When you think of Thanksgiving, typically all-day feasting, followed by bloating, weight gain and a food coma probably come to mind. But what if we told you that better skin and anti-aging benefits could also come from the holiday buffet?
While your willpower might be wearing thin around this time of year, we’ve rounded up some of the healthier choices you can make over the holidays ― choices that are packed with an age-fighting punch.
You either love them or hate them, but cranberries are a staple no holiday meal would be complete without. These tangy berries can be found in many forms, from sauces to cocktails. If you can handle the strong taste, cranberries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. Not only is vitamin C crucial in collagen synthesis in the skin, but some research also has shown it can help keep your skin hydrated. It’s found commonly in topical anti-aging products.
Just make sure to stick to a form that isn’t loaded with sugar.
OK, so maybe this food isn’t what you were dreaming of indulging in on Turkey Day. But beets are high in fiber, so they might be a good food to start your meal with to help fill you up and keep you from making any unhealthy decisions. Along with vitamin C, this mild-flavored root is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, studies have shown that beetroot juice can help lower blood pressure. Win-win.
3. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is not only delicious but versatile. It can be used in soups, in pastas or just roasted with some spices. This relative of the pumpkin is also high in fiber, which will help with satiety. It’s rich in vitamin A, which supports healthy skin, as well as vitamin C, which helps build collagen. But it’s also an excellent source of beta carotene ― which gives it its robust color. Beta carotene is also an antioxidant, which protects the skin from damage, by helping eliminate free radicals.
Like squash, carrots are also one of the best sources of beta carotene. In fact, beta carotene gets its name from the vegetable. The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A ― retinol, that ingredient found in many anti-aging, wrinkle-smoothing creams, is one form of the vitamin. Not only is it good for your skin, it also helps support your immune system.
You’ll likely find some roasted carrots to go with that roasted turkey and gravy at the dinner table.
5. Sweet Potatoes
If you’re not seeing orange already, this will seal the deal. Another bright-hued food is the sweet potato. While we don’t recommend going for a serving of a sugar-laden sweet potato pie, a smarter option might be roasted sweet potatoes or a sweet potato mash.
Like the other orange veggies on the list, the sweet potato is rich in beta carotene as you may have guessed, along with vitamins A and C. But sweet potato is also rich in copper. Copper helps build collagen, which not only is important for skin’s firmness and elasticity, but for preventing osteoporosis.