While many of us appreciate the gifts and quality time with loved ones that the holiday season brings, it would be hard to deny that the best part of the festive season is the good food. Whether it’s at the end-of-year work function, or a midday brunch with your friends, you can expect to feast on some delicious holiday treats.
However, it is the season of indulgence, and the idea of healthy eating may seem impossible. Luckily, there are plenty of holiday foods that can tickle your taste buds and even provide anti-aging benefits for your skin.
Anti-Aging Holiday Foods To Boost Skin Health
A common feature in many holiday meals, fresh, whole cranberries can give your skin a much-needed boost during the festive season.
Cranberries are packed with many nutrients, particularly vitamin C, which encourages the production of collagen, resulting in more supple and youthful skin. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties, which allows it to protect the skin from free radicals, preventing premature aging and UV damage.
Cranberries also contain vitamin E, which also fights free radicals, as well as maintain the skin’s moisture levels.
It’s important to stay clear of cranberry-based products, as these are likely loaded with sugar, which can cause and exacerbate skin issues. Instead, opt for fresh, whole cranberries.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Another mainstay in holiday meals is definitely the orange vegetable, sweet potatoes.
Thanks to its orange hue, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that has been found to both prevent and improve photoaging.
Sweet potatoes also contain vitamins A and C, both of which have anti-aging benefits, with vitamin C encouraging collagen production and vitamin A encouraging cell turnover.
If that’s not enough to convince you to enjoy some sweet potatoes this festive season, the vegetable is also rich in copper, which has been found to improve the skin’s well-being by increasing firmness and elasticity.
A serving of sweet potato pie may sound fun, but it’s undoubtedly laden with sugar. If you want your skin to reap the benefits of sweet potatoes, try enjoying roasted sweet potatoes or a sweet potato mash.
Certainly the main attraction at plenty of festive dinner tables, turkey isn’t just delicious, but it also contains nutrients that can improve skin health.
Firstly there’s the protein carnosine, which works to combat free radical damage. Then there’s niacin (vitamin B3), which improves the signs of aging and dark spots.
Lastly, we have selenium, which works to prevent sun damage and photoaging by protecting the skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.
Like sweet potatoes, carrots are also a great source of beta-carotene, an ingredient that converts into vitamin A and provides anti-aging benefits for the skin.
5. Green Beans
It’s important to eat your greens this festive season, and green beans are a great option for both your health and your skin.
Not only are they a great source of vitamins A and C, but green beans also contain vitamin K, which may improve the appearance of dark circles and premature aging.
Another form of greens that should be on your holiday plate is definitely leafy greens, such as spinach.
Spinach isn’t just loaded with antioxidants, which protect your skin against free radicals, but it’s also rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, all of which contain anti-aging benefits, and serve to promote healthier and clearer skin.
While we’d advise that you stay clear of pumpkin-spice lattes, pure pumpkin is packed with beta-carotene, which we know is an ingredient that your skin absolutely loves.
Now, while pumpkin pie is likely your favorite holiday dessert, it’s extremely high in sugar, so try to create a pie that is made from real pumpkins, or enjoy a simple serving of pumpkins.
What Foods To Avoid During The Festive Season?
If you’re serious about your holiday eating habits, we’d advise that you avoid, or at least manage, your intake of baked goods, eggnog, alcohol, and sweet treats.
These foods are high in calories, refined sugar, and carbohydrates, and this can trigger acne breakouts and result in dull-appearing skin.
If you are looking to enjoy a beverage, might we recommend that you stick to a single glass of red wine?
Happy Holiday Eating!
Balić, A., & Mokos, M. (2019). Do We Utilize Our Knowledge of the Skin Protective Effects of Carotenoids Enough? Antioxidants, 8(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8080259
Borkow, G. (2014). Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin. Current Chemical Biology, 8(2), 89-102. https://doi.org/10.2174/2212796809666150227223857
Cho, S., Lee, D. H., Won, C. H., Kim, S. M., Lee, S., Lee, M. J., & Chung, J. H. (2010). Differential effects of low-dose and high-dose beta-carotene supplementation on the signs of photoaging and type I procollagen gene expression in human skin in vivo. Dermatology (Basel, Switzerland), 221(2), 160–171. https://doi.org/10.1159/000305548