Reasons To Be Cheerful (About The Thanksgiving Binge)

As I understand it (I’m not American, bear with me), Thanksgiving happened today and, to celebrate, everyone had a huge feast similar to what I’d serve at Christmas, bickered with their family, watched some tv and then went to sleep it off.

Does that about sum it up?

Since most of you will have the inevitable post-food-coma blues about now, I thought it’d be a good time to remind you of the health benefits of all that food you just ingested.

no regrets! regret is for the weak!

Provided you didn’t eat your weight in dessert, there’s a good chance that you chowed down on some vital nutrients, immune-system boosting vitamins and much-needed healthy fats.

Here’s a handy round-up (and something you might want to print out for next year):

Turkey

yeah, you got me – this is a chicken – but whatevs, it’s a roasted bird

The key to a good turkey (and, in fact, any meat) is to get an organic, grass-fed bird that’s lived a relatively happy, healthy life.

I’ve never really understood that weird custom about the President pardoning a turkey ahead of the celebrations, but it is a good idea to meet your meat. If you buy from a local farmer and you know his birds then you can chow down secure in the knowledge that there’s no sneaky hormones or pharmaceuticals in their feed.

Turkey is a great source of protein – just one serving is around 65% of your RDA. It’s also rich in selenium (which helps fight certain cancers) and B-vitamins.

And, of course, if you’re going to roast a good quality bird, be sure to make a pot of nutritious bone broth with the carcass.

Cranberries

the bright colour is a dead giveaway that they’re nutrient dense

Pretty much all cranberry sauce recipes call for sugar. I get that. But if you don’t go too crazy with the white stuff, cranberry sauce (or cranberry desserts) can be surprisingly healthy.

Every woman (and some very unfortunate men) knows that cranberries are great at fighting infections ‘down there’ ie in the bladder or urinary tract, but did you also know that the berries also lower blood pressure?

And they help arteries become more flexible and robust, thereby reducing the chance of heart attacks or strokes?

Brussel Sprouts

you don’t have to lemon them up, but it does taste goooood

Like most cruciferous vegetables, brussel sprouts are high in vitamin C, folate and magnesium. 

For the purposes of your Thanksgiving meal, you should really be drenching these babies in butter – or a similar fat – to get the full benefit of their amazing nutritional profile.

They are truly the superfood of the dinner table, fighting cancer, lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation. By rights, they should be wearing tiny superhero costumes.

Pumpkin

this is what a pumpkin looks like in the Caribbean

Nature is amazing. In most cases, the most colourful foods are also the ones that are really, really good for us.

Pumpkin gets its signature orange hue from the immune-system booster carotene. The flesh of the vegetable is anti-inflammatory, great for the digestion, a natural anti-aging remedy and can help prevent prostate cancer.

You can roast the seeds too, they are a great way to get extra zinc and essential fatty acids into your diet.

Chocolate

this is my sweet potato chocolate pie, you need this in your life

If your dessert had chocolate in it, give yourself a big pat on the back (not too hard, you’re still digesting).

Rich in antioxidants, it can lower cholesterol and blood sugar (ironic, no? lowers blood sugar?). Go for a good quality, organic, dark chocolate and you’ll also be getting a pretty good hit of magnesium which helps with PMS, muscle soreness and better sleep.

It’s also great if you suffer from fatty liver, any cardiovascular issues or UV damage, according to this, so dive right in.

The dinner ain’t over ’til belly’s had chocolate.

Weigh in: what did you have for Thanksgiving? Did I miss anything out? Do you feel guilty post-feast or did you stick to your diet?

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2 thoughts on “Reasons To Be Cheerful (About The Thanksgiving Binge)

  1. Like the chocolate bit and since you included with the healthy bits I might have a square when I finish typing here :-). Happy Thanksgiving, thanks for a healthy post!

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