Nutritious food on the holiday dinner table ranks about as high as coal in the stocking for too many people. That’s because people incorrectly associate nutrition with a lack of flavor. It’s the food they have to eat, not the food they want to eat.
This stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. There are literally dozens of deliciously nutritious holiday food choices out there, but here are a small handful of ideas to give you a little inspiration.
Kiwi is a bright green, tropical fruit that’s bursting with flavor. It also happens to be one of the most nutritiously dense fruits available. Kiwis are full of antioxidants, vitamin E and lutein that help to prevent vision problems, blood clots and high cholesterol.
The flavonoids in blueberries guard against heart disease, memory loss and cancer, while both blueberries and cranberries can help to prevent urinary tract infections. Think about how delicious a fresh fruit salad with kiwis, blueberries and cranberries would be – and think about the festive colors it would bring to the dinner table!
How about fresh, homemade salsa and guacamole? Tomatoes, peppers and lime – salsa’s main ingredients – are high in fiber and vitamins A and C, and very low in calories. Avocados, the star of guacamole, are loaded with heart-friendly unsaturated fats, as well as antioxidants and nutrients like beta-sitosterol, which can lower bad cholesterol. Your taste buds and your guests will thank you.
Salmon is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the world, and two servings of omega-3 foods per day can reduce the risk of a heart attack and cardiovascular disease. Salmon can even improve your skin tone. Smoked salmon as an appetizer or salmon filets with lemon juice as an entrée will make your guests’ glow on the inside and the outside.
Make dark chocolate part of your dessert menu, not just because of its rich, sweet taste, but because it has many of the same antioxidants as fruits, vegetables and red wine. These antioxidants improve blood pressure, prevent clots, reduce inflammation, and lower insulin resistance, the main issue behind diabetes. If you like to dip your fruit in chocolate, dip it in dark chocolate!
The holidays are a time to indulge and have fun, and I don’t expect you to shy away from every dish that might be the slightest bit unhealthy. Just keep in mind that you can indulge in healthy foods without sacrificing an ounce of flavor or an ounce of enjoyment. If you try a new recipe with nutritious ingredients, you may just “wow” your holiday guests!
What deliciously nutritious dishes do you serve during the holiday season?
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.