My Favorite Thanksgiving Superfoods

11:00 AM Posted by jo

Did you know that several food items served on Thanksgiving are superfoods? They are packed with nutrients that nourish our bodies. So Thanksgiving doesn't have to be very unhealthy. Of course, that is if you cook them from scratch instead of using canned food. Canned foods don’t contain many nutrients.

My favorites are sweet potatoes, cranberries and Brussels Sprouts. I also add a Swedish twist to our Thanksgiving meal by adding Swedish style sweet and sour red cabbage. I love walnuts and they are also packed with a wide variety of nutrients. We add walnuts to our delicious turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving. The big bird, the turkey, is highly nutritious in itself, and some consider it a superfood. 

Pumpkin is actually one of the most nutritious foods available. It is a fruit and part of the gourd family. It is extremely high in fiber and low in calorie. It contains potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, vitamin C and E. It is the carotenoids that put the pumpkin over the edge as one of the top Superfoods. Pumpkin has one of the highest bioavailable carotenoids known. Carotenoids are key players in fighting disease, and in laboratories beta-carotene has shown to have very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Another bonus is that you can roast the seeds for an extra nutritional boost. The seeds are rich in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They are also a source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. 
Check out my delicious Maple Syrup Pumpkin Pie

Like many other berries, cranberries are a good source of ellagic acid, an antioxidant recognized by cancer researchers. They also contain flavonoids that not only put the pigment on the berries, but they also have powerful antioxidant properties. The main flavonoids are quercetin and myricetin. Cranberries  also contain vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, and C. Other nutrients found in cranberries are beta-carotene, lutein, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, and zinc. Cranberries have traditionally been used for infections of the urinary tract.
Check out my Cranberry Sauce made with un-refined sugar

Sweet potatoes are packed with the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C and E. They are part of the morning glory family and don’t belong in the same family as potatoes. They are rich in complex carbohydrates and low in calories. A four oz serving of sweet potatoes will provide more than 14 milligrams of beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and suitable for people with diabetes. The fiber indirectly lowers blood sugar by slowing the rate at which food is converted to glucose and absorbed into the blood stream. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin B6 and folate. 
Check out my roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary dish

Cabbage contains two compounds that the scientists believe make cabbage a potent cancer fighting food. One of these compounds is indole-3 carbinol, which is according to research, effective against breast cancer. It acts as an anti-estrogen and removes harmful estrogens that have been linked to breast cancer. The other compound is sulforaphane, steps up the tumor preventing enzymes in the body. Members of the cabbage family are also packed with antioxidants. 
Check out my Swedish Red Cabbage dish

Walnuts contain the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids of any nuts. They also contain omega-6 as well. Walnut are also the nuts that we have known about the longest. Walnuts are a a good source of pantothenic acid, a B vitamin essential for the nervous system. Other nutrients in walnuts are vitamin E, magnesium, polyphenols, fiber, protein, potassium, plant sterols, and arginine. They are also the nuts with the highest overall antioxidant activity.

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