Health Notes from Dr. Liz
February 21, 2011
As holidays go, Thanksgiving is most notably the one about food. And usually plenty of it! Surprisingly many Thanksgiving Day favorites can be quite healthy. Here’s a run down on what to put on your plate, in moderation of course!
- Turkey: Relatively low in saturated fats, turkey supplies about 40% of the Daily Value for protein in a three-ounce serving. Dark meat also packs extra of the minerals iron and zinc, which are both vital for a healthy immune system.
- Sweet potatoes: Often labeled yams in the store, these veggies are nutritional standouts. One baked sweet potato supplies over 250% of vitamin A needs, as well as carotenes and a good dose of vitamin C, both powerful antioxidants that help stave off age-related diseases.
- Cranberries: A cousin of blueberries, this bright red fruit contains a powerful antibacterial agent called hippuric acid along with other compounds that studies show may help prevent urinary tract infections. And yet another compound in cranberries has been shown to help lower circulating cholesterol levels.
- Potatoes: Whether mashed or baked, preferably with the skin on, potatoes provide both vitamin C and potassium. These two nutrients work in synergy to help improve heart health.
- Pumpkin pie: Sure, this delectable Thanksgiving Day dessert has added fat and sugar, but you can’t overlook its wealth of beta carotene, with over 100% of the Daily Value in one slice! This powerful antioxidant—found in pumpkin flesh—helps minimize damaging effects of free-radicals that may accelerate aging.