This season, as with previous holiday seasons, we are probably going to be confronted with tables set with all sorts of delicious and enticing foods, and we are probably not going to be able to resist those large servings and second helpings. Here are a few tips on what to go for, what can help your skin, and what to avoid.
Go for the foods that are heavy with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they neutralize the free radicals produced in your body. If cells in your body become damaged by these free radicals, they can behave or grow abnormally which, in turn, can lead to health problems and cancers. Eating foods that are loaded with antioxidants can aid in preventing cancer. Also, antioxidants can remove toxins from your system which can help with weight loss, and enhance your energy levels. A diet rich in antioxidants can reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease, as well as boost your immune system. Cells destroyed by free radicals can make the skin and hair age faster making them appear more dull, but by neutralizing the free radicals with antioxidants and flushing out the toxins, your hair can rediscover its healthy shine and your skin can look (and feel) brighter and younger.
So, what are the antioxidant rich foods that you should be heading for this season?
Artichokes: also good for liver, are a low calorie food and high in vitamins.
Beans: Red and Kidney are at the top of the antioxidant chart. Black beans are also great. Chow down on some chili!
Cranberries: winter fruit highest in antioxidants, also loaded with plenty of other nutrients.
Pecans: superstar, but not in a pie. Choose them in almost any other way – without all the added sugar.
Prunes: 2 kinds of antioxidants inside, one that fights fats and cholesterol and one that fights free radicals.
Apples: Red Delicious and Granny Smith to be specific. Galas are good too. Must eat the skin to get the full effect!
Cloves: have a mild anti-inflammatory effect as well. Oregano and cinnamon are great antioxidant rich spices, too!
Dark Chocolate: one square a day… YUM!
Teas: Oolong, black and green all have the same amounts of antioxidants, but are just processed differently. But choose vegetables and fruits first as they offer other nutrients as well.
Now that you know what to go for, maybe a quick list of the things you ought to avoid isn’t a bad idea. After all, we really don’t need the extra calories because unnecessary calories lead to stress and stress leads to wrinkles… and we all know that story.
But for the sake of not ruining anyone’s holidays with a grim list of all the calorie and fat filled, delicious and terribly-bad-for-you holiday foods we are all looking forward to, we’ll just touch on a few of the most common and leave it as ‘food for thought’.
Eggnog: too many calories and fat, very little to no nutritional value at all.
Creamed Vegetables: spinach and artichoke dip, cheesy broccoli or cauliflower, all have too much saturated fat and calories and basically ‘ruin’ potentially nutrition rich options.
Fruitcake: loaded with butter and sugar and not enough fruit to keep it anywhere near healthy.
Pecan Pie: way too much sugar, butter, corn syrup to justify eating antioxidant rich pecans in this way. A handful of pecans is a far better choice, and if you need a slice of something sweet, a slice of pumpkin pie has about half the calories and fat.
Mashed Potato with Gravy: too many calories! You could eat a baked sweet potato, 8 new potatoes and an ear of corn and take in almost the same number of calories – but you’ll get double the food and more diversity on your plate and palate. Another alternative is to use vegetable oil spread instead of butter and non-fat milk for heavy cream when whipping this dish up at home.
Pot Roast: white meat turkey or even lean beef tenderloin is a healthier alternative with fewer calories and less fat
Candied Yams: sweet potatoes are a superfood, but not when loaded with all that sugar.
Cranberry Sauce: typical canned varieties have over FOUR times the recommended daily amount of sugar for women! Make it fresh!
Dark Meat Turkey with Skin: has more calories and 3x more fat than white meat without skin. Get in line first, ditch the skin, and go for the white meat!
Here’s some great news though: Red Grapes are high in antioxidants, and that means that red wine can be a nice choice these holidays – and any occasion you opt for. Red wine may boost heart health, has no fats, and often has fewer calories than a cappuccino. The antioxidants in wine soak up the free radicals that damage the skin and result in aging. This reduces the fine lines and gives your skin a better glow. One glass of wine a day has been long touted as providing various health benefits… Aren’t the holidays a perfect time to explore that?!
So, despite the list of delicious dishes that we should do our best to avoid, at least there are plenty of great, antioxidant rich foods we can look forward to and steer towards. Eating a diet loaded with antioxidants this holiday season, and throughout the year, can be life changing. Through small changes in our diet, we can help our bodies fight against cancers, heart disease and diabetes, and we can boost our immune systems and even increase our energy. Our skin will glow and we can have a more youthful appearance – and even shinier hair. These changes will need time and consistency to be effective. In the meantime, if you want to see better changes to your skin starting overnight, try our SilcSkin décolleté pads for the chest and facial pads for the fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth and forehead. You wear them while you sleep, which means you rest while we get to work. A diet filled with antioxidants to make you healthy and more youthful on the inside, and a SilcSkin skin treatment to jump start your youthful, glowing skin on the outside. It’s the perfect gift to yourself.
Happy Holidays from all of us at SilcSkin. We hope 2014 is a smooth, wonderful and healthy year for you!