Whether you typically eat yourself into a food coma or start the day with the best intentions to stick to the healthiest dishes at the table, one thing is for sure: Thanksgiving is a holiday that revolves around many delicious (albeit carb-heavy) foods.
This year, we decided to keep the food commentary positive. No jokes about stretch pants or preemptive regrets about how much we are going to eat. Instead, we are going to discuss the surprising number of Thanksgiving foods that are actually great for your skin. Here’s the skinny (or not-so-skinny) on how to fill your plate to get that post-turkey glow.
1. Totally Timeless Turkey
THE Thanksgiving staple, turkey is packed with protein, which is an essential building block for stronger skin, hair, nails and teeth. Protein in the skin also forms collagen, which is responsible for boosting elasticity and warding off fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, dark meat has more vitamins and minerals than white meat, so you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in the juicier bits of the bird.
2. A-OK Kale
Just one cup of this leafy green contains more than the daily minimum of vitamin A, which encourages healthy skin cell production and stimulates the cells in the deep layers of your skin - the ones that help to keep it firm. Kale also contains chlorophyll, a molecule that helps the body eliminate toxins. Try it in a fall salad with honeycrisp apples and spicy pecans.
3. Skin-lovin’ Sweet Potatoes
We all know how important vitamin A is for the skin, but it’s even more powerful when combined with beta-carotene and vitamin C. This sweet potato trifecta will not only help your skin to glow, but also increases collagen production and reduces wrinkles and dry skin.
4. Collagen-building Cranberries
Speaking of collagen production, cranberries are also high in vitamin C, a robust antioxidant that builds collagen and keeps your skin looking youthful. Plus, the bacteria-blockers in cranberries (which are often used to help prevent UTIs) can also reduce bacteria in acne-prone skin.
5. Oh-so-good-for-you Olive Oil
If you’re doing the cooking (or bringing a side dish), be sure to include this heart-healthy oil. Its vitamin E works to restore suppleness and its antioxidants can help fight free radical damage.
RELATED READ: How Are Free Radicals Harmful?
6. Glowing Green Beans
In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K, green beans contain manganese. This important chemical element can only be obtained through food and helps build collagen and protect skin from free radicals.
7. Pretty-as-picture Pumpkin
Don’t feel guilty reaching for that slice of pie, because the powerful vitamins and antioxidants in pumpkin (namely C and beta-carotene) work together to boost collagen, soften skin, and prevent fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.
Grab a fork, dig in and reap the beauty benefits of your Thanksgiving feast!