Thanksgiving is Nutritious?

Seriously? Can the holiday known for gluttony actual be good for you? The answer is a resounding YES! Of course, there are limits… which is the part that most people have a hard time with.

The stigma that Thanksgiving = “eat until you’re so stuffed you can’t move” needs to end. Sure, Thanksgiving, as well as other holidays, are supposed to be enjoyed and special. I can admit that. However, too many of us are ignoring the reasons that the holidays actually exist and are unable to truly enjoy the festivities of the holiday because we are so into eating until our pants don’t fit that we have to nap to feel a tiny bit better, sleeping the holiday away. What happened to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, football in the backyard, playing games with the family, and a walk after the main meal?

I’m getting off the real subject of this post… but stay tuned because next up are my tips for making the holiday healthier and being able to wake up the next morning feeling good about yourself.

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What makes Thanksgiving food good for you?

Turkey:

An excellent source of lean protein and tryptophan (which, yes, is necessary for the production of melatonin to help you sleep, however, the amount in turkey is very similar to other meats like chicken). Rich in B vitamins, selenium and zinc. Could contain omegs-3s depending on the turkey’s diet 🙂

Sweet Potatoes (there are over 400 varieties of sweet potatoes and range from white flesh to purple and orange (commonly known as yams, which I will focus on here):

Excellent source of vitamin A (in the form beta-carotene) (in the orange varieties). Contains phytonutrients. Very good source of Vitamin C and manganese and a good source of fiber, B6, potassium and iron.

Regular Potatoes:

A very good source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. (For more info about potatoes visit my previous posts all about potatoes! Potatoes Explored and more!)

Cranberries:

Tons of phytonutrients (antioxidants) including proanthocyanidins (help prevent UTIs), flavanoids, anthocyanins and more! Also they are an excellent source of vitamin C, a very good source of dietary fiber, and a good source of manganese and vitamin K.

Winter Squash/Pumpkin:

Contain lots of carotenoids like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin (good for eyesight). An excellent source of vitamin A.  Also a very good source ofvitamin C, manganese, potassium and dietary fiber. A good source of folate and other B vitamins. And contains omega-3s (ALA), who knew?!

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Just remember, you CAN have too much of a good thing. More next post!

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What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving (doesn’t have to be food related 😉 )?

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  1. Sharing Sunday - November 20, 2011 | Miss Organic's Kitchen

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