Eat This. Not That! Holiday Meal Tips For Your Skin

Turkey and stuffing and gravy OHH MY! The holidays are a time for family, being grateful, and stuffing our faces with all the good things coming out of the kitchen. But did you know that what you eat affects your outsides and insides? That’s right. What you eat affects how your skin looks and feels, which could mean disaster for those family photos if you’re not careful. So, what do you do? Read on and I’ll tell you what you should eat a little less of and what you can eat without fear of a holiday breakout.

Foods to watch out for at the dinner table

Here is a short list of the most common culprits at the dinner table this holiday season. It’s best to consider your skin’s health when evaluating if something is a no go for you. Some of these might be fine in moderation if you are not prone to breakouts. For those that have a bit of a battle when it comes to acne, pay close attention.

Foods with a high glycemic index

Foods with a high glycemic index, such as white bread, white pasta, and potatoes, can wreak havoc on your skin because they can contribute to inflammation and insulin spikes, which lead to breakouts. Other foods such as refined carbs, cookies, bagels, and other processed foods are also culprits in this area.

Fatty Meats

Fatty meats or meats with nitrates are as notorious for causing inflammation as your Uncle Ronny is for flopping down on the couch and sleeping the rest of the day after eating 3rd helpings of Thanksgiving dinner. These kinds of meats are also known for their high salt content, which could lead to premature aging or drying out of your skin.

Spicy Foods

For people with sensitive skin or prone to rosacea, spicy foods could cause a flare-up because of the acidic lycopene found in most spicy foods. In addition, eating spicy foods causes our body temperature to go up, which kicks in other bodily functions, like sweating, which then triggers the oils in our skin to be released. When oil is released on top of dirty skin, the dirt and bacteria get trapped and cause a breakout.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners get a bad rap because they can cause inflammation, acne breakouts, or even block our pores when we sweat. In addition, artificial sweaters can contribute to acne breakouts by causing the hormones in your body to be out of balance.

Now, none of this is to say that you have to avoid these foods at all costs or risk a breakout; be mindful of how much you take in and balance it with food that is considered better for your skin. Speaking of which, let’s get into the foods that are better for your skin.

Better food choices for your skin

Now that we’ve gotten the unpleasantness of the “don’t eat this” out of the way, it’s time to look at foods that you can eat without worry. Here are some foods you should consider adding an extra helping to your plate at the family dinner this year.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish, like salmon and mackerel, are ideal for healthy-looking skin because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the skin thick and moisturized, as well as help reduce inflammation.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has flavanols which can help protect your skin against sun damage. It’s also been known to help reduce dark spots and prevent premature aging. Some have recommended that you consume around one to two ounces per day to help keep your skin healthy (that’s a prescription you don’t have to twist your arm to fill).

Green Tea

Green tea has polyphenols, which means it’s an antioxidant and helps fight against inflammation. Drinking green tea will help flush out toxins in your body and keep your skin supple. If you don’t like the flavor of green tea, pop a few tea bags in the fridge for 15 minutes and put them under your eyes to help reduce puffiness and dark circles.


Broccoli has zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C, all of which help to keep your skin looking healthy. In addition, the floret part of the broccoli (or as my mom used to call it, the trees part) has sulforaphane which protects against sun damage and some believe it to have anti-cancer effects on some types of skin cancer.

This holiday season, be mindful of your body and what you eat at that family dinner. If you keep things in moderation and balance your plate with delicious and healthy foods, your skin will thank you.

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