7 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Actually Great for Your Skin

Updated 04/18/19
best Thanksgiving foods for your skin
Element5 Digital/Unsplash

When team Byrdie thinks of Thanksgiving, three things come to mind: family, food, and elastic waistbands. But we'd be remiss if we didn't also consider the beauty aspect of Thanksgiving (there are several, aside from sheer delightful scene of creamy whipped potatoes and pie, of course).

Within the delicious buffet you'll eat this upcoming holiday are vitamins and nutrients that actually help make your skin glow and look more beautiful. Crazy, right? A historically glutenous meal will fortify our complexions. (But before you overindulge at the table, also keep in mind this guideline for not testing the limits of that elastic too much.)

To learn more about the foods that double as skin elixirs, we spoke with Muscle Milk’s nutrition expert, Tricia Griffin. Keep reading, and plate-map wisely this season.

Turkey

Health benefits of turkey

Go ahead—gobble it up (sorry). Griffin says turkey is full of protein, which provides structure to skin, hair, nails, and teeth and forms collagen, providing firmness and suppleness to your skin. Its protein also suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin, which checks the box on the holiday diet list, too. However, dark meat has more vitamins and minerals than white meat, so be first in line for the drumstick.

Cranberries

Benefits of cranberries

Cranberries contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that also builds collagen, which is essentially the glue holding together the cells that make up your skin, hair, and teeth. It's the ultimate youthful-skin food.

Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkin Pie

Is pumpkin good for your skin?

Sweet potatoes and the pumpkin component of pumpkin pie are rich in vitamin A, an antioxidant that supports the production and growth of new skin cells. Just be cognizant of how you prepare them—too much sugar can spike your insulin levels and break down collagen and protein in the skin.

Almonds and Olive Oil

Olive oil for skin

Almonds and olive oil are dense in vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin. The main role of vitamin E is to act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, essential for a clearer, more even complexion.

Spinach

Benefits of spinach

Spinach is a power player, so add it to dishes like salad and stuffing. It's loaded with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K as well as antioxidants for clearer skin, anti-aging benefits, and sun protection.

What about the foods Griffin would advise against? "Though dark chocolate and red wine do contain certain phytonutrients that are associated with skin benefits, too much of either can have a negative impact as well," she tells us. "Chocolate is high in fat and sugar, and alcohol can lead to health issues and can be dehydrating, so moderation is key." Dairy can also lead to inflammation and breakouts, so consider substituting the milk, cream, and cheese in your favorite dishes with vegan options, or focus on protein-rich and plant-based foods instead.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Related Stories