A Feast for Your Health: Thanksgiving Ingredients That Actually Benefit Your Health
With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, it’s time to start focusing on your family’s upcoming feast. Roasted turkey, warm mashed potatoes, melt-in-your-mouth stuffing, and the delicious taste of pumpkin pie — could it really get any better? The answer is yes.
Thanksgiving dinner isn’t only good for its great taste, it’s also good for your overall health. Although this holiday is typically perceived as the ultimate diet-destroyer, the dishes you normally gobble down aren’t as bad for you as you might think. Contrary to popular belief, certain traditional Thanksgiving foods pack more health benefits than they’re often given enough credit for. From sweet potatoes to apples topped with cinnamon, your typical holiday spread has proven to be positively impactful for different areas of your health. So, instead of spending countless hours at the gym preparing for this day of indulgence, learn about all of the vitamins and nutrients that come from the ingredients found in your favorite Thanksgiving staple foods.
Let’s start with one of the most popular dishes, the classic Thanksgiving turkey. Whether you prefer to eat white or dark meat, turkey has proven to be a powerhouse for proteins. Depending on your preferred choice of white or dark meat, your body can receive differing health benefits. For example, white meat is considered to be the leaner option between the two as it has fewer calories and reduced fat content. On the other hand, dark meat has higher amounts of zinc, and thiamin, both of which regulate your body’s immune system and metabolism. Additionally, darker meat contains vitamins B6 and B12, giving your body more nutrients to support your blood cells and nervous system.
Despite the differences in white and dark meat, the proteins found in turkey are still valuable for your
hair, nails, teeth, and skin as these parts of the body are all made up of
protein. Additionally, the proteins found in turkey can help to suppress
Ghrelin, the “hunger hormone” of your body. According to health experts, high-protein foods, like turkey, promote fullness by
stabilizing blood sugar levels and signaling the release of
appetite-restricting hormones, like Leptin, throughout the body. Because of
these hormones, your body becomes triggered to become fuller, more quickly.
For many of us, finding an
adequate solution to treat our sexual health issues can sometimes be extremely
difficult. Some women may seek out a prescription
medication to restore female libido, while some men may resort to generic Viagra to treat common sexual health conditions like erectile
dysfunction. On top of taking your prescription, there are foods that will also
help lead you to more satisfying results. Take the ingredient pumpkin, for
Not only can a slice of
pumpkin pie be a savory-sweet treat to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day, but it can
also be a simple, yet powerful tool for treating sexual health issues; regardless
of whether you identify as a male or female. This is because pumpkin contains omega 3 essential fatty acids, which act as a precursor of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like
substances that are important for your sexual health. Along with this, pumpkin
is also rich in zinc, a chemical element that promotes the health of the male prostate gland by increasing testosterone production. Zinc can be
beneficial for females as well as it can boost a female’s libido. Over time, a
diet filled with pumpkin may even result in enhanced potency, sexual drive, and
fertility. So bring on the pumpkin year-round!
If pumpkin isn’t something
you typically enjoy, don’t fret. You can still reap the sexual health benefits
with carrots! Roasted, shredded, glazed, or steamed — carrots can be another way
for you to boost libido. This is because the delicious-tasting vegetable is
full of vitamin E. Comparable to vitamin A, vitamin E is also fat soluble
nutrient that can positively impact all parts of your body. But with this
antioxidant specifically, it’s well-known for enhancing libido in both males and females.
For men, eating carrots can
increase testosterone levels and sperm motility with its unique ability to improve blood circulation and
oxygenation of the body. As a result, this allows men to improve their stamina
and sexual desire. By contrast, vitamin E can heighten sexual arousal in women
by improving blood flow circulation to the clitoris and vulva during arousal.
Apples With Cinnamon
Fortunately, for us, apples
with cinnamon — perhaps one of the most anticipated sweets of the season —
comes packed with another powerful antioxidant, vitamin C. Found in the
cinnamon spice, vitamin C works to repair tissue and the enzymatic production of
In addition to vitamin C’s
skin benefits, this nutrient can also be great for building collagen, which is
the most abundant protein in your body. Collagen is a building block for your
skin, allowing your complexion to look more supple and firm. Furthermore, the
antioxidant properties found in vitamin C can help your skin is able to speed up cell-regeneration, which can decrease acne and brightens skin tone. Even
though it can fend off acne, it is still able to add hydration to skin as well.
Like other Thanksgiving
foods, cranberries are a highly effective solution for your skin and your
sexual health. When it comes to skin, the antioxidants and antiseptic
properties found in cranberries offer a practical way for you to eliminate acne and freshen skin. Similar to apples with cinnamon, cranberries also
contain vitamin C antioxidants. Despite the fact that we are already aware of
the ways vitamin C can benefit our skin, it’s not the only health factor
recognized in cranberries. In particular, the antiseptic properties in
cranberries can also help to alleviate acne by reducing an oily substance known
as sebum, leading to clearer pores and minimize breakouts.
Apart from its skin
benefits, cranberries can also aid in your sexual health. For women especially,
the antioxidants of this fruit can prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
This is because of antioxidants like A-type
proanthocyanidins (PACs), which stop harmful bacteria from interfering with your bladder wall. In turn, this
reduces the likelihood of developing this type of infection.
It doesn’t matter if they
are incorporated as a side dish or dessert for your Thanksgiving feast, eating
a form of sweet potatoes can be valuable for your hair health. Even if you’re
struggling to overcome thinning hair or hair loss, thanks to the beta-carotene
nutrient, sweet potatoes can actually stimulate hair growth. When the plant-based compound, beta-carotene, is
ingested, it converts to vitamin A, another antioxidant nutrient that is
necessary for tissue development and cell growth.
Vitamin A is especially
imperative for hair growth, as your hair is one of the fastest growing tissues in your body. Vitamin A can be useful for your scalp as
well since it creates sebum in your skin glands. From its ability to produce sebum, it’s much easier to grow out your hair because the sebum
that’s created allows your scalp to stay nourished and protected. For this
reason, the protective layer caused by the consumption of vitamin A can also
reduce the breakage of your hair. Given the useful hair hacks that come from
this antioxidant you might feel encouraged to add an extra scoop of that creamy
sweet potato casserole, or perhaps try out a vitamin A supplement to attain
your desired results more quickly. However, while it’s typically okay to pile
on that extra scoop, you should refrain from taking vitamin A in the form of a
pill unless you have a vitamin A deficiency or have received permission from
your healthcare provider. Because this antioxidant is a fat-soluble vitamin, it
has the ability to store itself in your body and be used on a different day, so
consuming too much of it may reverse its effects. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure to check with a
doctor first about your daily vitamin A intake before you refer to any sort of
As you can see, indulging
in your favorite Thanksgiving foods isn’t as unhealthy as you’ve been led to
believe. If you’re trying to maintain your figure, remember that everything is
always better in moderation. Regardless of all of the wonderful health
advantages that are attributed to some basic ingredients, it’s important to be
considerate of the calorie-intake of certain Thanksgiving recipes. If you’re aiming to maintain your figure throughout the
holiday season, just make sure that you are choosing dishes that align with
your health and wellness goals.