When I think of Thanksgiving, three things come to mind: family, food, and loose clothing. But, I'd be neglectant if I didn't also consider the beauty aspect of Thanksgiving - and I'm not talking about the pie (although that is a beautiful thing). I am referring to the beauty benefits that are found in many of the ingredients we are eating in our delicious buffet. Crazy to think that a historically glutenous meal can result in glowing skin and looking more beautiful, right? Now, that's what I like to call fine dining!
So feast your eyes on this list of seasonal ingredients that our skin should (or should not) be thankful for this Thanksgiving!
- Turkey - Go ahead, gobble it up (sorry). Turkey is rich in protein, which provides structure to skin, hair, nails, and teeth, and forms collagen, providing firmness and suppleness to your skin. Dark meat has more vitamins and minerals than white meat. If you are vegan I recommend having tempeh which is a fermented soybean food. The fermentation process changes the structure of the soy beans so that their nutrients become more digestible and easier to absorb.
- Cornbread - Cornbread (bread) is high on the glycemic index, which can cause acne, blemishes, and breakouts. Starches - like white bread and sugar - break down in your body, causing blood sugar to spike, which triggers your body to release a flood of insulin. In the long term, this process can increase oil production and damage wrinkle-preventing collagen, and, in the short term, it causes inflammation which takes the form of patches of redness on your face. So think twice before you break off a piece of that!
- Green Beans - Green Beans are rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and manganese. Manganese is largely overlooked for its beauty benefits. The essential trace mineral, which can be obtained only through our diets, helps build collagen and protect the skin from free radicals.
- Mac & Cheese - While milk has it’s benefits - such as helping you reach the daily recommended dose of calcium - dairy dishes, like Mac & Cheese, can cause increased levels of inflammation, skin breakdown, aging and acne in many people.
- Cinnamon - The warming spice shows up in pretty much every fall-themed food and beverage: apple pie, sweet-potato casserole, mulled cider. In skin care, cinnamon boosts circulation and helps stave off acne.
- Pecans - Filled with healthy monounsaturated fat and zinc, these nuts are one of the richest sources of antioxidants around. They also help to maintain healthy skin and hair!
- Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes are filled with vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, along with a handful of other great-for-you minerals that can really make your skin glow. In particular, Vitamin C boosts your body’s collagen production, and prevents fewer wrinkles and dry skin.
- Mashed Potatoes - While mashed potatoes are not to blame for causing acne, the potato loaded with carbohydrates which can cause to improper digestion and increase the chances of breakouts. I suggest opting for sweet potatoes and refraining from adding helpings of brown sugar and marshmallows.
- Stuffing - Traditional stuffing is packed with savory ingredients like bread, bacon, salt, etc., which can lead to inflammation. Salt and salty foods can cause some of us to retain water, which can lead to swelling and puffy eyes.
- Pumpkin Pie - The pumpkin component of pumpkin pie is rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant that supports the production and growth of new skin cells. Just be cognizant of how you prepare them, as too much sugar can spike your insulin levels and break down collagen and protein in the skin!
- Cranberry Sauce - Homemade cranberry sauce (not canned) is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. The vitamin C helps build collagen, which holds together the cells that make up your skin, hair, and teeth. Cranberries are natural bacteria-blockers and contain resveratrol, an acne-fighting compound. A.K.A: it's the ultimate youthful skin food!
- Apple - When founding foodie Benjamin Franklin said "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," he could have been referring to his dermatologist. Apples are a source of malic and mandelic acids, which reduce discoloration in the skin. So depending on how they are prepared, the apple can boast many skin-enhancing properties. How do you like them apples?