Chestnuts. Whether you roast them over an open fire or in an oven, chestnuts are good for your skin. Unlike other nuts, they’re packed with Vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant that can prevent redness and inflammation and slow the signs of aging.
Santa My mom always tucked an orange into the toe of my stocking for Christmas morning, so I always associate citrus with the holidays. (Even my go-to recipe for turkey requires an orange and a lemon.) But citrus is also bursting with Vitamin C, has astringent and exfoliating properties, and obvious aromatherapy benefits.
Brussels sprouts. Love them or hate them, these little mini cabbages are packed with vitamins (including the important Vitamin C). And like other cruciferous veggies (broccoli is one, too), they contain beta-carotene, which boosts the skin’s ability to repair itself, and may even protect against sun damage.
Ginger. This one is a bit of a cheat, since most of us eat ginger in the form of gingerbread or ginger snaps, which is…not very healthy. But in its more natural form, the spicy little ingredient is a potent antioxidant, and its anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular ingredient for acne treatments.
Green beans. Sure, they’re not all that healthy when they’re topped with all kinds of things in a casserole, but green beans contain lutein, beta carotene, and other substances with anti-aging properties, plus antioxidants.
Honey. Not just for sweetening your tea, the sticky stuff is also a sweet treat for your skin. Since ancient times, it has been used in a variety of ways for its ability to heal and moisturize skin. Honey has natural antibacterial properties, and ancient Egyptian Queen Cleopatra added it to her bath water to smooth and moisturize her skin.
Pomegranate. This beautiful ruby-colored fruit is also a favorite New Year food, and it’s packed with polyphenols—antioxidants that are also in red wine—that help your skin repair itself. Pomegranate also boosts circulation and has protective properties.
Pumpkin. Pumpkin (and in fact just about all kinds of squash) is great for your skin. It has skin healing, moisturizing, and brightening benefits, making it one of the most powerful skin treatments that makes its way to your holiday table.
Rosemary. Like other evergreen trees, shrubs, and herbs, rosemary is a potent skincare ingredient, boosting circulation (which helps with complexion-clearing), and also helping to tone and firm the skin. The savory herb also helps reduce puffiness.
Sweet potatoes. OK, so they’re not particularly healthy when they’re topped with brown sugar or marshmallows, but these orange root veggies contain lots of beta carotene to help keep your skin moisturized and protect against sun damage.
Your holidays just might get a little bit happier—or at least, your skin might be—if these foods make their way onto your dinner table. Bon appetit! —Aleigh