An Anti-Aging Thanksgiving Feast!
Here are some healthy ideas and recipes to help you incorporate as many nutrient-dense, anti-aging foods as possible into your Thanksgiving spread.
Choose a humanely raised, organic, free range turkey.
It’s better for you, better for the turkey and better for the planet. By choosing an organic, free range bird, you can maximize taste and nutrition and avoid potentially exposing yourself to hormones, antibiotics and other toxins. You can probably order an organic, free range turkey at your local Whole Foods or farmer’s market. If you can track one down, try a heritage breed turkey this year. Visit Local Harvest to see if you can order one from a farm near you.
Start with a big green salad.
Getting some fresh raw veggies in at the start of your meal will contribute enzymes that can help with digestion, and will help make you feel fuller. Try a salad that includes fresh, seasonal fruit like apples, pears or citrus, like this one:
Or maybe this one:
Amp up the classics.
For many people, it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without certain traditional dishes, and there’s no reason to throw tradition out the window in an effort to make your meal healthier. There are some lighter alternatives worth trying.
If you ask me, sweet potatoes are sweet enough — no need to smother them in marshmallows or sugar! Here’s a simple alternative to sweet potato casserole:
And here’s a lighter alternative to green bean casserole:
And a zeaxanthin and quercetin-rich version of corn pudding:
Don’t forget the cranberries! They’re a high antioxidant North American superfood.
Choose your starches wisely.
Here’s where it gets a little trickier. Of course, there is nothing inherently unhealthy about mashed potatoes or stuffing, but here are a few slightly more nutritionally-dense hearty side dishes that you can make either instead or in addition to these.
Chestnuts are delicious!
And so is squash.
Boost the nutritional content of traditional stuffing by using multi-grain bread instead of white (or a prepackaged mix).
Or opt for an entirely whole grain, gluten-free alternative, such as this:
Or try this high-protein quinoa dish:
Don’t forget about the greens!
Include some mineral-rich spinach, kale or Brussels sprouts in your spread. Here are some crowd-pleasing ideas:
And for dessert…
Pumpkin pie is not a bad option at all. After all, it’s made from a carotenoid-rich squash! But if you want a lighter option, try a fresh fruit based dessert like this:
Or this low-glycemic chocolate treat:
Make Thanksgiving the healthiest day of the year! Read how.