Fall and early winter bring us a bounty of colorful, delicious and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. This holiday season, focus on boosting your radiance with this season’s peak nutrition offerings. Below are some of our favorites, paired with delicious recipes you can try this holiday season.
Sweet potatoes are chockfull of vitamins A and C, two of the most essential nutrients for youthfully vibrant skin. Together, they help stimulate collagen and renew skin cells. Vitamin A is even known to manage oil production while thwarting dryness, which helps promote ideally balanced, clear and healthy-looking skin.
Often confused with sweet potatoes, yams are a beauty food in their own right thanks to a substance called diosgenin, which has been studied as both an anti-aging and anti-inflammatory compound. This means stronger, smoother, calmer skin.
It’s virtually impossible to think about the holidays without visualizing a cornucopia basket full of squash! As a general rule of thumb, orange and yellow foods are rich in skin-loving nutrients—and squash provides plenty, particularly Vitamins A and C (like sweet potatoes). This means you get the collagen stimulation as well as antioxidant protection to help impede the manifestation of wrinkles and dark spots.
Acorn squash also contains iron, which helps strengthen hair and nails, as well as niacin, a mineral known to assist with DNA repair. Another way to get glossy, thick locks is to eat butternut squash, which possesses B-complex vitamins, omega-3s, iron and Vitamin E—all of which help nourish the scalp and hair follicles.
Pumpkins are loved as holiday décor but the best way to enjoy this classic fall vegetable is to eat them. Pumpkins are one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, the compound your body converts to Vitamin A to help renew cells to keep your skin looking clarified, firm and luminous.
And don’t throw out the seeds! They’re loaded with zinc, which also plays a role in skin renewal and helps defend skin from infections (a deficiency is also linked with acne).
Try: Raw Pumpkin Pie
It might take some work to unearth the fruit, but pomegranates are worth the effort: they’re a bona fide beauty food. The little red kernels contain phenolic compounds that help obstruct enzymes that break down collagen, while a host of other nutrients like vitamin E offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits.
Known as a great detoxifying food, beets also contain nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron and vitamins A, B and C. Magnesium, specifically, is credited with helping protect your skin against allergies and eczema flare-ups.
Figs are a delicious treat during the fall and winter. The seedy, fleshy fruit is full of skin-rejuvenating vitamins B and C and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as moisturizing and reinforcing omega-3 acids.
Try: Healthy Fig Newtons
Even though you snack on apples during any other season, apples are especially juicy and delicious in the fall. Try seasonal varieties such as Honeycrisps for a sweeter way to consume antioxidants, which help protect your skin from the aging effects of environmental damage. (Psst, most of the apple’s antioxidants are in the peel, so snack on those too if you can.)