It’s the most thankful time of the year – but we know you’re already blasting Mariah Carey through your speakers (it’s okay, we are too).
Thanksgiving is upon us, and we all can’t wait to celebrate with the whole family and feast on some delicious foods – casseroles, cornbread, dinner rolls, and of course, the big turkey. With all of the food available for the taking, you might be worried about how your Thanksgiving dinner (and the leftovers that are sure to follow it) might impact your health and wellness goals.
But believe it or not, your Thanksgiving meal has more health benefits than you think.
5 Ways Your Thanksgiving Dinner Is Healthy
We’re listing off classic Thanksgiving foods that are surprisingly full of nutritional benefits.
Live Longer with Cranberry Sauce
Whether they’re canned or from fresh cranberries (preferably, the latter), cranberries are packed with nutrients that provide excellent health benefits.
One of the big benefits of cranberry sauce (and cranberries in general) is that they’re good for your heart. They’re filled with antioxidants that fight off harmful molecules, keeping your body stronger and healthier. Those same antioxidants can help prevent the development of certain types of cancer.
In addition, cranberries are high in Vitamin C, which helps your immune system fight off those winter colds. Plus, every half cup of cranberry sauce contains 1 gram of fiber, which helps with your digestive system – relieving constipation and promoting healthy cholesterol levels. On top of that, cranberries are naturally low in fat.
Don’t Skip the Sweet Potatoes
This classic Thanksgiving food is a secret nutritional treat. Aside from being another source of fiber, sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, which is important in fighting off infections and promoting healthy vision. Sweet potatoes are especially beneficial for people with diabetes or prediabetes because they effectively manage healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.
One hidden benefit of sweet potatoes is that they can boost fertility. Aside from being rich in Vitamin A, it has a solid dose of iron – a critical mineral for women trying to conceive.
Add Some Whole Grains
When it comes to grains, whole grains are the ones you want to look for. They’re filled with tons of nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and protein. In addition, compared to refined grains, whole grains are much better for your heart, significantly lowering your risk of heart disease.
Adding them to your Thanksgiving menu isn’t difficult at all. Instead of white rice, use brown rice. Sprinkle some barley into your foods, if you're not gluten-free. Serve whole-grain rolls instead of white rolls. Treat your family to some delicious quinoa. All of these are perfect ways to fulfill your whole-grain needs.
Save Room for Pumpkin Pie
If you followed all these steps, you should have more than enough room for dessert! Pumpkin pie is one of the healthiest desserts you could eat on Thanksgiving. Pumpkins have nutrition galore. They have plenty of potassium – critical in regulating blood pressure – and they’re equally rich in B Vitamins, contributing to healthy skin and vision.
They’re another food filled with fiber to keep you full longer and from gaining weight. So don’t be shy – get that slice of pie.
Turkey Stuffed with Benefits
Finally, the main event – the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. You probably think there’s no way it could have nutritional benefits. Surprise! Thankfully, it does. Turkeys are decorated with protein and B vitamins while being impressively low in fat and calories (compared to most meats).
Lastly, turkey contains selenium, a mineral that studies have suggested can prevent specific types of cancer such as bladder, breast, lung, and stomach cancer. Who would’ve thought that the big, ole butterball could be so good for you?
As you can see throughout these foods, Thanksgiving dinner is stuffed with health all around. Many of these foods are packed with fiber, which will help you stay fuller and keep from gobbling everything off your table.
One thing that’s missing? Vitamin D. Fortunately, you can still enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and get all the vitamin D you need with our vitamin D3 supplement. It’s safe for kids and adults to use. Get yours today!