Updated: 4 hours ago
For the Love of Food
5 foods to fall in love with this holiday season
With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us already have anxiety creeping in about the indulgence of tasty traditions just around the corner. But let's remind ourselves this season that food is meant to be enjoyed! And the best foods can nourish our bodies and our spirits as they bring together people we love. Here are a few holiday favorites we can enjoy in abundance and feel good about this season.
1. Sweet Potatoes
This classic favorite provides an array of vitamins and minerals and can be cooked a variety of ways that even the youngest family members will enjoy. A member of the root vegetable family, this superfood actually aids in regulating our blood sugar levels whilst simultaneously curbing our desire for something sweet. Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits as well, they can be enjoyed as a snack or addition to almost any meal. Try cubing and roasting with a touch of olive oil and salt, or steaming whole and mashing with cinnamon and a bit of butter. In addition to the traditional orange we often think of, sweet potatoes also come in purple and yellow which can add a vibrant pop of color to any holiday table.
These tiny seeds are not only a beautiful addition to many favorite recipes, but are packed with tons of antioxidants as well as vitamins A and C, which can aid in boosting our immune function during the cold winter months. Try coupling with sprigs of rosemary as a last minute addition to a roasted turkey or tossed into a favorite spinach salad. They can also be paired with dark chocolate or eaten on their own to satisfy a desire for dessert, as well as popped into some sparkling water for a festive beverage anyone can enjoy!
In some parts of the country seafood is a holiday staple, and while oysters are not everyone’s go-to seafood choice, this festive shellfish is certainly worth a try. Loaded with zinc which is vital for our immune function and hormone regulation, this high-protein food can be easily made at home with very little prep. Oysters are known to contain the fullest spectrum of nutrients per each bite than almost any other food. Raw, roasted, or broiled, they are full of flavor and may need only a touch of lemon and herb or brushed with butter and garlic to reach optimal flavor and add a flare to any holiday party.
4. Brussels Sprouts
As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, this holiday staple is one of the most nutrient-packed additions to any festive meal. In addition to being rich in fiber and vitamin K, these tiny cabbage-like gems also are one of the best plant sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have massive anti-inflammatory effects throughout our bodies. For a nutrient-packed side dish that is also festive-looking, try slicing and tossing with olive oil and salt and roasting with pomegranate seeds and pecans.
Gaining in popularity, medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake or maitake have an incredible amount of health benefit in every bite. In addition to being a great source of plant-protein and full of vitamins, mushrooms provide strong immune properties to boost both our gut function and overall immune response to fighting viruses, bacteria, and even pre-cancer cells. Roasted or sauteed, they can be a great addition to almost any meal. Try seasoning with herbs and adding to a breakfast quiche, tossing in a fresh salad, or dicing and folding into any holiday stuffing.