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Hidden health benefits of 14 holiday super foods



Holiday food is actually good for your healthy eating plan. In fact, many traditional holiday foods are rich in health benefits. From a fruit that keeps you full, to a spice that may help your waistline grow, to a protein that stabilizes your mood - read on to a list of 14 holiday superfoods that you must include in your diet and seasonal recipes. Please let us know if your favorite is on the list.

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1. Nutmeg

add some spice to your holiday! When it comes to nutmeg, there is evidence that the fragrance has antibacterial properties that help prevent cavities. In addition, meeleligon, a compound found in nutmeg, may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, helping to protect the skin from UV radiation and reducing signs of aging. Sprinkle nutmeg on a bowl of hot cereal, add to baked goods, sprinkle on apples and other fresh fruits, or use it as a double dose antioxidant for sweet potatoes.

correlation: homemade pumpkin flavored latte (nutmeg!)

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2. Pumpkins are not just for carving pumpkins. Pumpkin is a kind of wax gourd, which contains powerful carotenoids. Plant pigments can help to resist some chronic diseases, including heart disease and age-related vision loss (macular degeneration). Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, potassium and iron. It's also good for your waistline. A cup of ripe pumpkin contains only 49 calories. Want to know how to eat? Add chunks to your favorite chilies, stir pumpkin puree into tomato pasta sauce for extra nutrition and flavor, or enjoy a delicious (low calorie) dessert.

correlation: 4 pumpkin desserts with 175 calories or less. Sweet potato is native to North America, and its flavor is one of the most nutritious foods. A medium (4 oz.) sweet potato, baked with skin, has four times your daily vitamin a requirement, almost half the recommended amount of vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are also a significant source of vitamin E, providing more than a quarter of the daily recommended amount. All these only need 100 calories! Sweet potato is the perfect baked or mashed food - make sure to light up the marshmallow or brown sugar when making a sweet potato casserole.

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4. Turkeys are not just preserved for festivals. This lean protein is worth eating all year round. In fact, a standard 3-ounce cooked turkey, including white and black meat, contains only 135 calories and 24 grams of protein. As an added bonus, Turkey is also rich in amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body make serotonin, which is believed to help stabilize emotions and ensure good sleep. Turkey is also a good source of important vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron, phosphorus and zinc. How to keep Thanksgiving turkey moist? Join the conversation.

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5. Apple

fill in without filling - Apple is the sure winner. A medium-sized apple contains only 95 calories and 4 grams of fiber, which helps to maintain your sense of satisfaction and suppress hunger. Most of the fibers that are good for heart health are in the apple skin, so be sure to eat the apple with the skin. In addition to helping to prevent holiday weight gain, apples are also rich in flavonol, a powerful plant compound that helps prevent the formation of bad cholesterol (LDL) and helps reduce the risk of certain cancers and age-related degenerative diseases. Consider using baked apples instead of traditional apple pies to eliminate the skin, which is rich in fat and carbohydrates.

correlation: Apple Crisp recipe

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6. When it comes to Brussels sprouts, people usually fall into two categories: lovers or haters. If you like them, that's great, because they are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Brussels sprouts belong to the same brassicae family as cabbage and cauliflower (also known as cruciferous vegetables), which explains why they look like cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane like compounds that help protect healthy cells from certain types of cancer cells. 1 / 2 cup cooked Brussels sprouts contain 2 grams of fiber, which is an excellent source of vitamin K. Plus, they only have 30 calories! Brussels sprouts also contain a lot of vitamin C, potassium and B vitamins. Try baking with olive oil or frying with pancakes or Canadian bacon. Related to: Canadian bacon and 17 other "bad reputation" foods are actually good for you. Buttered pumpkin is rich in beta carotene, B vitamins, iron and magnesium, and is a nutritional all star. Carotenoids help prevent cardiovascular disease and even some cancers by making pumpkins colorful (also found in pumpkins and other yellow / orange vegetables). A cup of roasted pumpkin contains only 80 calories and nearly 7 grams of fiber. In addition to the classic butternut pumpkin soup, this vegetable can also be paired with other festivals due to its mild taste. Classics include cranberries, nuts and pomegranates. Here's a link to a great holiday snack, including buttered pumpkin, pomegranate and Israeli cousins.

correlation: roasted buttered pumpkin and Israeli meal recipe

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8. In addition to making your kitchen fragrant, cinnamon has been shown to be good for your health. Recent data suggest that the consumption of cinnamon may help improve cardiovascular health in patients with type 2 diabetes. In addition, research in 2006 showed that cinnamon may also help reduce the percentage of body fat and gain lean weight, which is good news if you want to lose some weight before New Year's Eve. Embrace the holiday flavor, consider adding cinnamon sticks to warm cider, or adding flavor to traditional fruit chips. Ground cinnamon can also be used to make delicious oatmeal. Consider sprinkling cinnamon and fruit on a latte or a cup of Greek yogurt.

correlation: cinnamon and nine other foods that make you look and feel better. Cranberry

> whether you like cranberry sauce or CranberryRaspberry flavor, canned or homemade, small and antioxidant berries are a great addition to your favorite dishes. Just a cup of raw Cranberry provides 5g of fiber, 24% vitamin C and 20% manganese. The festival's favorite is also high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant believed to prevent cancer and heart disease. Certain anthocyanins in blueberries are also believed to contribute to urinary health.

correlation: cranberry juice and 17 other foods with a "bad" reputation are good for you. Dark chocolate (... And no sugar cocoa or cocoa)

chocolate has good news! Delicious desserts made of dark chocolate, hot cocoa, or cocoa powder (cocoa powder) can be a healthy, antioxidant packed finish to your holiday feast. Dark chocolate and cocoa are rich in phytochemicals that can provide heart health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The study also found that chocolate flavanol can reduce the risk of neurological decline. The darker the better, the higher the proportion of cocoa, the more polyphenols in chocolate. Be sure to choose a chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.


correlation: delicious pumpkin dark chocolate cookies

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11. For centuries, garlic has been used as a natural medicine to prevent or treat various diseases. A number of studies published in the past 10 years have confirmed that using a small amount of herbs and spices in a diet can produce significant health benefits. A study of the effects of garlic on heart health has found that this delicious herb may help raise cholesterol and triglycerides levels and help blood clot. Other studies have shown that eating garlic may help prevent stomach and colorectal cancer. You can cut garlic to release alliinase, an enzyme that helps to form garlic's cancer fighting compounds, for its health benefits. Because cooking stops the activity of this beneficial enzyme, it's best to "stand" the garlic for 10 minutes after it's chopped, before it's heated - this prevents the complete loss of its anti carcinogenic activity.

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12. Nuts are an ingredient for many holiday appetizers, entrees and desserts. In 2013, a Spanish study published in PLoS One reported that people who ate three or more nuts a week had a lower risk of being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and HDL cholesterol than those who ate less than one nut a week. Some studies have even shown that nuts may help prevent certain types of cancer. Nuts are rich in vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats, many of which are rich in antioxidants. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least four servings (4 ounces) a week as part of a low saturated fat diet for optimal heart health benefits.

related: do you want to achieve your weight goal? Join the conversation.

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13. Onions are a great addition to many popular holiday dishes, from Thanksgiving stuffing to roasted Brussels sprouts to green bean casseroles. Whether it's caramel, roasted or roasted, onions add flavor to your favorite recipes. Although they may make you cry, this all star vegan has many layers of health benefits. Studies have shown that onions contain high levels of flavonol, a compound that helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular related diseases. Studies have also shown that onions help reduce the risk of age-related degenerative diseases and certain cancers. The anticancer protection of onion depends on quercetin to a great extent, which is a kind of plant compound with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidation effects.

onions and 15 other foods, you don't always need to buy organic

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14 years old. Pomegranate

fresh pomegranate aril is a great addition to many holiday dishes - from appetizers to desserts. Pomegranate contains several unique polyphenols and anthocyanins, which can produce red fruits. Published studies have documented many health benefits associated with pomegranate and pomegranate juice, including heart health, cancer fighting properties, bone health, and muscle recovery after exercise. With ripe fruit, you can easily pry open the shell to get a fresh aril or you can find a fresh aril that has been packed. A serving (4.3 oz or about 3 / 4 cup) of pomegranate aril contains 100 calories, 6 g of fiber, 2 g of protein, and provides vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, and folic acid. To add sweetness and acidity, add juicy pomegranate peel to holiday fillings, salads, roasted vegetables or desserts. Related information:

kale and pomegranate salad

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What do you think? Do you know all the health benefits of these 14 holiday foods? What else do you eat to increase your nutrition during the holiday? Do you have your favorite healthy holiday recipe? Please leave a message below and let us know.

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