Thanksgiving ranks with Christmas and super bowl Sunday as the top food consumption days in the good ol’ USA. While Thanksgiving gets a bad rap for binge eating and the resulting stretchy pants, the meal itself actually hosts some closet superstars. If you need some tips to not overeat, check out this post. If you love every second of the Thanksgiving tradition of overindulging, then by all means- enjoy! Here’s some fun facts to make you feel a little better about it.
Turkey is naturally one of the leanest meats. As long as you’re not deep frying your bird, the fat content should be very low. The grease and oils used in deep frying adds ‘bad fat’- opt for the traditional oven baked option. Turkey is also packed with a special blend of nutrients like B vitamins and zinc that enhance heart health and help fight off cancer.
You’ve probably heard about the tryptophan in turkey, that chemical that makes you sleepy post-thanksgiving meal. What you probably haven’t heard is that our body uses tryptophan to release serotonin- a happy chemical in our brain.
Cranberries- like most small, dark, berries- are packed with antioxidants, little disease and age fighting chemicals. These little ruby gems actually have more antioxidants than almost any other fruit or vegetable! They also provide fiber to keep you full and tons of vitamin C, which everyone could use a boost of this time of year!
Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are bursting with nutrients that help keep us healthy. Some of those chemicals even help boost your mood! Chemicals called ‘carotenoids’, that give pumpkins their festive orange glow, have been linked to fighting an array of diseases and cancer- particularly breast cancer.
Another food naturally high in orange-promoting carotenoids are sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are full of a healthy dose of vitamins like C, D, B6 which enhance heart health, skin elasticity, digestion, and energy levels. They’re also a great source of iron, which women in particular can sometimes be deficient in.