Food is, undoubtedly, one of the best things about fall. Every year, as the leaves begin to turn, it’s finally time to start bringing out the heartier and warmer dishes that usually include at least a few root vegetables. Bet you didn’t know that many of these falls foods, which are often brightly colored, are full of beneficial vitamins, carotenoids, and other things that give you gorgeous, glowing skin. If you’ve feared preparing squash or looked past beets, now is definitely the time to give these delicious fall treats a try.
Cinnamon is just the tops, isn’t it? Nothing gives you that fall feeling like the scent of cinnamon wafting through your home. But did you know that eating it can actually have some skin-saving benefits too? Yup, this tasty spice happens to be a great anti-inflammatory agent (Food Chemistry), but that’s not all it does. It might also help stop the glycation process by lowering blood sugar. Basically, when you eat too much sugar, it can cause your skin to age by hardening collagen, making skin look thinner and saggy (Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery).
I just love the tart taste of these little guys. More than adding a little zing to your baked goods, these guys are packed full of free-radical scavenging antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, that make them anti-carcinogenic (Natual Product Radiance; Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry). And, even better, these delicious little nibbles have the perfect one-to-one ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with a nice dose of omega-9 (Journal of Argicultural and Food Chemistry). Finally, on the anti-aging front, they have been shown to inhibit matrix metalloproteinases that cause the degradation of collagen (Molecular Nutrition and Food Science).
3. Sweet Potatoes
Thanks to loads of carotenoids — the vitamins that give sweet potatoes their beautiful orange coloring — sweet potatoes are one of the best foods for your skin. In particular, they come loaded with vitamin C (U.S. News). As it turns out, noshing on these foods can do your skin good. Several studies have found that women with plenty of vitamin C in their skin have less premature skin aging than women who don’t (Experimental Dermatology; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
Um, YUM! This jewel-toned fruit is a treasure trove of vitamin C, which has an absolute ton of benefits. In addition to the anti-aging benefits listed above, it also helps to reduce the nasty, damaging effects of UV radiation (particularly when paired with best bud vitamin E, also found in pomegranates) (British Journal of Dermatology). In fact, when it comes to actually going into skin care, pomegranate is considered one of the most important bontanicals for dermatologic and cosmeceutical products (ChemTech).
Sqaush should definitely be on your menu this upcoming fall. Thanks to vitamin A and omega-3s, squash is one of the best acne-fighting foods of fall (Health). In one 2006 study, researchers found that acne sufferers had lower blood plasma concentrations of vitamin A and E in their skin than their acne-free counterparts. Researchers found that supplementing vitamin A and E in these patients helped to improve acne symptoms (Experimental Dermatology). And because some researchers believe that an imbalance of omega-3 and -6s (in favor of 6s) is responsible for acne, eating more omega-3-rich foods could help clear up your skin (Archives of Dermatology).
Q: Why did people dance at the farmers market? A: Because he had some great beets. Sorry — I couldn’t resist! But seriously, beets are pretty much awesome. Rich in vitamins and carotenoids, these are a regular antioxidant machine. But that’s not the only reason they’re included on this list. Beets, or beetroots, are a good source of natural nitrates, which increase nitric oxide in blood vessels, allowing them to open, leading to more oxygen flow (European Journal of Applied Physiology; Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). More oxygen flow in your body means more oxygen flow to your skin, which is definitely something you want. And you don’t necessarily have to eat beets to reap the benefits — beet juice will do!
There are foods to love at every season, and fall happens to be a really great one. Cinnamon, cranberries, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, squash, and beets are just some of the scrumptious foods that give you beautiful skin in the fall. If you’re looking to make skin-saving meals this fall, remember to keep them rich in color with additions like these veggies and spice, and your skin will thank you!
Contributing author: Natalie Bell