The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

December 22, 2013

Enjoy these superfoods during the holidays

RICHMOND — Often you hear about what foods not to eat during the holidays. But there are many traditional holiday foods that contain many health benefits. This holiday season, try these superfoods to actually enhance your health.

1. Sweet potatoes. One of the most nutrient-rich foods, sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins A, C and E and contain just 100 calories in a 4-ounce serving. Typically served baked or mashed, go light on the marshmallows or brown sugar when making a sweet potato casserole.

2. Turkey. The staple of most Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, this lean protein is a good source of several important vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus and zinc. And don’t forget the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body make serotonin which aids in restful sleep. A 3-ounce portion contains only 135 calories. 

3. Butternut squash. This nutritional all-star bursts with nutrients such as beta-carotene, B-vitamins, iron and magnesium. It has been shown to have protective effects against cancer and heart disease. One cup of baked squash contains just 80 calories and almost 7 grams of fiber.

4. Onions. A popular flavor booster for many dishes, onions contain high amounts of flavonols, compounds that help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Research also suggests that onions help lower age-related degenerative diseases and certain cancers.

5. Garlic. Known for centuries as natural medicine to prevent a number of diseases, garlic is now being touted for its heart-healthy properties. The flavorful herb can improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels and assist in blood clotting. Chopping garlic finely releases allinase, an enzyme that helps form cancer-protecting compounds. It’s best to let crushed garlic stand for 10 minutes after chopping to prevent total loss of its anti-carcinogenic activity, then add to heat.

6. Brussels sprouts. One of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, these cruciferous vegetables that look like mini cabbages are loaded with vitamins, potassium and fiber. They are known to protect against certain types of cancer.

7. Nutmeg. This flavorful spice has antimicrobial properties that can help prevent tooth decay. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that protect against UV radiation and the signs of aging.

8. Apples. A good mid-afternoon snack, apples have just 95 calories and 4 grams of fiber to stave off hunger. Much of the fiber is in the peel so be sure to eat the apple with the skin on. Apples also contain flavonols, which help prevent bad cholesterol from forming. Serving baked apples with a little cinnamon instead of traditional apple pie will cut down on fat, sugar and calories.

9. Cranberries. This powerful antioxidant source boasts 5 grams of fiber per cup and supplies one-quarter of your daily vitamin C need. Cranberries are believed to protect against urinary tract disease, certain cancers and heart disease.

10. Pomegranate. The polyphenols and anthocyanins in pomegranate have associations with better heart and bone health, post-exercise muscle recovery, and anti-cancer properties. Try them fresh or as fruit juice.

11. Nuts. A traditional holiday appetizer, nuts have numerous health benefits, including lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, reduced risk of certain cancers, and lower risk of obesity. The American Heart Association recommends at least four servings of nuts a week for optimal health benefits.

12. Dark chocolate. Good news for chocoholics. Dark chocolate (and cocoa powder) can provide a healthy finish to your holiday feast. They are rich in antoxidants and phytochemicals that produce heart-protective effects. They also contain flavonols which can elevate mood and reduce neurological decline. The darker the chocolate the better as the higher the percentage of cacao, the more polyphenols will be in the chocolate.


Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg We old folks have unique experiences

    A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hope’s Wings volunteers need your help today

    Help a local resident “get out of jail,” and in turn help men, women and children break the cycle of domestic violence in Madison and surrounding counties.

    April 11, 2014

  • 4-11 FosterParentYear.jpg Bereans named Foster Parents of Year, Outstanding Adoptive Parent

    Stephanie and Doug Gillum of Berea will be honored as Foster Parents of the Year tonight during an appreciation reception at the Kentucky Horse Park.

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-11 PuppetryFILE.jpg Puppet parade planned Saturday in Berea

    The city of Berea will be celebrating Puppets in the Park on Saturday as part of the National Day of Puppetry.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal group seeks volunteers to assist with spay/neuter clinic

    The Madison County Humane Society/Animal League for Life is reaching out to the community for help with its low-cost spay and neuter clinic.
    The clinic, which operates at the HS/ALL adoption center at 128-C Big Hill Avenue, has spayed or neutered more than 2,000 dogs and cats since it opened in July 2012, according to volunteer Lynn Grove.

    April 3, 2014

  • State funding to help keep domestic violence shelter open

    Money for Madison County domestic violence intervention in the recently passed $20 billion state budget will be used to keep the Hope’s Wings shelter open.
    The budget bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

    April 2, 2014

  • 3-29 PetsofWeek1.jpg Pets of the Week

    This week's cat is Jett, a neutered and front declawed 5-year-old male.

    This week's dog is Ace, a 2-year-old male Chihuahua mix.

    March 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Expanded Local Foods Expo is Saturday in Berea

    The annual Local Foods Expo, sponsored by Sustainable Berea, has outgrown its humble beginnings, a workshop with 40 attendees five years ago.

    This year’s event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of the Berea Welcome Center (old L&N Depot) in Old Town on Broadway.

    March 26, 2014

  • Diabetes walk Saturday at YMCA

    The Stepping Out for Diabetes 2014 walk will start 11 a.m. Saturday at the Telford YMCA, 1100 E. Main St., Richmond.

    March 26, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results