(This article was originally posted to: Urbanmommies.com)
It’s harvest time. So take advantage of fall’s bounty and fill your plate with the season’s freshest flavours and you’ll actually be doing yourself a favour. You needn’t compromise taste or tradition to stay on track this Thanksgiving season.
Some of the season’s most traditional foods are packed with health. Here’s a taste:
Brussel Sprouts: Are a huge source of fiber, containing four grams of equal parts soluble and insoluble fiber. And they are touted for their cancer-fighting properties.
Zucchini: Perhaps best known for its vitamin C content, is also a good source of vitamin A and lutein, which is important for eye health, as well as folate and potassium.
Pumpkin: It’s an antioxidant powerhouse, filled with beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, potassium, and a hefty dose of veggie fiber. The seeds offer a wallop of protein, fiber, iron and potassium. Canned purree is good too, just watch for sugar.
Sweet potato: Coined as a superfood, it is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a very good source of vitamin C, B6, manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, potassium and iron. It is an antioxidant food that works in the body to eliminate free radicals and is also a natural anti-inflammatory.
Turkey: It’s a very good source of zinc, vitamins B6, B12, protein, selenium, niacin, and the amino acid tryptothan. Roasted skinless, white meat has less total fat, and less saturated fat and cholesterol than chicken, pork or beef. So make sure to go skinless.
- Don’t go hungry. Just because it’s Thanksgiving, make sure to eat a whole grain filled breakfast and lunch. Don’t look at the meal as an endless buffet you are saving up for. Stop the madness of piling the plate. Remember you are celebrating Thanksgiving. So give thanks to your body by not over eating.
- Watch portion size: Go for smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key.
- Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items: Remember try to eat vegetables as close to their whole, natural state as possible. Traditional dishes—like fried and creamy dishes as well as cheese or sugar-filled casseroles—are where the high fat lurks. If you cannot control the ingredients that go into a dish, simply limit yourself to a smaller helping size. Again moderation is the key.
- Skip the gravy boat: The gravy is where all the saturated fat lurks. Instead, opt for the cranberry sauce. Cranberries are huge source of antioxidants and promote gastrointestinal and oral health. So skip the boat.
- Keep to the special stuff: No need to graze on the chips, cheese, and other assorted treats scattered around. Wait for the main event.
- Don’t give in to the tryptophan: Go for a walk instead with family or friends and walk some of the calories.
- Don’t cut your favorites out completely: If you indulge occasional, you will be less likely to binge. So go for it, but again, moderation is key.
- Be Mindful how good that first bite is: No other bite will taste as good. You’ll be getting more calories but not necessarily more pleasure. For dessert, leave behind the pie crusts. Ever notice how seconds are nearly as pleasurable?
- Help clear the table: Rather than sitting and picking at leftovers.
The Season’s Best Bets: Skinless white turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, plain vegetables, defatted gravy or cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, wine spritzers.