Thanksgiving can be an all out nightmare for fitness folks who want to remain healthy and stick to their diets. Though it is an amazing time of year, filled with love, laughter, and delicious foods, it is the beginning of these seasons that cause us to load up on carbohydrates and abandon our healthy diets. Not all Thanksgiving foods are bad for you, though. Here are five healthy Thanksgiving foods to load up on your plate to help keep you on the straight and narrow.
Yup…turkey can be a part of your Thanksgiving feast, and thank goodness for that because what is Thanksgiving without a little turkey? Turkey is packed with protein which will keep your tummy full, it will also help repair damaged cells all throughout your body, and decrease your chances of stroke. Turkey also contains phosphorus which is good for your bones and teeth and helps break down protein in your body. It also has Vitamin B that aids with metabolism, immunity and production of red blood cells. Keep in mind that turkey does contain the sleepy ingredient tryptophan, so it will slow you down.
Cranberries will bring vibrant color and health benefits to your Thanksgiving platter. They are a tasty, low-calorie treat that can be eaten on the side or drizzled over your turkey for a delicious tangy taste. Cranberries are filled with antioxidants that will keep your immune system intact during the winter flu season. This fruit contains Vitamin C and fiber as well, which will help food pass through your body more quickly. Opt for fresh cranberries as opposed to canned ones, which has a very high sugar content.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Oh, how I love a sweet potato, not just because they are delectable, but also because they are stuffed with nutrients! Loaded with Vitamin C, which helps us from getting colds (or shortens them), it also helps with speeding up wound healing, and even aiding in collagen production to keep you looking young. Sweet potatoes are filled with Vitamin D which helps keep you feeling sunny inside and it aids in keeping your skin, teeth, bones, heart and nerves healthy! A second helping of sweet potato casserole? YES PLEASE!
3. Green Beans
Add a little green to your Thanksgiving platter with some green beans. Green beans are a beautiful addition that will increase your intake of Vitamin K, which helps keep bones strong and heals wounds. They are packed with fiber to help digestion and wards off constipation. Green beans are also rich in folates, which women need for conception and a healthy pregnancy for cell division and DNA.
4. Carmel Apples
Even though you’re trying to eat healthy around the holidays, you don’t have to say no to dessert; you just may want to change it up a bit. Melt a few pieces of caramel in a saucepan, poke a delicious red apple with a stick and you have yourself a tasty treat. Apples are a great way to integrate fiber into your diet, which helps your digestive system work properly. They also contain pectin, which helps collect harmful metals in your body to give your liver the much-needed break it deserves during the holiday drinking season. Just a little caramel will add a delicious sweet taste to the whole thing which will have fewer calories than a big piece of pumpkin pie with a huge spoonful of whip cream on top!
It’s clear to see that you don’t have to throw your Thanksgiving dinner down the drain if you wish to stay healthy! Simply watch the amount you eat, choose the healthier options at the table, and maybe add an after dinner run to the day!