Holiday foods that actually have health benefits

Did you know that holiday foods can actually be good for you? Trish Brimhall, RDN, CD, CLE of Nutritious Intent says there are some winter foods that actually do your body good.

Brimhall says, "Winter can be a great time for healthy eating. One of my all-time favorite fruits is in season this time of year: Pomegranates. They're loaded with fiber, antioxidants, as well as vitamin C, K and potassium, these little edible jewels, don`t just add a burst of flavor to any salad or stand-alone snack, they also contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties."

Another thing that Brimhall recommends is sweet potatoes which are related only distantly to traditional potatoes.

"We automatically think of vitamin A and eye health and forget that these rich-colored tubers are rich in fiber, potassium and can help with a bunch of diseases from reducing inflammation to help improve blood glucose control," says Brimhall.

Canned produce may not seem healthy but Trish says there are a ton of benefits to them.

"You can keep them on hand, sparing you an extra trip to the store, it reduces prep time in the kitchen, reduces waste of fresh produce that liquefies in the bottom of your refrigerator, and cans are the most recyclable food and beverage container in America. Want a quick weeknight meal? Grab a can of yams/sweet potatoes, drain and rinse, then blend together with chicken broth, season up with some onion powder and any other seasons that strike your fancy, then heat and serve," says Brimhall.

The soup that Trish made on Monday has a Thai twist to a traditional, creamy sweet potato soup. It has coconut milk, lime, ginger and cilantro along with a base of pureed sweet potatoes and vegetable broth. She says it makes an easy addition to your holiday go-to meal list.

Trish says that cranberries are another source of anti-inflammatory nutrients that make their cameo appearance full of nutrition.

Brimhall says, "Cranberries not only reduce your risk of developing urinary tract infections but they also improve cholesterol, blood pressure and can reduce risk of heart disease. It can be hard to find fresh cranberries any time of the year, but you can keep canned cranberry sauce on hand to pull out any time for a delicious appetizer like a cranberry salsa. This also works great on sandwiches, turkey tostadas, and crostini as well."

Trish says when it comes to the poster child of winter fruits, citrus takes center stage.

"Although vitamin C is what we think of with citrus, don`t overlook the B vitamins and potassium found in this versatile fruit that shows up in salads, main dishes, and desserts. So, keep those kidneys and heart-healthy grab some citrus to accompany your next brunch, dinner or snack," says Brimhall.

This holiday season, Brimhall recommends making an effort to take advantage of the delicious and nourishing foods that you and your family are likely craving this time of year.

"Try searching for rated recipes that include these specific food items. You`ll be pleasantly surprised at the delicious flavor of saving time and money this busy time of year," says Brimhall.

Find more info at nutritiousintent.com.

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