4 holiday foods with underrated health benefits

4 holiday foods with underrated health benefits

Everyone fears holiday bloat, but don’t let that get your holiday tinsel in a tangle – many winter holiday staples offer sneaky-awesome health benefits, abnormal calorie counts aside.

Enjoy the holidays and don’t give a second thought to looking like Saint Nick after them by eating these surprisingly healthy favourites.

Brussels Sprouts

We admit it: when we said ‘holiday favourites’, we used the term favorites, very, very loosely.

Case in point – Brussel sprouts. The disease-fighting cruciferous veggies seem to always make a cameo during the holidays, and Christmas is no exception. Cabbage’s cousin is low in calories, but robust in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and protein.

To get the most out of your sprouts, do your best to avoid overcooking them; try roasting or sautéing them instead of boiling or steaming. For roasted Brussel sprouts, add olive and salt, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a clean and simple dish. Or you could opt for the classic side dish: roasted Brussel sprouts with pancetta and balsamic vinegar.

Yum (?).


Cranberries were first introduced to the New World when the Native Americans introduced the pilgrims to the tiny berries in 1621.


That tradition continues to this day, with cranberries close to wherever a turkey dinner can be found. Modern research has confirmed the Native Americans suspicions: that cranberries are uber-good for our health. They reduce the risk of certain infections, maintain the body’s urinary tract, boosts heart health and temper inflammation.

Oh, and they’re also loaded with fiber and vitamin C, while carrying virtually no calories.

Related: 5 Easy Tips for Reducing Stress Over the Holidays


You probably didn’t expect to see the Thanksgiving mascot here, but they play a large and nutritious role around the holiday dinner table, too. Whether you hog the bird’s white or dark meat, turkey is one of the lowest-calorie protein sources available to us. Skinless turkey breast actually rocks one of the highest protein-to-calorie ratios across all foods, so it’s one of the best meats you can choose health-wise.

The high-quality protein not only has just 120 calories and 1 gram of fat per 3-ounce serving, but enhances satiety, giving you a better chance to not overeat when dessert rolls in. Most of the calories and fat lie in the turkey’s skin, so if you’re looking to keep your weight in check, remove it before serving.

Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com; Julia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock.com

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