Thanksgiving is usually the most difficult holiday to be mindful of what you are eating. But indulging in your traditional holiday feast doesn’t have to mean giving up your healthy dietary habits! Most of the traditional thanksgiving foods are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars and low in omega-3 fats, all things that can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation can lead to aches and pains, hormone imbalance, and stress. Below are a few tips for ways to make your holiday feast healthier. Remember – being mindful of inflammatory foods will help you not only enjoy your holiday, but keep your health and hormones in check.
Here are a few tips in traditional recipe alternatives:
- Walnuts and winter squash are rich in omega 3’s so indulge and include those in your cooking.
- When making dessert, or if you need a snack, choose pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc. They’re loaded with good fats that are anti-inflammatory.
- Try to eat as many raw, green, leafy vegetables as possible.
- Include plenty of fiber-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, green beans, or Brussels sprouts.
- Try to make a rainbow of color with vegetables and fruits on your Thanksgiving plate. The more color the more antioxidants.
- If you choose to drink alcohol with your Thanksgiving meal, red wine is best. Or if you are making drinks with hard liquor, whiskey has antimicrobial properties and tastes great in hot toddies or with eggnog.
- Steer clear of trans fats as well as you can! They are found in pre-packaged pie-crusts and almost anything that is ready to bake and pre-packaged. Trans fats are linked with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and metabolic conditions.
Written by Noe Ferullo NCNM Naturopathic Medicine Program, Edited by Dr. Elise Schroeder