Every day is a good day to give thanks for the people, events, and possessions in our lives that bring us stability and happiness, but Thanksgiving is an especially fitting time to reflect on our blessings. It is a day when family and friends gather together to enjoy each other’s company and feast on a bountiful meal.

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Skin-Friendly Thanksgiving Foods

Turkey rules the day at most Thanksgiving celebrations around the country, and a raft of side dishes and desserts act as compliments. The food is not only enjoyable, it can offer distinct health benefits. Even your skin can benefit from carefully chosen Thanksgiving staples. Here’s a closer look at some of the stars of the Thanksgiving meal and the ways they can enhance your body’s largest organ—the skin:

  • Turkey – This Thanksgiving staple is rich in the mineral zinc, which increases the skin’s ability to synthesize collagen to keep the skin firm.
  • Cranberries – Cranberries outrank most fruits and vegetables in antioxidants, which are essential in neutralizing cell-damaging free radicals. They help in making the skin smooth and may guard against acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Sweet potatoes – These root vegetables are an important source of vitamin A, which promotes the growth of new skin cells. The fiber in sweet potatoes helps clean out the digestive track and may reduce acne breakouts.
  • Pumpkin – These cultivars of squash plants are loaded with the strong antioxidant beta-carotene that prevents wrinkles and helps keep the skin moisturized.
  • Red wine – Red wine is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and resveratrol, which contribute to the slowing of the aging process.

Bad for the Skin

Not everything on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table is good for your skin. The following items should be avoided because of the negative impact they could have on your skin:

  • Candy – People love sweet treats but many are not aware that they may contribute to skin breakouts. Candy is high in sugar, which can decrease the production of collagen and elastin that keep the skin smooth, firm, and clear.
  • Chips – These favorite finger foods are packed full of refined carbohydrates, a contributor to acne and premature skin aging.

While Thanksgiving often seems to be all about the food, remember that the primary purpose of the day is to express gratitude and enjoy relationships. Food can add additional sparkle. Choose wisely at the dinner table. Eat modestly and opt for foods that will benefit your overall health, including the quality of your skin.