Thanksgiving Super Foods

Tomorrow is the big day! Check out my Examiner post on the Do’s and Don’ts for a Healthy Thanksgiving.

It is reassuring to know that there are lots of holiday foods that are great for your health. Keep your eyes peeled for these foods at the holiday spread. Be sure to pay attention to how the foods are prepared, though. For example – baked or roasted sweet potatoes are a great choice and provide you with lots of fiber, vitamin A, and potassium for few calories. But when they are covered in butter and marshmallows you have to watch the portions.

A serving of turkey provides almost half of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid and is a good source of vitamin B, zinc, and potassium. Opt for white meat and go easy on the gravy to keep the calories and fat in check.

Full of disease-fighting antioxidants and fiber, cranberries are a tasty super food. It is pretty much impossible to eat unsweetened cranberries, so watch the portions of dried cranberries or cranberry sauce. Replace sugar in cranberry sauce recipes with natural sweeteners like Agave Nectar and orange juice. Try this recipe:

1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Discard cinnamon stick; cool completely.

Pumpkin contains lots of fiber and vitamin A. Make your own, healthier pumpkin pie to bring to dinner or include pumpkin in other recipes like a pureed pumpkin soup that will fill you up before the meal begins.

The Best for Last….Wine!
We have all heard that wine in moderation is good for our hearts. All wine is naturally heart-healthy, but red wines will provide the most antioxidant bang for your calorie buck. Something you might not know: The dryer the wine, the higher the concentration of its disease-fighting properties. Try this recipe from Cooking Light for Winter Sangria. It is a great crowd pleaser, and stretches the wine, so you save calories and can have more glasses! I know I will be bringing some to my Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Relax and enjoy your holiday and know that one day will not define your waistline or your health story. Be thankful for your health, family and friends and celebrate!


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