(NaturalNews) Well here we are again, preparing for the holidays and all those big meals, get-togethers, and parties that will kick off in earnest this Thanksgiving Thursday, the 22nd of November.
In addition to the traditional Thanksgiving feast, there comes the Christmas dinner and more food and beverages at office parties and family get-togethers.
This is a period of food and drink indulgences for many of us. But if you have any control over what's served, you can choose some actual superfoods that are also appropriate for the holiday season.
Actually, most of the foods listed here are appropriate for Fall and Winter outside the holidays.
Winter holiday food focus
Cranberries and cranberry chutney or sauce with coconut sugar are perfect superfood side dishes for the holidays. Cranberries are known for their ability to combat urinary tract infections. But there's more. They are second to blueberries in antioxidant capacity.
Cranberries contain vitamin C. They also contain phytonutrients that prevent pathogens from adhering to internal organs. There is ongoing research on potential anti-cancer attributes as well. Be generous with cranberry servings, but sweeten moderately with coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
Sweet potatoes are very high in beta-carotene and soluble fiber, the kind that creates a gentle intestinal gel and is unlikely to provoke an IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) episode. They qualify as a superfood because they're nutrient dense.
Regardless of the name sweet potato, they also have a low glycemic index (GI), so you're safe from that glucose high and crash, and a small serving may not be harmful for most diabetes concerns. Yams also are part of the sweet potato family.
They can be peeled, sliced, then boiled and mashed. Add butter, squeeze in half a lemon, and drizzle a little maple syrup. Top off with some pecan pieces. Absolute yum with high nutrition.
Try mixing a lot of sauteed mushrooms and walnut pieces into your stuffing. Mushrooms are high in beta-glucan, another soluble fiber with powerful immune enhancing potential. Walnuts are one of the best sources of Omega-3.
Holiday desserts could be topped off with lots of cinnamon, or place cinnamon sticks into hot chocolate or warm apple cider. Cinnamon has demonstrated anti-cancer properties and also helps maintain proper blood sugar levels.
Consider adding ground cacao into some desserts or beverages. Cacao has the highest ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of all foods, making it a killer antioxidant.
Put a few dark or semi-sweet chocolates out for nibbles. The cacao content should be at least 70 percent to include antioxidant and heart health benefits. (http://www.naturalnews.com)
Place them conspicuously with Brazil nuts, which are very high in selenium, a cancer preventative trace mineral. Nuts and chocolate are tasty together.
Butternut squash is similar to pumpkin, but less unwieldy and more nutritious. It is appropriate for holiday servings, and it's also rich in phytonutrients, vitamin A, B vitamins, and minerals, especially potassium.
You can prepare it pretty much like yams or sweet potatoes.
Winter superfoods not holiday specific
Apples should be consumed daily as snacks. They are highly nutritious and contain pectin, another soluble fiber containing beneficial polysaccharides. Eat the skins that contain most of the nutrition. Just make sure your apples are organic, as Big Ag apples are highly sprayed.
Cabbage and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables that help prevent cancer. Steam them lightly, add butter, lemon, and some crushed garlic. Leeks are tasty and similar nutritionally to onions, which are high in sulfur.
Barley offers a good deal of immune boosting beta-glucans. Find recipes that include barley, organic of course. Quinoa is also a nutritious healthy grain alternative appropriate for winter recipes.