Certain foods just invoke that warm, fuzzy feeling that gets you ready for the holiday season. Get to know a few of the favorites, and why they’re awesome regardless, all year round.
Are you a holiday season fanatic?
You know, that person who’s been counting down on your phone all year long for the day pumpkin spice lattes roll around? You might even be starting your holiday shopping progress as early as September or October, and can’t wait to start listening to Christmas music whenever you want.
With that being said, you may even like your kitchen to reflect the same level of over-the-top holiday cheer! Here are a few seasonal superfoods to incorporate into this time of year, packed with nutrients that allow you to indulge in seasonal flavors with lots of cheer:
These little guys really shine this time of year, and are typically highlighted as a side dish, jam or jelly, or the centerpiece of pies and other baked goods. In such a small package, they really deliver a powerhouse of nutrients. Packed with phytochemicals, cranberries have been found to play a potential role in fighting certain cancers, lower cholesterol levels, decrease risk of heart disease, and reduce inflammation.
This bad boy revs the metabolism like none other, and may even have a positive impact on blood sugar and lipid levels in those with Type II diabetes. Opt for cinnamon in your oatmeal in the morning instead of the traditional brown sugar. It’s an excellent source of fiber with minimal calories, compared to the sugar option. One of my favorite holiday beverages is warmed milk (or milk alternative) with one earl gray tea bag and a fresh cinnamon stick.
Say what?! Peppermint is a superfood?! Okay, hold the phone. I’m not talking about the candy canes (although those ARE delicious). I’m talking about mint herb, in its purest form. Herbs are packed with nutritional benefits, and have been used as a natural remedy for centuries, valued for their antibacterial properties and stress relief. Mint is commonly used to relieve nausea (stock the pantry if you plan to drink one too many cocktails at the holiday party this year and need this baby in the morning!), and other indigestion issues.
Acorn, butternut, spaghetti, oh my! So many choices, so little time. You can find squash recipes galore this time of year, and that is not a bad thing in my book. The variety of mashed, broiled, stuffed, and baked squash recipes fill you up with beta-carotene to keep your skin looking fresh in the harsh winter and keep your immunity up so you can enjoy the holiday season to its full potential.
Citrus fruits are a personal favorite of mine this time of year. Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits are easy to add as garnish, top on a salad, or squeeze into a soup, sauce, or dressing. Packed with vitamin C, these suckers are essential to fighting off infection and making it through the season head-cold-free. Pro tip: broiled grapefruit for dessert is a total game changer. You’re welcome.
Have fun, and don’t be afraid of going all in this holiday season!
Adapted from the original article.
Marissa Thiry, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Orange County, CA with a passion for health, wellness, and delicious food. With her love of innovating in the kitchen and testing unique flavors from different cultures, Marissa helps others understand that eating should be an experience, not a task. Make a visit to read more from Marissa.