If you choose wisely, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean a heavy, less-than-healthy meal. Here are my picks for the best traditional Thanksgiving superfoods:
Apples—We’ve all heard the adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and provided that apple is an organic one, the saying holds some truth. In addition to the vitamins and minerals, they contain an important phytonutrient called malic acid, which when ingested helps improve energy production in your body and has been shown to help fibromyalgia sufferers.
Beets—Recommended by holistic health professionals purify the blood and cleanse the liver, beets are also high in nutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C. In their uncooked state, beets also contain an important compound called betaine, which research has shown reduces several compounds linked to inflammation in the body. The phytonutrient that gives beets their rich purplish-red hue is a potent cancer fighter.
Carrots—Not only an incredibly versatile vegetable, carrots are also packed with nutrition, particularly beta carotene. A single raw carrot contains 13,500 IU of this potent antioxidant. If you’re not sure what that means … it means a whole lot of free radical fighting ability to protect against cellular damage, premature aging, cataracts, and even cancer. According to scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture, eating two carrots daily may reduce total cholesterol levels by 20 percent in those people with elevated levels.
Cranberries—Originally used by the First Nations of North America for urinary tract infections, cranberries and cranberry juice (the real deal, not the sugar-laden stuff most grocery stores dispense) are serious superfoods. According to researchers at the Alliance City Hospital in Ohio, cranberries contain compounds that prevent E. coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract making it easier to be flushed out of the body. Cranberries and pure cranberry juice also appears to flush fat, toxins, and debris from the body’s lymphatic system—a network of vessels and fluid that operates like an internal street-sweeper.