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 L-Arginine, 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. I haven’t had a real cold in years.
High in fiber, vitamin c, vitamin A, carotenoids, calcium, and folic acid. The isothiocynanates stimulate the liver to break down pesticides and other carcinogens. (colon cancer) 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%.
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) help to remove excess estrogens from your body. See the Warning under Soy to learn why this is important.
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 high in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is linked to eyesight problems, bone loss, heart disease, colon cancer, and even MS. Also contains indole-3-carbinol, which makes it harder for estrogen to bind to breast tissue, which reduces monthly type breast pain. BUT – broccoli must be exposed to heat to release it’s full chemical power house, which is a disappointment to us – we like it raw. Place in the microwave with just the water left on it from washing for just a couple of minutes.
There’s nothing worse than mushy broccoli.
Carotenoids for reducing risk of heart disease and skin cancer. New studies show not as effective as previously thought in preserving eyesight. Has been used in many cultures to reduce menstrual pain. Carrot juice helps to relieve diarrhea.
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 contain 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? J
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 anti-oxidants.
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.
A super powerhouse! Reduces cholesterol, and flushes bacteria that causes urinary tract infections. May also help reduce dental plaque and the bacteria that cause stomach and intestinal ulcers. Contains 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. I love fresh cranberry sauce! Don’t you?
Aromatic qualities calm you. Thirst quenching. High in Vitamin C. In the south, they used a slightly salted lemonade to quench thirst and replace salt lost through perspiration. I found pages and pages on the lemon- keeps your liver functioning properly, helps asthma, colds, flu, rheumatism, constipation, diarrhea, dissolves uric acid, removes bacteria, cleanses the system of impurities, contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, reduces hemorrhage, (including heavy menstrual flow), reduces heart palpitations, soothes heartburn, soothes sore throats when mixed with honey, reduces fever … and that’s just the high points. Also contains a compound called flavones, which reduce your risk of breast cancer. I will be squeezing fresh lemon into all our water pitchers a lot more often. My daughter loves it. Must be fresh lemon. Bottled juice does not contain the same qualities.
Can reduce cholesterol. Contains oleic acid – which reduces cellular inflammation. Saturated fats on the other hand, such as butter – increase cellular inflammation, which cause a whole slew of ugly chain reactions. The one you’ll notice the most is that they drain your energy. Heating olive oil takes away it’s nutritional benefits, but it’s still healthier than using saturated fats to cook with.
In Italy, they dip their Italian bread (French and Italian bread is lower in fat than white bread to begin with) in olive oil mixed with herbs, and maybe some Parmesan cheese. Yummy!
Why not put out a variety of olives?
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.
High in potassium and antioxidants. You know, it’s what you put on it that makes it unhealthy.
Besides the obvious carotene, pumpkin also contains Lutein, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and age related macular degeneration. Pumpkin pie has about 1/5 the calories of pecan pie. How’s that for a sweet deal?
Improves 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.
Very high in protein! High in selenium which helps repair DNA damage to your cells, regulates your thyroid, and strengthens your immune system. 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. 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, 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.
In Germany they alternate sips of wine and cold water. The water helps flush the system, and cold water burns more calories as the body warms it. The combination is also said to boost metabolism. German wines naturally contain less sugar because of the way grapes grow in that cooler region.
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.
Careful! Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can raise blood pressure by as much as 40%.
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.
You didn’t know healthy eating was so great, did you?
Find out more about great healthy eating!
It’s not as dull and boring as your thought, is it?
Think about it – when else can you get your family to eat so many healthy foods and love it?
Have a great Thanksgiving!