| Use these superfoods to add spice and variety to your dishes!
The sweet spice cinnamon is popular during the holidays, flavoring cookies and pies, eggnog, ciders and even meats. In addition to being tasty, cinnamon has many health benefits. Cinnamon tea can alleviate colds and congestion. Cinnamon also improves blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin.
Cranberries – Cranberries are able to prevent bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract, thus preventing urinary tract infections. Cranberries may also help in preventing cavities and warding off viral infections like the flu.
Pumpkin – Pumpkins seeds contain many important nutrients: iron, which is essential for blood cells; zinc, which can increase testosterone and form protein; calcium, which builds strong bones and magnesium, which builds healthy nerves and muscles. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of protein and the essential fatty acid omega-3
In moderation, drinking wine is good for cardiovascular health.
Resveratrol, a component of wine, acts as an antioxidant and prevents cellular damage in the body, but it also prevents blood clotting and plaque formation in arteries. Studies have shown that wine can also prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Ginger – Those little brown men aren’t just the cutest Christmas cookies, they may be one of the healthiest options. One of the biggest benefits of ginger is easing nausea. Ginger oil has even been used in massage to relieve arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is often included in many herbal decongestants and can help to minimize the symptoms of respiratory conditions, colds and allergies.
- Pecans – This all-American tree nut is often scattered among many holiday dishes. Pecan pie, stuffing and appetizers. Pecans are high in fiber, a good source of protein, contain healthy fats, and are rich in antioxidants, like vitamin E. They will help fill you up as a snack before your big holiday meal so you don’t head to the table with an empty stomach.
- Nutmeg – Nutmeg, native to Indonesia’s spice islands, contains a range of aromatic compounds beneficial to overall digestion. Nutmeg contains anti-inflammatory agents as well, which help to relieve pain. Nutmeg is also rich in the super-antioxidant quercetin, which provides powerful protection to the body and brain. So be sure to have ground nutmeg handy this year when you serve egg nog.