Thanksgiving is upon us! Every fourth Thursday of November is a day for us to throw dietary caution to the wind, pile our plates high and enjoy all the season has to offer. Beside the fact that gravy is delicious and we wait all year for mom’s special green bean casserole (that you just can’t seem to replicate in your own kitchen with the same three ingredients), there’s another reason you’ll want to indulge this year.
Turns out, our favorite Thanksgiving foods are packed with vitamins and minerals our bodies love. From antioxidant-rich cranberry, to vitamin-packed pumpkin, explore our guide to Thanksgiving beauty hacks and get in there for seconds!
Do carrots get the credit they deserve? Sure, they’re great with hummus and are an easy snack to throw in your bag during a busy morning, but did you know that they’re also full of vitamins? Carrots contain vitamin E, which is known for its antioxidative properties.
They also contain beta carotene, which is converted in the body to vitamin A. And vitamin A is excellent for helping you maintain a properly functioning immune system.
The point? Looking good is kind of a moot point when you don’t feel good, and keeping things together outside only works if things inside are in proper working order.
Apples with cinnamon not only give you something to do with all those apples you picked (and Instagrammed), but they give your home that great “fall smell” when you serve them as a warm Thanksgiving side.
While you enjoy the scent of cinnamon in the air, you can also enjoy the nutritional benefits.
Cinnamon contains antioxidants like polyphenols, which contain anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatories are essential to proper skin health, so a dash of cinnamon with your apple pie certainly can’t hurt.
You may think of cranberries only in their Thanksgiving form: little circular slices dumped out of a can and called a side. In their natural form, however, cranberries are health powerhouses with numerous benefits for the body.
When it comes to skincare in particular, cranberries seem to provide many benefits because like cinnamon, they’re a rich source of polyphenols. Polyphenols have been shown to contain antibacterial, antiviral, antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. So go ahead, cover your plate with cranberry sauce and enjoy the nutritional benefits.
Carrots aren’t the only orange superfood to grace the Thanksgiving table. Sweet potatoes, while boasting the ability to effortlessly switch between both savory and sweet, are great for our beauty routines.
Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin C, which not only works its magic on your skin, but also benefits the hair. Vitamin C is an essential component to collagen production, which hair needs in order to appear healthy and lustrous.
Pro tip: bake your sweet potatoes with cinnamon. You’ll thank us later.
Along with keeping your hair looking full, sweet potatoes help keep it looking radiant thanks to the healthy dose of beta-carotene they give the body when eaten. When ingested, beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A, which is a necessary component for cell growth.
Vitamin A has also been shown to contain certain photoprotective properties, which may help fight off those pesky UV rays that age our skin as we get older.
Every family does Thanksgiving a little differently, but the main attraction is always the turkey.
Famous for its lean properties and the fact that it couples perfectly with gravy, turkey does more for us than make a great Thanksgiving leftover. Turkey contains a mineral called selenium which is an essential nutrient for humans
Turkey is also a high-protein food, which is an important component of our diets to keep us feeling — and looking — healthy. Research shows that dietary protein deficiency results in everything from a weakened immune system to weakened bones and muscles, so feel free to gobble down all the delicious turkey you can handle, especially if you — like us — will be hitting the gym to burn off some of these post-Thanksgiving dinner coma calories.
While pumpkin pie may not be a ranking member of any “healthiest foods” lists, pumpkin seeds are a different story. These little guys are full of omega-6 fatty acids, which can help lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol.
Pumpkin itself — part of the stuff in your delicious dessert pie — is also a great source of fiber.
But what does that mean for your beauty? Well, believe it or not, fiber has been shown to promote weight loss and dietary adherence in people who are trying to lose weight.
So, if you’re worried about packing on the pounds this holiday season, pumpkin may be a great way to help keep those calories in check!
No matter how you indulge this Thanksgiving, remember that another part of taking care of yourself is letting loose every once in a while. Given the many nutritional benefits that the Thanksgiving table delivers, we encourage you all to dive in for seconds!