It’s here baby, the holidays, the festive season is finally here, so let the excess and the indulging begin, this for a solid couple weeks of never having to say your full, that you want more dessert. You’ll never say, “I’m on a diet.”
The waistline begins to expand as you station yourself around the hors d’oeuvres table, you extrovert you, like it’s your last meal that you’ll devour. The core reason for this behavior being related to stress, breaking down and giving in, and the more you do indulge, the more compounded stressed you feel.
What you can do however is retain complete consciousness of what you eat this holiday season, this without resorting to all of the extremities, and the ineffective tactics such as taking complete vows of abstinence.
So feel saved, the salvation of abundance is here. Despite all of the flack that these high caloric holiday dishes get, there are a group of select foods which actually promotes healthy properties.
Some of these low calorie yet traditional festive foods contain valuable nutrients which will help you in keeping trim. So instead of consuming the trans fats, salt, and the empty sugar which are in traditional holiday fare, why not just celebrate by choosing and eating just the following proven healthy festive favorites.
• Apple Cider – Apples are known for more than being good for our oral health. The truth being that an apple a day does indeed keep the doctor and the treadmill away. Apples are extremely beneficial for preventing heart disease, high cholesterol, and weight gain.
So sip away on your home made apple cider, or eat away on your freshly made apple pie, this provided you leave the skin intact, as the organic skin is the most nutritional and fiber rich part of the apple, being rich in LDL-cholesterol and flavonols.
• Red Wine – Red wine can act as a filter between stress and the holidays, making you a bit tipsy, provided moderation is used. We know that the blush is good for our hearts and our brains.
Any fine red vintage also contain a healthful antioxidant known as resveratrol, which flushes the arteries keeping them free and clear of harmful fatty buildup, which increases the good HDL cholesterol, while preventing cardiovascular disease.
• Cranberry Sauce – Whether it’s pre-made, or if you decide to make your own, cranberry sauce is the ideal accompaniment to the turkey. It’s also loaded with healthy antioxidants, which protects the body against free radical damage.
Just a cup of cranberry sauce contains extremely high levels of anthocyanins, which is the antioxidant that’s touted for reducing urinary tract infection as well as heart related issues.
• Turkey Meat – There’s nothing better than a moist slice of your favorite white or dark slice of turkey. Most are aware by now that the turkey itself is high in tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that promotes serotonin production.
Serotonin is the “feel good” hormone which can help in warding off the winter blahs and moodiness, reduces stress and anxiety, while also promising and promoting a sound sleep.
• Brussels Sprouts – If you’re one of the select few who happens to like them, and can stomach the taste of Brussels sprouts, then you’re also enjoying the healthy benefits that they provide.
These miniature cabbage like veggies pack a lot of health nutrients including sulforaphane, which is a compound that protects our cells. So when sauteing some with olive oil and garlic, doing so provides a plateful of healthy.
• Squash – Make sure that you include squash in your salads and your stews. Mash or bake the squash, enjoy however you prepare it. Winter squash is extremely rich in beta-carotene, iron, magnesium, the B-vitamins, and carotenoids.
These the nutrients which are known to protect against cardiovascular disease along with other related illnesses. Roasted squash as well as yams are also low in fat, while being high in fiber.
• Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes for most are considered to be a super food. This because they’re extremely high in the essential vitamins such as A, C, and E. They’re also low in calories provided that you bake or mash them while leaving the skin on, which maintains their beneficial nutrients.
• Pumpkin Pie – Pumpkins are one of the most celebrated squashes which are firmly incorporated into almost all Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes, and this for excellent health reasons.
Not only does pumpkin pie contain high amounts vitamin A, fiber, potassium, and iron, there’s also a powerful plant pigment known as carotenoids, which is known to thwart age-related vision deterioration and heart disease.
• Cinnamon – Cinnamon usually agrees with almost everything come wintertime in most households. You can include it easily in your morning oatmeal, bake into your muffins and pies, or sprinkle into your coffee.
What’s not commonly known is that cinnamon also improves your cardiovascular health, while helping in warding off winter weight gain. There are studies which show that this sweet spice naturally lowers body fat, while promoting lean body mass.
• Nutmeg – This is a zippy winter spice which is known to add healthy benefits to your holiday cheer. It does so because what nutmeg contains are antimicrobial properties, which can ward off tooth decay along with the signs of aging.
So this the reason why you can give a generous sprinkle of this nutty spice directly into all of your Christmas baking such as cookies, casseroles, and those hot mugs of apple cider.
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