The holiday season is a minefield of nutritional disasters waiting to happen. Fried or processed food, and even dairy can wreak havoc on your skin. However, not everything that is going to show up the holiday feast table is taboo. We spoke to Seattle-based Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Ginger Hultin about which foods you should be reaching for this holiday season to ensure glowing skin by New Year’s Eve.
Vitamin C is a precursor to collagen, vital for skin elasticity and healing. Mandarins and other citrus fruits are a perfect snack during the holidays. They are full of vitamin C, which supports your skin and immune system.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for health because these good fats incorporate into every cell, including skin cells. They boast anti-inflammatory properties and support skin health.
Packed with B vitamins as well as the antioxidant vitamin E, fresh spinach is a skin-supporting leafy green. Think beyond rich, holiday spinach recipes and create a yummy winter salad instead.
Another vitamin C-packed food, cranberries contain flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which have proven to provide a number of potential health benefits. Keep in mind that since cranberries are tart, they are often accompanied by sugar so experiment with 100% pure cranberry juice mixed with soda water or a lower-sugar cranberry sauce this season.
Antioxidants called carotenoids have been shown in some studies to support skin health. One specific carotenoid, B-carotene, has shown the most promise. Butternut squash is particularly rich in this compound so make sure to include it in your holiday menu planning. Bonus: Squash is also high in fiber and immune-boosting minerals.
Ginger Hultin, MS RDN CD SCO
Ginger Hultin is an Arivale Coach and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is board-certified in oncology nutrition and also holds specialty certifications in weight management, personal training and group fitness. She contributes regularly to Today’s Dietitian and Food & Nutrition magazines. She is the current chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group and past president of the Chicago Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Ginger enjoys traveling, cooking, blogging, skiing and trying new local restaurants.