Thanksgiving can get a little bit of a bad reputation because people love to overindulge. But the truth is that many Thanksgiving Day staples are good for you.
Fall is filled with superfoods that can contribute to overall health. And you can bet that there can be a lot of good on your Thanksgiving spread.
How you plan for and navigate your holiday meal can also make a difference in how much you eat and how healthy it is. Remember to eat a snack about an hour before the feast, and don’t try to “bank calories” so you can eat more.
When it’s time to fill your plate, load half of it with deep-hued fruits and veggies (sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, etc.)
Here are some of the seasonal superfoods that you’ll likely see this season:
Apples: There are great pre-meal snacks. Apples are portion-controlled, a great source of fiber, and low in calories. They are a sweet, healthy snack that can feature in a dessert like an apple crumble.
Turkey: Turkey is a great source of lean protein and the amino acid tryptophan, which may contribute to immune strength. Try to keep your portion about the size of your hand and remove the skin. Go light on the gravy, too!
Brussels’ sprouts: Just one cup of these seasonal veggies has 4 grams of fiber and more than a day’s worth of vitamin C. They are also good for gut health. You must rinse them, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle them with cracked pepper, and roast them for about 15 minutes.
Winter Squash: Acorn, zucchini, really any kind of winter squash, will have plenty of fiber, vitamin A, and sometimes vitamin K. It can be used as a substitute for pasta, soups, added to salads, or even as a standalone side.
Cranberries: The beautiful red hue aside, these fruits are filled with antioxidants that can help contribute to health in various ways. They can be added to stuffing, drizzled on salads, or even out in cocktails.
One of the keys to cranberries during the holidays is making your own sauce and avoiding store-bought stuff. Make your own with orange juice and cinnamon (instead of sugar).
Pumpkin: These are high in fiber, low in fat, and pack a ton of important minerals like potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. They are also loaded with beta-carotene, which can encourage better vision, and vitamins E and C, which are immune-boosting antioxidants.
The seeds pack a reap-health punch, too.