Valley Dermatology

4 Thanksgiving Foods that Benefit Skin Health

Don’t forget about your skin’s health when enjoying your Thanksgiving meal this year. You don’t have to limit what you’re eating or make a complicated dish to do that, though. Did you know that there are actually many common Thanksgiving foods that benefit your skin? Below are some skin-friendly Thanksgiving foods to look for this Turkey Day.

4 Thanksgiving Foods that Benefit Skin Health - Valley Derm

Does diet affect your skin?

Yes, what you eat does affect your skin’s health and appearance. How? There are hundreds of steps involved in the cycle of skin renewal, of which the foods you eat are components. Our bodies, especially our skin, are constantly shedding and regrowing. It uses vitamins and nutrients to regenerate, and food is a huge source of vitamins.

Dermatologists report that diet is about 25% of what impact your skin and the formation of acne. It’s not all of it, but that is one full quarter of the factors. Other factors include sleep, water intake, hormones, and stress.

Foods that are good for your skin are usually low-fat and unprocessed. Your whole thanksgiving spread doesn’t have to be this way, but including some of these skin-friendly foods will set you up for success.

#1: Kale is rich in vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for skin health and reducing wrinkles, and kale is packed with it. Just one cup contains more than the daily minimum of skin-firming Vitamin A. The veggie also includes chlorophyll, a molecule that helps carry out toxins from the body.

Kale for skin health

#2: Olive oil is nourishing for your whole body

Olive oil is a healthy fat that contains Vitamin E, which also helps restore skin elasticity. Antioxidants within olive oil can help fight free radical damage. 

Olive oil helps many parts of your skin:

  • It’s anti-inflammatory. Some types of inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and forms of dermatitis could benefit from some enzymes that olive oil has.  Olive oil contains a compound known as oleocanthal, which has been found to stop the activity of two specific enzymes (Cox-1 and Cox-2) at the heart of inflammatory conditions in the body in a similar way as ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.
  • It may protect you from the sun.  Olives and olive oil are packed with antioxidants, the body’s built-in defense against free radicals. These molecules become damaged by sun exposure among other environmental hazards and can affect your skin’s health and appearance. Free radicals damage healthy cells, which can lead to cancerous tumor formation. 
  • It’s anti-aging. Free radicals also lead to a loss of collagen and elastin, two things that keep skin looking healthy. 
  • It’s very moisturizing. Unrefined olive oil is full of inflammation-inhibiting antioxidants, including squalene, an antioxidant known for its skin health benefits as well as its cancer-fighting properties. These antioxidants help repair skin damage, soothe itchy or cracked skin, and help rebuild the skin’s moisture barrier 

When sauteeing anything on Thanksgiving day, or even as an egg replacement in baking, utilize this hearty, skin-friendly oil.

sweet potato skin benefits

#3: Sweet potato is nutritious and delicious

Sweet potato contains vitamins A, E, and C, which are great for the skin. They both promote new skin cell growth. Vitamins E and C are both antioxidants and work in synergy to calm the skin. Vitamin A comes from beta-carotene, which converts into Vitamin A from provitamin A. Carotenoids like beta-carotene help keep your skin healthy by acting as a natural sunblock.

The starch is also a great source of fiber, which is good for digestion. Anything that is good for digestion is great at reducing the chance of breakouts.

#4: Include walnuts in your snack board

Walnuts are full of essential fatty acids, which are fats that your body cannot make itself. They’re rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats reduce inflammation in your body, including your skin. Anything that reduces inflammation is great for your skin, as it’s one of the first places you can notice it in your body.

Walnuts also contain more skin-friendly nutrients:

  • Zinc. One ounce (28 grams) of walnuts contains 8% of the daily value of zinc. Zinc is essential for your skin to function properly as a barrier. It’s also necessary for wound healing and combating both bacteria and inflammation.
  • Vitamin E. Like many other foods that are good for your skin, walnuts contain Vitamin E.
  • Selenium. On top of fighting free radicals, selenium ensures skin remains firm and protected. It also helps to protect cell membranes against UV damage, inflammation, and pigmentation.

A dermatologist can recommend what diet will benefit your skin. If you want to learn more, talk to us.