Even though holiday meals are often calorie-dense, you do still reap some heart healthy benefits. Here are eight classic holiday foods with hidden health benefits.
One of the healthier dessert options, pumpkin pie provides fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, and various B vitamins. A diet high in fiber supports healthy cholesterol levels, while consuming adequate magnesium promotes lower blood pressure.
Cranberries are a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. Antioxidants protect against free radicals, a step toward preventing heart disease and cancer.
Sweet potatoes provide fiber, vitamins C, beta carotene, manganese, and potassium. A diet high in potassium promotes healthy blood pressure. One sweet potato provides 428 mg of potassium.
White potatoes contain vitamin B6, potassium, copper, and vitamin C. Vitamin B6 promotes normal homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine is associated with plaque build-up and blood clots. One cup of mashed potatoes provides 32 percent of the daily recommended intake for vitamin B6.
Green bean casserole
Green beans contain carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. Carotenoids provide anti-inflammatory benefits to protect against heart disease. Green beans also provide heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
While there is not truly enough tryptophan in turkey for it to be the cause of your post-meal nap, turkey is a rich source of heart healthy lean protein, providing 26-grams of protein per three-ounce serving with only 2 grams of fat.