Resisting the temptation of your favorite treats is already difficult to begin with, and now, with the holiday season finally here, the struggle becomes all the more real. While it can be difficult, it’s important to be mindful with the sweets you consume during these next couple of weeks as certain foods can affect your body in more ways than one.
Aside from the ways your holiday diet can affect your blood pressure and waist size, it can also alter the state of your skin. Let’s take a closer look:
6 Holiday Foods to Eat More & Less Of
Holiday foods can influence the state of your skin in both good and bad ways so it’s critical to be considerate of consumption. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways certain holiday foods can influence your skin’s health:
Holiday Foods to Eat More Of:
As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! But did you know that they also help keep the wrinkles away? Apples have high antioxidant activity, containing large amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A— both of which work to speed cell regeneration, reduce acne, and brighten skin tone. In fact, research shows that one apple can contribute to 5% of a woman’s daily requirements of vitamin A, meaning building healthy skin and maintaining a bright, beautiful glow can be simple. Needless to say, don’t shy away from this fruit/ingredient, especially this holiday season!
Holiday Health Hack: Antioxidants like vitamin A tend to be a common ingredient in many popular anti-aging treatments due to their effectiveness in combating signs of aging. Retinoid products, for instance, are specifically designed to increase collagen production and stimulate blood vessels of the skin, helping to plump and improve skin tone. That being said, consuming an apple a day, in conjunction with a retinoid anti-aging cream, is a sure-fire way to preserve your youthful-looking complexion throughout the holidays and beyond.
Turkey is a great source of protein— a macronutrient that your body needs to build and repair bones, muscles, cartilage, and of course, the skin! Beyond the obvious, however, this savory holiday food also contains a high concentration of zinc, which makes it easy to keep your skin supple and smooth throughout the holidays. Zinc is a mineral that is responsible for maintaining the body’s natural elastin fibers and collagen production. Keeping this in mind, the more turkey you eat this holiday season, the more likely you are to maintain a smooth, supple complexion throughout the holidays and beyond.
Holiday Health Hack: Although light and dark turkey meat are both rich in vitamins and minerals, dark meat tends to be slightly richer in zinc, so be sure to take advantage of the dark meat being served to you throughout the holidays if and when you can!
Cranberries aren’t only a lovely addition for your holiday homemade jam, they’re also great for your skin! Specifically, this superfruit works to combat signs of aging by fighting off free-radicals that are responsible for dry, dull, saggy skin. As if that wasn’t reason enough to indulge, cranberries also have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the appearance of bumps and blemishes. So, be sure to take advantage of this holiday sweet while you can. After all, the more, the merrier the holiday season (and skin) will be!
Holiday Health Hack: To reap all the benefits cranberries have to offer, you can take your indulgence one step further by applying the fruit topically to your skin. Whether you create a DIY mask with the ingredients you have at home or purchase your very own cranberry-formulated skincare products, there are a variety of ways you can take advantage of this holiday food!
Holiday Foods to Eat Less Of:
The delicious taste of eggnog is something we cherish this time of year and there’s no denying how yummy this holiday drink can be. However, consuming too much of it can wreak havoc on your skin. This relates back to a number of common ingredients that are found in eggnog. Saturated fats, for example, can be inflammation-inducing to the skin, and can cause puffiness to occur. Along with this, dairy— another main ingredient found in eggnog— can be responsible for speeding up oil production in the body. As a result, your body and skin naturally produce more sebum (oil), which can lead to clogged pores and cause breakouts to appear.
Holiday Health Hack: It should go without saying but remember to be gracious of your eggnog intake. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this not-so-healthy seasonal drink at all, it just means that it’s not a drink that should accompany every meal. Instead, try to limit yourself to one to two cups of this drink per week. Additionally, consider replacing your beloved glass of eggnog with another festive drink, such as a cup of hot chocolate made with a plant-based milk alternative and dark chocolate. This way, you can still taste the holiday season, without endangering the state of your skin.
5. Baked Goods
From beautifully decorated sugar cookies, to festive homemade pies, there’s nothing that helps us get into the holiday spirit more than our seasonal baked goods. This is why many of us tend to overindulge during this time, leading to negative changes in our skin. Due to the large amounts of sugar that go into making these treats, glycation tends to occur within our bodies. Glycation is what happens when sugar binds to lipids, proteins, and other molecules in the body. In turn, this causes our skin cells to not function properly and create free-radicals, which can then lead to acne.
Holiday Health Hack: Baked goods created with white flour and white sugar can lead to inflammation triggers and cause acne to occur. For this reason, it may be a good idea to swap out some of your traditional ingredients with healthier alternatives like brown sugar and wheat or oat flour instead. Small swaps like these may not seem impactful, but these adjustments can make all the difference in the world when it comes to maintaining healthy skin during the holidays.
Celebratory gatherings with your loved ones can be a hoot, especially when there is drinking involved. And let’s face it, when alcohol gets mixed into social events, losing control is practically effortless as it only takes one drink to send us over the edge. But, a painful hangover isn’t the only consequence to beware of. You must also beware of the effects it can have on your skin. Alcohol takes moisture out of the skin and causes dehydration to occur. Not only that, but it can also inflame the tissue and cause systemic inflammation of the skin, which can ultimately create a histamine reaction— or redness and flushing of the skin. Having said this, be extra careful of consumption during this time.
Holiday Health Hack: You don’t have to celebrate the holidays entirely sober if you don’t want to. You can easily prevent the negative effects of alcohol on your skin by pairing every alcoholic beverage you have with at least one glass of water. This will give you a chance to rehydrate your body throughout the holiday festivities and stop any inflammation from occurring–not to mention keep you from experiencing that painful holiday hangover the next day!
Make no mistake, there is nothing wrong with indulging in all of the deliciousness the holidays have to offer. You can still experience all of your favorite meals, treats, and scrumptious season drinks without having to sacrifice the state of your skin. As long as you practice mindful eating during this time, you’ll be able to find a balance between holiday fun, healthy living, and most importantly, vibrant-looking skin.
Also read “Yoga Poses to Reduce Holiday Stress“