Nutrition Edit

Skin-glowing foods to enjoy during the festive season

6th Dec 2022

It’s no secret that the festive season comes with indulgent, delicious foods that can make it a bit trickier to be healthy this time of year. The good news is there are many traditional foods that should be your first choice which are full of goodness and skin-glowing ingredients. This means you’ll be looking your best and still enjoying your favourite festive treats. Here are skin researchers recommend six festive food staples containing vitamin AVitamin Czinc, selenium, antioxidant, and omega 3 that should be at the top of your recipe list. 

Brussel sprouts 

I know not everyone's favourite, but our skin researchers recommend making brussels sprouts your vegetable of choice this season. Brussel sprouts are full of goodness, and high in vitamin C – your collagen friend. It’s also an antioxidant that is involved in skin tissue repair and helps to support immune function***. Furthermore, their high fibre content means they keep you feeling full for longer - avoiding the temptation of too many sugary treats later. Excess sugar can damage collagen and make lines and wrinkles appear more visible. Additionally, if you don’t eat fish or seafood – consuming omega-3 can be a challenge. That’s why this nutritious vegetable comes in handy as – as it also contains omega-3 fatty acids, helping calm reactive, red skin.

Carrots

Another vegetable full of vitamin C are carrots, they are also an excellent source of beta-carotene the precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin C promotes collagen production* - key for a youthful-looking and energised skin. Vitamin A also comes with many skin-centric benefits. It supports healthy skin cells within the body and supports the production of new skin cells**.

Carrots are also versatile - it can be eaten either raw or cooked, depending on your preference. You can add carrots into your meals during the festivities by grating them in a salad, as a snack dipped in hummus, steam them and add them to main meals or add them to a healthy and hearty soup. Did you know steaming and boiling carrots releases more antioxidants – carrot soup is our nutritionist's favourite! 

Turkey

Rich in protein and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, turkey should be enjoyed over the festive period, guilt-free. It also contains zinc and selenium –both skin-loving minerals. Zinc has been linked to helping support common skin concerns such as problem-prone or stressed skin. Selenium, the beauty goddess, helps to support luscious, thick hair**** and nails****.

Prawns

Prawns are a great source of beneficial fats and a tasty choice to have in salads or as a starter before your main meal. Prawns contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have a host of benefits, especially for the skin. Omega 3 fatty acids protect skin by supporting the skin’s barrier function as well as helping reduce inflammation [1]. 

Chestnuts 

Roasted chestnuts - a Christmas tradition. They contain an array of antioxidants, which can help protect your skin from free radicals. They are full of fibre, which is excellent nourishment for the bacteria in your gut, supporting your skin microbiome and helping with weight management. Continue with the Christmas tradition and cook them with stuffing, add to soups and stews for a delicious nutty flavour.

Fermented cranberry sauce

Top off your Christmas dinner with a delicious fermented cranberry sauce. Making cranberry sauce from fresh rather than buying a jar from the supermarket is a much healthier alternative with less sugar and fewer calories. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria to help support digestion. Our overall gut health is very close linked to skin health. When the gut microbiome is imbalanced with too much bad bacteria, this can result in skin concerns, such as problem skin.

For a glowing complexion this festive season, feeding the skin with a diet rich in vitamins A, C, zinc, selenium, antioxidant, and omega 3 acids are essential. Enjoy your festive feasts guilt-free with these skin-glowing ingredients for a complete head to toe skin glow.

Sources: 

1. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: photoprotective macronutrients. National Library of Medicine. Suzanne M Pilkington 1, Rachel E B Watson, Anna Nicolaou, Lesley E. 2020.

*Vitamin C contributes to the normal production of collagen**Vitamin A contribute to the normal function of skin***Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system.****Selenium contributes to maintenance of normal hair and normal nails.