It’s easy to indulge on delicious food this Thanksgiving, but luckily many of your festive fall favorites can include beneficial nutrients to keep your skin looking its best. Whether you plan to dive into the turkey and cranberry sauce, or have a weakness for pumpkin pie, there are a range of common holiday foods that can provide skin-boosting compounds.
From alpha-hydroxy acids and peptides, to vitamins and antioxidants, the right foods can target specific areas of your body to provide hydrating and restorative benefits to your skin. Learn more about specific ingredients and how they can improve the health of your skin by viewing the Ingredients 101 page.
Exfoliation and Hydration
Lactic acids such as alpha- and beta-hydroxy are excellent ways to increase your body’s natural cell regeneration rate to give you brighter skin over time. Lactic acids are necessary for breaking down dead skin cells which in turn provides an all-natural exfoliation effect.
If you love pumpkin pie, go ahead and enjoy an extra piece this Thanksgiving. Pumpkin is rich in alpha-hydroxy acids as well as enzymes and anti-inflammatory antioxidants. A diet or daily skincare routine rich in lactic acids can help prevent premature aging.
Additionally, pumpkin is not only great for your skin health, but it can aid in better gut health as well. Being high in natural enzymes, alpha- and beta-carotene, pumpkin can break down toxins and free radicals throughout your body.
If pumpkin isn’t your thing, maybe cranberries are. This common Thanksgiving staple is a great source of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Eliminating or reducing inflammation in the body can directly improve the look of your skin. You’ll notice healthier and firmer looking skin when you enjoy a diet rich in anti-inflammatories such as cranberries.
Additionally, vitamin C is plentiful in cranberries and can not only increase how much collagen the body produces, but also help to protect it from free radicals and other toxins that may break down elastic structures in the skin cells.
Iron, Zinc and Other Minerals
Turkey is a holiday staple this time of year, but turkey takes the number one spot on the list of Thanksgiving foods that are great for your skin health. Turkey is packed full of the trace mineral Zinc which helps your body produce the collagen protein. This protein is not only excellent at helping your skin retain healthy structure and elasticity, but it’s also vital for the formation of healthy fingernails and hair.
You’ll also find turkey to be rich in the B-vitamin Niacin which can help your body retain moisture on the cellular level. Similar to collagen, Niacin improves the elasticity of your skin which in turn helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and sagging. Be sure to visit this page if you’re specifically looking for a skincare product that offers the same benefits as the niacin found in turkey.
In addition to turkey, spinach can be found in many salad dishes during Thanksgiving. Spinach is great for boosting your overall skin health as the leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, folate and more. The wide variety of antioxidants contained in spinach leaves and stems can help give your skin a radiant glow from the inside out!
Vitamins and Nutrients
While there are a wide range of vitamins that can benefit your body in various ways, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E are all highly sought after for skin health.
Vitamin A is a great way to help your skin fight the effects of UV-caused aging and blemishes. If you find yourself suffering with sagging skin and wrinkles, Vitamin C can benefit you by increasing the body’s natural production of elastin and collagen. And last but not least, Vitamin E can help repel free radicals and provide protection to collagen-producing cells in your skin which in turn helps boost your complexion.
Sweet potatoes are not only rich in a variety of antioxidants, but they also contain 200% of your daily Vitamin A value. If you spend a lot of time in the sun or notice sunspots and other UV related blemishes, adding sweet potatoes to your diet or simply indulging in them a bit more during the holidays can help jumpstart your body’s natural UV defenses.
This Thanksgiving, when you enjoy an extra helping of turkey or a second slice of pumpkin pie, you can rest assured knowing these delicious foods are working with your body to fight aging and increase your skin’s health from the inside out.
In addition to the foods mentioned above, you can also find beneficial acids, nutrients, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory compounds in green beans, carrots, walnuts, pecans and other common holiday foods. Instead of depriving yourself of the festive foods, enjoy them in moderation and consider them a little seasonal boost to your daily skincare routine.