Everyone is always all stressed out over eating Thanksgiving dinner. All that food, all those calories, so much fat, yada, yada, yada.
Baloney! This is one great opportunity to stuff your family with tons of good for you foods, and they won’t suspect a thing.
That’s right. I’m here to tell you that Thanksgiving dinner is one of the healthiest meals of the year. Now doesn’t that ease your guilty conscience a bit?
Don’t believe me? OK, lets take a look at the most traditional Thanksgiving dinner foods –
Used since the middle ages to relieve heartburn. A one-and-a-half ounce handful of almonds, is a great source of antioxidants, vitamin E and magnesium and contains protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron. Almonds and other nuts contain phytochemicals –that have been shown to protect against heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases. The following nuts are included in the new claims: almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and peanuts.
Almonds contain ALA, and can reduce cholesterol as well as prescription drugs and reduce triglycerides. Almonds contain more calcium than any other nut. Nuts also contain LArginine, which helps reduce blood clotting that causes clogged arteries, helps your body repair tissue, and supports your immune system.
Vitamin E and C have been shown to reduce your number of colds.
Throw some in your fresh green beans!
High in fiber, vitamin c, vitamin A, carotenoids, calcium, and folic acid. The isothiocynanates stimulate the liver to break down pesticides and other carcinogens. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane which is said to not only prevent changes that can lead to cancer in breast cells, but also has been found to stop the growth of malignant breast cells by stopping the cancer cell’s ability to divide. A famous John Hopkins study in 1992 found that broccoli helped prevent the
growth of tumors, and reduced the size of the tumors that did grow by up to 75%. The catch here is that to release the sulforaphane, the broccoli must be lightly steamed for 3 to 4 minutes.
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) help to remove excess estrogens from your body. We are exposed to hundreds of estrogen mimaking chemicals every day from the soy in our foods, to the plastics they are packaged in.
Broccoli also contains alpha-lipoic acid, or A.L.A., which strengthens cell metabolism of liver and heart cells making them better able to withstand our abuse.
Broccoli is also high in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is linked to eyesight problems, bone loss, heart disease, colon cancer, and even MS.
Broccoli also contains indole-3-carbinol, which makes it harder for estrogen to bind to breast tissue, which reduces monthly type breast pain.
With the exception of releasing sulforaphane, broccoli is best eaten raw. It has the most nutrients if you let it sit just a few minutes (not hours) after cutting. Sounds weird, but cutting releases an enzyme. Same is true for garlic.
Carrots are famous for Carotenoids for reducing risk of heart disease and skin cancer. New studies show they’re not as effective as previously thought in preserving eyesight. Has been used in many cultures to reduce menstrual pain. Carrot juice helps relieve diarrhea.
Chocolate is a natural mood enhancer, now also thought to help reduce risk of heart disease and high blood pressure (maybe something to do with being in a good mood?). Dark chocolate contains a high amount of Flavonoids – antioxidants that fight heart disease, reduce plaque build up in arteries, reduce blood pressure, and increase good cholesterol.
Dark chocolate also contains trace amount of A, B1, C, D, and E, iron and magnesium. Chocolate also contains L-Arginine which helps reduce blood clotting that causes clogged arteries, helps your body repair tissue, and supports your immune system.
Choose higher quality for lower fat and sugar content. 1 ounce of dark chocolate has 10 times more antioxidants than a strawberry.
But strawberries dipped in dark chocolate would cover all the bases, wouldn’t it?
Good news! Coffee seems to prevent type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
It reduces your risk of colon cancer by keeping you regular. Research says it reduces the risk of kidney stones, though my sister who is a heavy coffee drinker still had kidney stones. Coffee contains theophylline with acts as a bronchodilator, which helps asthma symptoms. It may also help prevent cirrhosis of the liver, skin cancer and gallstones.
Coffee contains a multitude of nutrients – riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, zinc, niacin, folate, sodium, thiamin, protein, calcium, and vitamin k. Coffee is full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, and for many people, coffee is their main source of antioxidants.
Coffee can cause anxiety, headaches, heartburn, high blood pressure, yellow teeth, and possibly heart attacks, so be aware of your sensitivity to caffeine. If caffeine sends you bouncing off the walls, increasing your coffee intake would not be a good idea for you.
And one more thing – its the cream and sugar that’s bad for you.
One of my favorite Super-Foods! You already know to drink cranberry juice when you have a urinary tract infection. Cranberry juice flushes bacteria that causes urinary tract infections.
But did you know that cranberries reduce cholesterol, help reduce dental plaque, and the bacteria that cause stomach and intestinal ulcers.
Cranberries also contain flavonoids called oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPCs. These help stop the oxidation of bad cholesterol. They may also help prevent plaque build up in the arteries, which helps ward off heart disease, stroke, and varicose veins. Cranberries have the highest antioxidants of any fruit.
And antioxidants help keep your skin looking great.
The vinegar in pickles can reduce your blood sugar spikes after meals. It can also help you lose weight by preventing your body from digesting some carbohydrates. Not a bad addition to dinner!
High in potassium and antioxidants. Because of soil contamination and pesticides, it is best to use organic potatoes. You know, it’s what you put on it that makes it unhealthy.
Pumpkin contains Lutein, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and age related macular degeneration. And its orange, so you know it contains carotene. Its also high in potassium and fiber. It seems to be everyone’s favorite healthy food these days.
Sage helps improve memory, behavior, and attention. When combined with Lemon Balm it improves memory and mood. Sage is helpful in managing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s orange, so you know it’s full of beta-carotene – which you know is converted into vitamin A, which is good for eyes and skin. Also high in vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium, and fiber.
Turkey is very high in protein! Turkey is also high in selenium which helps repair DNA damage to your cells, regulates your thyroid, and strengthens your immune system. Its also high in niacin and B6 to help your heart, and helps all of the functions that regulate sugar in your system. And it’s low in fat.
A healthy fat source otherwise known as Omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts are a great source of alpha-lipoic acid, or A.L.A., which strengthens cell metabolism of liver and heart cells making them better able to withstand our abuse, and helps to reduce triglycerides. Nuts also contain L-Arginine, which helps reduce blood clotting that causes clogged arteries, helps your body repair tissue, and supports your immune system. But only a handful – nuts are high in calories.
Some varieties contain a cholesterol fighting chemical called saponins. Zinfandel has been found to have the highest saponins. All wines, when limited to about 5 glasses a week, helps raise good cholesterol. Good cholesterol helps your body get rid of the bad cholesterol.
Red Wine also contains resveratol – a compound that blocks a key protein that cancer cells need to survive – actually starving them to death.
And it does the same thing for colds and flu viruses. I can personally attest to this. If you’re feeling like you’re coming down with something, have a glass of wine and get 8 hours sleep.
Warning! Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can raise blood pressure by as much as 40%.
All that good food! Whew!
And that’s not to mention onions, parsley, nutmeg, tea, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, green beans, cinnamon, or many other foods that you might traditionally serve. They’re all good for you!
You didn’t know healthy eating was so great, did you? You can stuff your family full of vitamins and they won’t suspect a thing!