3 Holiday Foods You Should Eat Year-Round
I love cooking with cranberries, pomegranates and sweet potatoes during the holidays. I love the tartness of fresh cranberries in muffins and apple pie. And I’ve started adding pomegranate seeds to tossed greens and fruit salads. I appreciate that these foods are delicious and healthy. They deserve to be eaten year-round!
Pomegranates have a reputation for sexual enhancement and longevity. They contain lots of plant chemicals called polyphenols. One in particular, ellagic acid, fights wrinkles. Other polyphenols have additional anti-aging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranate juice or extract can:
- Improve blood flow to the heart and sex organs
- Reduce total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
- Slow the progression of prostate cancer
Cranberries are also loaded with good stuff, with research showing they can protect against brain damage, DNA damage leading to cancer and cardiovascular disease. They contain compounds called proanthocyanidins. Cranberries also:
- Prevent the adhesion of certain of bacteria associated with urinary tract infections (including E. coli) to the urinary tract wall.
- Inhibit the bacteria associated with gum disease
- Help prevent stomach ulcers.
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene and other carotenoids, the compounds that give these spuds their orange color. They also have plenty of vitamin C. Together, these two nutrients act as protective antioxidants. Beta-carotene and carotenoids can:
- Help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration
- Reduce your risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer
- Improve physical performance and reduce exercise-induced asthma
Make these colorful foods a part of you regular diet, or get highly concentrated amounts of their protective compounds by taking supplements such as carotenoids, pomegranate extract or cranberry extract.