydration. I hope you know that dehydrated skin means
dryness, flaking, wrinkles, and even breakouts. Make sure you consume
celery every day or at least every other day. If you are counting
calories, don’t worry, celery is very low in calories!

You don’t have to eat all these foods every day, but even some of them would be great! Be sure to avoid junk foods, too much sugar, trans fats and refined carbs for the best skin possible. Which of these foods
do you eat every day? Share your thoughts, please, and thanks for
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