Thanksgiving is the one meal of the year where we’re actually encouraged to indulge — when it’s okay to wear elastic-waist pants to the dinner table, and to get second (and third) helpings. That said, this is one meal that can be about more than just calories: Thanksgiving features tons of vitamin-packed foods that can do wonders for your skin and hair.
So, fill up a plate (or three!) with these five foods and reap the beauty benefits of your Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Sweet Potatoes
These orange beauties are filled with vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C (along with a slew of other great-for-you minerals). According to nutritionist Elisa Zied, author of YOUNGER NEXT WEEK: Your Ultimate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days, the trifecta of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C can really make your skin glow — vitamin C, especially, boosts your body’s collagen production, and one study showed that it can even contribute to fewer wrinkles and less dry skin.
Rich in vitamin B3, this squash can minimize dark spots and increase production of both fatty acids and ceramides, which keep skin cells hydrated. To truly reap the skin-boosting benefits, try to eat a dish or dessert containing real pumpkin, not just the canned filling used to make most pies.
Homemade cranberry sauce (not canned!) is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. Interestingly enough, the bacteria-blockers that make cranberries a go-to food for fighting UTIs can also help acne-prone skin. Who knew?
4. Green Beans
Zied says that this veggie is also rich in antioxidants, and is also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and manganese. Manganese is especially important, and largely overlooked, for its beauty benefits: This essential trace mineral, which can be obtained only through our diets, helps build collagen and protect from free radicals.
Filled with healthy monounsaturated fat, these nuts are one of the richest sources of antioxidants around. Packed with zinc, they also help maintain healthy skin and hair. Put ‘em in a pie or just have a bowl handy to keep pre-meal hunger pangs at bay.
Read more: The Dinner Habit That’ll Help You Stay Slim