Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  I personally call it the "eating holiday".  Because even though it is the time to really recognize all that we have and to be thankful of those things and of the relationships we have with family and friends, it is also the time when people tend to eat.... a lot.

Most everything is centered around the meal.  Whether you choose to have turkey or some other poultry or ham or whatever else you choose to have, traditionally it's turkey, stuffing (dressing), potatoes, (sweet or regular), some sort of veggie, and then the desserts.  Those can definitely vary, and there can also be several different side dishes.  Many of these differ from family to family according to their own traditions.

None of that sounds particularly healthy.  Other than the veggies, but even those can be made so that they really aren't all that healthy.

But wait... yes they can all be health (sort of) even the potatoes, stuffing and yes, the pumpkin pie.

I found this article talking about the health benefits of traditional Thanksgiving food.

Check this out.

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TURKEY

This one is pretty obvious. Lean protein.  Good!  Plus it also has B vitamins and can boost your serotonin levels.

POTATOES

Potatoes are great because they have potassium which can help with reducing blood pressure.  They are also full of vitamin B6. That can boost your metabolism.  Here is the catch, lay off the stuff that makes them taste great like the salt and butter. That tends to counteract some of the health benefits.

STUFFING

This is mostly bread.  BUT bread can be good.  I know... carbs.  But everything in moderation.

Use whole wheat bread – including the crust – to get the extra fiber and nutrients that are excellent for digestion. Your stuffing will also include a lot of great protein and antioxidants.

Some of these benefits can also be attributed to dinner rolls.  Have two.  Skip the butter.

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

There are all sorts of health benefits in this dish.  Obviously, the green beans are good for you.  But also, the things that are added to it can be good... or bad.  Here's the trick.  Use fresh ingredients instead of the canned stuff.  Canned and processed foods can add a lot of extra sodium. But if you use fresh ingredients - yes, it's more work, but the health benefits may outweigh the extra work.  Here are the vitamins in the fresh ingredients:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamins B1, B2 and B6
  • Calcium

PUMPKIN PIE

Here we go, even the pumpkin pie can have health benefits.  Pumpkin has potassium, as mentioned before it can lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.  That's just pumpkin alone... but we'll take that.  It also has Vitamin C.  That helps with your immune system.  Also, thrown in some beta carotene.  This can help lower the risk of cancer.  Yay!  Of course, it's best to make it with fresh pumpkin and not the canned stuff.  So more work.  And get the whipped cream that is lower in sugar and calories, like Reddi Whip.  I know, the real stuff tastes better, but the Reddi Whip is probably a little better for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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