On Monday, we started our holiday food tips by giving you a guide to foods you should try to avoid during the holidays.
Today, we’ll talk about several foods you’ll find on most holiday tables and throughout the season that are safe and healthy for all members of the family to enjoy.
Most holidays aren’t complete without a nutcracker or listening to Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. A great holiday staple, nuts are high in vitamin E and reduce oxidative stress in your arteries. Some nuts, such as walnuts, are a great source of good fats, which can help control LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
And, if you’re actually a fan of chestnuts, roasted chestnuts are lower in fat than most nuts and have a number of health benefits that make them a great addition to any diet.
As with any fatty foods, eat them within reason.
Skip the marshmallows and butter and you have a great nutrient-rich vegetable that can be used in a number of dishes. Not only do they taste great–on their own and as a part of dish–sweet potatoes help fight against aging, cancer, and arthritis and are rich in fiber, Vitamin A, potassium, and phytochemicals.
Along with sweet potatoes, take note of other orange veggies, such as pumpkins, carrots, and squashes, all of which which are full of Vitamin A.
If you just have to have a piece of pie for dessert, go for the sweet potato and pumpkin pies instead of the pecan and other pies–but again, don’t over indulge!
Cranberries are another one of those foods that pop up again and again throughout the holiday season, whether in a sauce, jelly, punch or some kind of dessert.
Fortunately, cranberries–along with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.–are great because they’re antioxidant-rich. Studies have shown that berries can help prevent chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
If you’d like to add berries to your diet, regardless of the form, remember to keep the sugar to a minimum.
Yogurt aids in digestion by helping to maintain and restore healthy bacteria in our body. During this holiday season, think about dipping your veggies into non-fat yogurt instead of ranch, or try eating yogurt and berries for dessert.
Lean Proteins (e.g. Turkey and Chicken)
Protein helps to increase/maintain muscle mass and strength. The healthiest options when it comes to meat are the lean proteins, such as turkey and chicken. Luckily, turkey is usually the star of most holiday meals. When choosing your cut of roast, stick to the breast.
As we’ve mentioned before, keeping an eye on what you eat and how you eat will help keep you healthy for the round of holiday seasons to come. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean bad-tasting food, so stick to some of our holiday food tips, and you should be well on your way to a healthy holiday season!
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