Having trouble finding healthy foods for your holiday meals? The following five superfoods have a wide array of health benefits that will have you using them even after the holidays have long since passed. Read below to incorporate these versatile foods into any heart-warming and heart-healthy feast.
Nutmeg contains several compounds that may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that protect your skin against UV rays and age-based wrinkles. Some evidence also suggests that nutmeg can help prevent tooth decay. Nutmeg goes well with a number of dishes; you can sprinkle it atop a serving of warm oatmeal, add it to baked goods, and lightly dust any fresh fruit for that nutty, spicy flavor. It also goes well with any sweet potato concoction.
One cup of cooked pumpkin, a type of winter squash, has only 49 calories and contains plant pigments that may help ward off heart disease and macular degeneration. Need ideas for how to use it? Healthy eaters suggest adding chunks to your favorite chili, stirring pumpkin puree into a tomato-based pasta sauce, or baking a delicious pumpkin pie dessert.
One medium-sized sweet potato, about 4 ounces, contains half your daily requirement of Vitamin C and four times your necessary daily dose of Vitamin A. Baked or mashed with its nutrient-rich skin, these 4 ounces only contain 100 calories and are also a good source of Vitamin E. Try not to add too much sugar and marshmallows when making a sweet potato casserole.
Three ounces of lean, cooked turkey have only 135 calories and a whopping 24 grams of protein. Eating turkey year round, not just for the holidays, can help your body produce serotonin and get essential vitamins and minerals like niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Eating turkey can also help you get a good night’s sleep.
Apples are filling, low in calories, and are chock full of fiber and nutrients. You can avoid that foreboding holiday weight gain by baking them or eating them raw. Heart-healthy fiber is found in the chewy skin, and plant compounds, called flavanols, help to prevent bad cholesterol (LDL). Try preparing baked apples; they are healthier than apple pie because they lack the fat and carb-loaded crust.
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