The holidays are here: a time for bright lights, meaningful gifts, and poor decision making. After all, who can say no to a fourth helping of Grandma’s famous sugar cookies? Luckily, not every food floating around the Christmas table is terrible for you. In fact, a few are quite healthy. Here’s a list of items that can help balance out your more indulgent choices.
This perennial favorite is not only delicious, it’s rich in antioxidants. It’s also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. Try sprinkling the seeds onto your favorite salad, or just enjoy munching on them on your own. They’re the perfect festive, no-guilt holiday treat.
As long as it’s not deep fried or smothered in gravy, turkey is actually quite good for you. For a meat choice, it’s relatively low in fat and high in protein. It’s also a good source of iron, zinc, and Vitamin B6. So while chowing down on turkey might make you feel tired temporarily, overall consuming it should help with your body’s energy levels.
- Green beans
Not only are green beans rich in various vitamins, they’re also a nice source of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. So next time someone passes you the green bean casserole, be sure to take an extra big helping.
Pumpkin offers a lot of bang for your buck. It’s so packed with Vitamin A that a single slice of pumpkin pie carries your recommended daily value. Of course, you don’t want to eat a slice pumpkin pie every day of the December, but you can more freely enjoy other favorites like pumpkin soup.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes commonly make lists of the world’s healthiest foods. They’re rich in vitamins, high in fiber, and low in calories. Plus, they contain nutrients that can reduce inflamation, reduce risk of infection, and improve heart healthiness. Just don’t dollop too much brown sugar and butter on them, or you might cancel out their effects.
- Better dips
Not all dips are created equal. In fact, many favorite cheesy dips can be some of the holiday’s biggest culprits. They’re high in fat and calories, and their very nature has people constantly coming back for more. Try healthier alternatives with your favorite crackers and veggies, like hummus, salsa, or even a yogurt-based dip.
We hope this list helps you reduce any gains to your waistline this season. In the end, the key is moderation. If you can balance out your cravings with a few of these healthy suggestions, then it’s fine to munch on a little of the less healthy choices as well.