Traditional holiday foods often get a bad rap because they are typically prepared in not-so-healthy ways. However if you keep recipes simple, there are many nutrient dense foods to enjoy this festive time of year. Be sure to include some of the following in your holiday meal for a boost of nutrition and to avoid overdoing the butter and cream-filled casseroles!
Much more nutritious than the white variety, these root vegetables are high in Vitamin A, C, B6 and potassium. Besides being essential for warding off cold and flu viruses, Vitamin C produces collagen, which helps to maintain skin’s youthful elasticity. One serving of this sweet vegetable has over 700% of the RDA of Vitamin A (beta carotene), which helps repair cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure and is an excellent nutrient for eye health.
Loaded with fiber and antioxidants, these tiny cabbages pack a nutritional punch. One cup contains more than the recommended dose of Vitamin K, an often overlooked nutrient that is essential for bone health and proper nerve function. Brussel sprouts are also part of the cruciferous family, which are famous for their anti-cancerous properties.
At only 45 calories per cup, this super food has more antioxidants than a serving of broccoli, spinach or cherries. Cranberries are also known for their anti-bacterial properties, which make them affective for preventing UTIs and cavities. Research also shows that the phytonutrients found in these little berries may also protect against Heart Disease and Cancer.
Also low in calories, this Southern staple is high in Vitamin A, K and C. What really sets these greens apart is that they have 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and nearly 30% RDA of calcium per one cup serving. The extra fiber not only helps to keep you full, but it also supports more stable blood sugar levels.
Adding these traditional foods into your holiday meal will not only give you a nutritional boost, but it will help you feel a little less guilty about having that slice of pie! For quick and simple ways to prepare these super foods and others check out these recipes.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!