The holidays are the time of the year when we tend to forget about diets, as sweets such as homemade apple pies and pumpkin pie with whipped cream become popular treats. But staying fit during the fall and winter seasons is still possible, as everything is certainly fine in moderation. So before you have to purchase a pair of jeans a couple sizes larger than usual, here are six healthy foods to keep around to minimize your weight gain and stay healthy during this time of year.
Dates have been a staple in the Middle East for thousands of years. In addition to being used in savory dishes, they can also be eaten as a snack food. They have a wide range of essential nutrients and are a great source of dietary potassium. Ripe dates are a great source of fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer. But be sure to limit your snack to just a couple of the sweet fruits, as they contain a sugar content of about 80 percent.
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In 2011, research from the University of Western Ontario found that tangerines contain a substance that not only helps prevents obesity but also protects against Type 2 diabetes. This sweet fruit has a number of nutritional benefits, including being fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, and high in vitamin C. Additionally, it is antioxidant-packed and has fewer than 50 calories.
Be sure to include cauliflower as one of the vegetables on your Thanksgiving menu. Aside from being a good source of vitamin C, it also protects against cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Cauliflower also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for normal metabolism, and vitamin K, which plays an important role in bone health.
Aside from making pecan pie this Thanksgiving, pecans are also great as a snack on their own. According to research from the Harvard School of Public Health, when nuts such as pecans were a part of people’s diet, they were able to lose weight for a longer period of time than people who did not consume nuts. In addition to being a rich source of energy, they are a beneficial source of minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron.
Cranberries are always popular during the fall season, as families use them to make cranberry sauce to add color and flavor to the Thanksgiving table. It is also a popular and nutritious juice. But have you ever eaten cranberries as is? Whole cranberries provide surprising benefits, as they add plenty of flavor and dietary fiber, with only 25 calories in a half-cup serving.
Candied yams are a Thanksgiving favorite, due to their sweet taste, but the treat also packs a lot of calories. Instead of candied yams, reap the benefits of cooked yams without the added sugar. This common vegetable has complex carbohydrates, which are “good” carbs, as they break down slowly, delivering a steady supply of sugar to the bloodstream and can be burned for energy, helping stabilize our energy levels and moods. They also are a great source of fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer. Moreover, yams are a good source of potassium, which helps control blood pressure.
Which foods will you be filling your plates with this holiday season?