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Top Five Healthy Holiday Foods

Posted by Heather J.

As much as I would like to, we can't call pumpkin pie a health food, but the pumpkin itself is packed with nutrients. The colorful squash fruit is low in calories, rich in vitamin A and contains mucho fiber. The seeds are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (aka good fats), and are a purported mood-booster. To cut some of the fat and calories off of traditional pumpkin pie, try using an egg substitute and light cream or low-fat evaporated milk. For the crust, go for an option with little to no trans fats. There are also recipes that use firm tofu, pumpkin puree, and spices for the pie filling?an even healthier option! Click here for one recipe: Cranberries contain an ample amount of vitamin C, as well as fiber and manganese. They also contain proanthocyanidins, an antioxidant that can help prevent urinary tract infections. Sweet potatoes are one of nature's wonder foods, so high they are in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and potassium. Bake them with skin on to reap the full benefits of the potato's fiber content. If you stick to the white meat and avoid the skin, turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, and contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that's used in the body to produce the B vitamin niacin, which is used to produce serotonin, a calming, sleep-regulating neurotransmitter. Green Beans are an excellent source of vitamins C and K and manganese, as well as a good provider of vitamin A, potassium, folate, and iron. The healthiest option, of course, is to steam them rather than turn then into a green bean casserole, but if you must (and I sure won?t stop you!) cut some of the fat by using low-fat ingredients.
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