The holiday season is just around the corner and we all know that a huge part of the fun is eating all those delicious foods, from pumpkin to apple pie. Usually there is, what they call the “holiday 10”, the ten pounds we gain during this season between Halloween and New Year’s Eve. Many people have learned how to fight off the pounds and the cravings, many have not. Some just enjoy the eating and worry about it during the new year. But there are foods that are holiday regulars that have amazing health benefits if we eat them correctly and in the right amounts.
Here are 6 of those holiday dishes that can add some healthiness to your life, instead of empty calories:
Pumpkin is a regular around the holiday table but it’s usually inside of a delicious pie. You don’t need to give up the pie if you choose not to, but bake or roasted pumpkin is a great addition to anyone’s diet. It assists in lowering your blood pressure and therefore helps to promote a healthy heart.
Last, but certainly not least on the list is cinnamon, which is used in dishes all Autumn and Winter. Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and help reduce the risk of heart disease, however, stick to small doses of cinnamon in whatever you eat because it is also a natural hallucinigen. Otherwise, it is packed with daily needed nutrients.
Sweet potatoes are eaten a lot in the South in America during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. They are naturally sweet and when baked with olive oil can add a nice dose of beta carotenes and vitamin C to your diet which is greatly needed during the winter months to stave off the common cold. They are tasty, baked and eaten right out of the oven.
Green beans are normally eaten in a casserole that may be a bit fattening, but if you try steamed green beans with some garlic and olive oil instead, they will provide you with a healthy dose of fiber and vitamins such as A, C, K, and B6 for energy.
Whole Wheat Bread
Instead of the obvious dinner rolls, a slice of whole wheat bread on the side of your holiday plate provides you with all sorts of healthy goodness. Whole wheat bread is packed with fiber and nutrition. It also fills you up quicker than white dinner rolls, and so you are likely to eat less.
Cranberries often in sauce form, are wonderful boiled down into a natural sauce, with a touch of orange juice instead of sugar. Cranberries provide your body with antioxidants, acts as an antinflammatory, and has been proven to have anti-cancer benefits. They are also a great source of vitamins E and K.