Hidden Health Benefits of Your Favorite Holiday Foods

Featured Article, Healthy Recipes and Nutrition, Nutrition

Hidden Health Benefits of Your Favorite Holiday Foods

on November 21, 2014

surprising health benefits of holiday foods

There are some surprisingly nutritious meals lurking on this plate. Photo by Thinkstock.

You hear about how oh-so dangerous your favourite vacation meals are. Eggnog is full of fats! Green bean casserole will clog your arteries. And don’t even assume about sporting your skinny denims till you set down the gingerbread. But, some of our basic vacation favorites are literally loaded with hidden health advantages. Here’s the inside track on eight:

Sauteed Brussels sprouts

Fiber-rich Brussels sprouts are additionally nice for enhancing the immune system. Nix the bacon and fatty toppings for a more healthy aspect dish. Photo by

These tiny veggies from the cabbage household are gaining in reputation—because of the truth that they’re typically paired with crumbled bacon. Turns out, additionally they carry a chemical that’s important in serving to immune techniques perform optimally, says a 2011 research within the journal Cell. And you don’t need to get sick in the course of the vacation season, proper?

Cinnamon on something

Spike your candy potato dish with cinnamon for a one-two punch of antioxidants! Photo by

It’s no secret that vacation dinners are high-fat affairs. That can hurt your coronary heart as a result of it raises triglyceride ranges in your blood post-nosh. One option to counteract the impact: Add spices like cinnamon. Overweight who adults ate two tablespoons of spices (like cinnamon, Italian herbs, or curry) with a meal skilled 30 % decrease ranges of triglycerides in comparison with a spice-free meal, finds Penn State analysis. Thank the spice’s excessive antioxidant ranges for his or her heart-protecting advantages.

Cranberry sauce

cranberry sauce

Tart cranberry sauce is wealthy in manganese, a compound that helps hearth up metabolism. Stick to a small spoonful, since most cranberry sauces are excessive in sugar. Photo by


Spoon it over your turkey: these berries are a superb supply of manganese, a mineral that’s an essential participant in a healthy metabolism. A 2013 scientific evaluate famous that cranberries include compounds which will enhance your ldl cholesterol profile, decreasing “bad” LDL ranges and elevating “good” HDL. Just go straightforward on the stuff since so much of sugar is added to stability out the pure tartness of the berries. Stick to a two tablespoon serving of recent or canned.

Hot cocoa

Here’s some candy information: scorching cocoa can enhance intestine health, so take that as permission to sip away! Photo

If you’re going to decide on between an egg nog or cocoa, go for the chocolate. It’s been nicely established that chocolate promotes coronary heart health, however scientists just lately found a brand new discovering: it improves your intestine health. Turns out, chocolate “feeds” healthy micro organism in your abdomen the place its damaged down into compounds that decrease irritation all through your physique, in line with preliminary analysis from Louisiana State University. For a much bigger disease-fighting increase, go for darkish chocolate cocoa.

Cheese platter

Cheese lovers, go for Parmesan over higher-fat cheeses like Brie and blue cheese; it’s decrease in energy than most cheese varieties. Stick to a small serving ton make sure you don’t go overboard, although. Photo by

The ooey goodness will get a nasty rap, however it may be carried out healthy. When confronted with a cheese plate, go for Parmesan. One serving packs 10 grams of protein and one-third of the calcium you want in a day. That’s greater than different cheeses like cheddar or Brie. Keep in thoughts it additionally has 110 energy—not dangerous till you eat a number of servings in a single sitting (really easy to do). Stick with one or two crackers value as an app, after which transfer onto the baby carrots.

Pumpkin pie

Low Fat Pumpkin Pie

As far as pies go, pumpkin is your most secure guess. It’s decrease in energy than pecan and apple pie, and also you’ll even get a dose of vitamin A and fiber from it!

Okay, it’s exhausting to argue that pie is sweet for you, however in the event you’re going to eat pie in the course of the holidays, pumpkin isn’t dangerous. Per slice, it accommodates round 320 energy; examine that to pecan at 500. The splurge packs perks because of the pumpkin puree, which provides an excellent supply of calcium, iron, and greater than twice the vitamin A you want in a day. Still, a slice incorporates 1 / 4 of your saturated fats restrict, so eat one, max.

Spiced nuts


Steer clear of the fatty dips and munch on a handful of spiced roasted nuts. The healthy fats will fill you up, so that you’re much less more likely to attain into the chip bowl.

Here’s to munching away. Eating a handful of nuts per week is suspected to be protecting towards weight achieve, exhibits current analysis from Loma Linda University. Nuts provide a healthy combine of good fat, protein, and fiber to maintain you full. Eating a handful might even enable you to resist the crab dip.

Boiled potatoes


Although they get a nasty rap within the health world, potatoes are surprisingly nutritious—assuming they’re not drenched in butter, salt and cheese.

Sadly, potatoes are shunned for being too excessive in carbs. But they provide a lot nutrition. A half cup is just 70 energy, plus it provides a great supply of nutritional vitamins C and B6, each of that are concerned in shoring up your immune system so you are feeling on prime of your recreation this season. The hassle is, potatoes are often paired with high-fat components like cheese and cream. Keep issues easy with boiled taters to reap the health increase with out the waist-widening aspect impact.

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