Don’t Stress about Holiday Eating

Posted on December 21, 2011 by

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Don’t Stress about Holiday Eating

Many people are worried about overindulgence during the holidays, so much so that New Year resolutions frequently include plans to start a diet or join a gym. Believe it or not, many holiday foods have surprising health benefits, which means that all of that worrying may be for naught. A little research will show you that most holiday dishes are actually healthier than you think, and actually can be an excellent source of various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential nutrients.

Instead of worrying, why not relieve some holiday stress by eating what you want, when you want? This year, when clipping coupons and planning your holiday menu, try some of these delicacies:

Turkey and Stuffing

Turkey is a high-protein food that can help to keep post-insulin levels within a healthy range. Because turkey is a white meat, its fat content is lower than red or dark meats. Bread, especially if it’s whole wheat/grain, helps with cardiovascular health, and is rich in fiber.

Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are rich in vitamins C and B6 (builds cells, aids brain cell and nervous system activity, offers cardiovascular protection, and increases athletic performance and endurance); kukoamines, which lower blood pressure; copper, potassium, manganese and dietary fiber; and carotenoids, flavonoids and caffeic acid, which are antioxidants.

Buttered Rolls

Unlike margarine, which is processed, real butter is full of Vitamin A, D, E and K; lecithin, which aids in cholesterol metabolism; Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals; saturated fats, which have anti-tumor and -cancer properties; and healthy cholesterol, which is essential to brain and nervous system development in children.

Fruitcake

Traditional Christmas Fruitcake contains cherries, which are full of antioxidants; cranberries, which help prevent urinary tract infections; currants, which supply the body with dietary fiber; iron, potassium, and B vitamins; and mangoes, which improve digestion and lower cholesterol. Fruitcake also contains Vitamin E, iron, and Glutamine Acid (improves concentration and memory).

Pumpkin Pie

For those who love this holiday treat, it may interest you to know that pumpkins are chock full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that fights cancer. In addition, pumpkins are high in Vitamin A, potassium, zinc and fiber, and are low-fat. Most pumpkin pies also contain cinnamon, which helps to regulate blood sugar, and ginger, which helps to lower cholesterol content in the blood.

Eggnog

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, choline (aids in cardiovascular health), and carotenoid (antioxidant that protects against macular degeneration and cataracts). Additionally, rum, can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and serve as a sleep aid when consumed in moderation.

Chocolate

Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is full of flavonoids (an antioxidant), which protects against free radicals, and helps produce nitric oxide (which in turn keeps blood pressure low). Additionally, chocolate contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant.

As you can see, worries about unhealthy eating around the holidays are largely unnecessary. So why not relax this year and indulge in your favorite foods, rather than stressing yourself (and others) out? Life’s too short, and the holidays only come around once a year. You can make amends with your New Year’s resolutions.

Posted in: Family safety