Eating healthy is on everyone’s mind lately, but did you realize that the Thanksgiving meal is more than just turkey and might actually be beneficial to your skin as well as to your body? As a matter of fact, many components in the traditional Thanksgiving meal, the very same yummy culinary constituents on your dinner plate, include ingredients that can give you a beautiful glow for the holiday season. Catching up on your Z’s while your stomach works overtime to process your turkey dinner may actually help your skin. Let us tell you why you may not want to skip out on your second helping this year!
Starting with the star of Thanksgiving, the turkey is what makes our American Thanksgiving so unique. All the slices of turkey we consume can catch up to us fairly quickly, leaving us feeling like we have to take a little snooze before even the pumpkin pie is served. But there is a scientific reason for this. Did you know that turkey contains a good dose of an amino acid called tryptophan? Tryptophan is believed to be the culprit that causes this drowsiness post meal, but this vitamin precursor has other positive effects as well. The tryptophan in turkey gets converted to a vitamin B called niacin. Niacin is a key player in digestion and skin health. Niacin and its alkaline form niacinamide are tremendously healthy for the skin. When taken daily, it can protect against UV damage from sun and may even help to reverse photodamage. It is also a well-known supplement for acne control in prescription brands like Nicomide® and NicAzel®. This powerful B vitamin is found not only in many vitamin supplements to improve skin health, but is also a very important component in topical skin products like NIA-24®. Dr. Honet often recommends NIA-24®, Nicomide®, and NicAzel® for our patients. The healthy wonders of turkey don’t stop at niacin though. It also contains small amounts of minerals like selenium and zinc, which increase cells’ and tissues’ abilities to repair and grow.
Let’s move onto the side dishes, shall we? As we gaze at all the yummy dishes that embellish the festive table, let’s not forget the ones that flaunt the vibrant colors of the season. Heralding the beautiful colors of autumn, delicious dishes made of green beans, pumpkins, squash, cranberries, nuts, and eggs are packed full of nutrients. Each of these ingredients contain antioxidants that are beneficial to your skin and general health. Green beans contain Vitamin C, a key player in skincare. Vitamin C is capable of negating the effects of toxins, oxidation, and sun damage. These processes boost collagen production in the skin, allowing for a brighter glowing complexion. Many of our patients are recommended to use Citrix C®, which is all about the power of Vitamin C. Pumpkins contain Vitamin C as well as Vitamin A. This powerful antioxidant duo minimizes the damaging effects of the rays of the sun, while drawing water into the surface of the skin and allowing for the reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Cranberries contain multiple beneficial antioxidant properties, improving the elasticity of skin and increasing cell turnover. Pecans and walnuts are chock full of healthful benefits, like the super-healthy polyunsaturated fats that can lower “bad” cholesterol, and numerous minerals and vitamins, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, melatonin, and vitamins A, B, and E. Additionally, the antioxidants and proteins in eggs allow for increased hydration while tightening and firming the skin
Finally, whatever is your favorite part of your Thanksgiving meal, definitely don’t forget the red wine. Red wine has a terrific component that benefits the skin and heart health. The outer skins and peels of grapes and berries, including cranberries, contain a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols, of which the key player is the powerhouse resveratrol. Studies have shown that polyphenols have acne-fighting, anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anti-aging effects. So if you’re of legal age, take a few sips of some fine red wine this holiday season to get the glow on the inside and out.
At HDC, we have plenty to be thankful for this year, from our wonderful patients to our friends and family, near and far. We hope you enjoy this very special holiday and especially enjoy the healthy benefits of your Thanksgiving feast! From our HDC family to yours, we wish you a very Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!
-Senada and Dr. H
Read more about healthy foods and skin in Dr. Honet’s August 19, 2016 blog post “You Are What You Eat or Are You? Top 10 Superfoods to Glowing Skin”.