12.01.2010

5 Holiday Foods That Are Good For You

Did you know that the average person only gains 1 pound during the holidays? (according to About.com) Sure feels like more to me. 

It is widely believed that a person can gain from 5 to 10 pounds during the holidays. Although you might feel like you fall into this category, it's nice to know that number is probably exaggerated.

Still, there are a lot of extra goodies lying around the house during the holidays. You can save those goodies for your guests, or you can eat them yourself – in moderation, of course.

Don't be discouraged with holiday eats, as many of your favorites actually have beneficial and beautificial qualities. The following is a list of 5 Holiday Foods that are actually GOOD for YOU!

  1. Sweet Potatoes – Maybe not the casserole with the marshmallows on top, but the sweet potato is full of nutrients and vitamins. Low in calories and high in fiber, the sweet potato has been called the Most Nutritious Food.                                     
  2. Walnuts – There always seems to be a bowl of unshelled walnuts nearby during the holidays. Well, that nutty wonder is high in antioxidants, protein, fiber, magnesium, and phosphorous. The walnut is also high in Omega 3s, which help keep hair and skin supple and beautiful, not to mention that your body needs those essential fatty acids.
  3. Cranberries – Whole, fresh cranberries are bright and beautiful and help keep you bright and beautiful, too! With zero cholesterol and very little sodium, these little berries are full of B vitamins, which are excellent for skin and hair health. So skip the jellied can of sauce and indulge in fresh berries. Grab a great recipe to make your own cranberry side dish using a sugar alternative.
  4. Peppermint – Yes, candy canes and other peppermint goodies have some benefits. Along with the fresh breath we associate with peppermint, it can also aide in digestion, help with indigestion, and relieve nausea. This is great news for those of us who eat a little too much at holiday dinner.
  5. Apple Cider – Made from fresh apples, apple cider is simply warm apple juice with added spice. The apple is full of nutritional value, starting with the potassium and vitamins. Add your favorite spices, like cinnamon and you have added additional antioxidants. Hint: Use unsweetened Apple Juice to lower the calories.
My short list covers a few of my holiday favorites. What is your favorite holiday food? Do you know the healthy benefits of your favorite? Please share in the comments below. 

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