Healthy Additions to Your Holiday Meal

December 15, 2011

When preparing your holiday feast this year, remember to include some healthy, great-tasting dishes that will add pizzazz to the table and complement the 'star' of your meal. Rich, heavy dishes are a part of many of our family traditions for special occasions and we all have favorites that we look forward to as part of the celebration. The addition of some simple, appetizing side dishes will brighten up dinner and leave everyone full and feeling great! Plus, fresh vegetables can add great color to the spread and create a truly beautiful feast!
  • A bright red and green pepper salad is a great addition to table! Add some finely chopped onion and, depending on your main dish, a balsmamic or apple cider vinegar.  Not only is this perfect the the season, peppers are a great source of capsaicin, which has the effect of promoting blood circulatio, relieving depression, and promoting digestion.
  • Green beans are a popular side dish during the holidays, and the vibrant green of cooked fresh beans  will please the eyes along with the tastebuds.  Try them sauted with garlic and sprinkled with a touch of thyme or cilantro.  Fresh green beans offer a wealth of antioxidants, which protect against hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure.
  • Dress up the cranberry sauce! Add a chopped apple or pear, some pecans, ginger, clove and cinnamon to your fresh cranberries.  They will look great next to your green beans! Cranberries are rich in phyto-nutrients,  which are essential for all-round health and wellness. These berries are absolutely packed with compounds that offer potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections.
  • Offer some apple cider instead of soda. Fresh apple cider retains more of the natural benefits of whole, fresh apples. A recent University of California-Davis Medical Center study found that drinking 12 ounces of apple cider each day can reduce the risk of heart disease. Another recent study from Cornell University found that the antioxidants in apples also inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells.
Fresh foods add great color and style to the table, and you'll be giving an extra gift of good nutrition to all your loved ones!


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