5 Tips for a Healthful Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner
General Health

Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, so naturally everyone is going to indulge a little bit. But these home-cooked meals, catered delicacies, and simple, but nourishing dinners don’t have to be totally unhealthy. Using a handful of helpful and simple tips, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast.

Here are 5 tips for a healthful, yet still guilt-free Thanksgiving.

1. Fill up on the Vegetables

There is no question that the Thanksgiving turkey is the focal point of dinner, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fill up on the greens. Load up on pumpkin, kale, sweet potatoes, asparagus, carrots, onions, cabbage, brussel sprouts, green beans, garlic, and mushrooms to give your meal a powerful nutritional punch. And consider eating homemade cranberry sauce instead of the canned varieties.

2. Use Health-Boosting Herbs to Flavor your Meal

There are numerous health-boosting herbs you can use to flavor almost any Thanksgiving dish. Try adding any of the following herbs to your meal for various benefits:

  • Basil – This herb has numerous medicinal uses, from acting as a natural anti-inflammatory to reducing flatulence, and nausea. It also has mild antiseptic properties and can boost appetite. Basil can also be used ground up as a salve for minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Oregano – Oregano and the oil derived from it has been shown to encourage weight loss, promote healthy digestion, treat sinus infections and even sooth toothaches. It is an anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-histamine herb.
  • Ginger – The herb is particularly good at calming digestion, but can also fight cancer, inflammation, and boost your immune system. Ginger tea is an elixir that can be used for colds, sore throats, and upset stomach.
  • Sage – Common sage is often used in meat dishes and in cooking with root vegetables. The herb is good for sore throat relief, to soothe digestion, calm a cough, and even boost memory. One study found consuming sage can improve scores on memory recall tests. Maybe best of all, you can grow your own.

3. Eat Slowly and Practice Portion Control

You can eat mindfully and slowly, and still thoroughly enjoy that Thanksgiving meal. Being aware of each bite helps your stomach connect with your brain, allowing you to feel more satisfied. The “art” of conscious eating will not only prevent you from feeling overly full and bloated after your meal, it will help you feel grateful for each taste, flavor, and sensation.

4. Source Your Food Organically and Naturally

Processed foods and canned foods are often full of sneaky additives that no one wants to ingest. Additives like aspartame, nitrates, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and GMOs taint our food too often. Consider crafting your own organic, all natural Thanksgiving dinner using whole, unprocessed foods. This will not only make your Thanksgiving more healthful, but will also lead you to experiment with a more diverse template of holiday delights.

Here are some top Thanksgiving foods surprisingly full of GMOs.

5. Don’t Stress

Yes, it’s important to avoid nasty GMOs and damaging ingredients found in numerous foods, but what’s arguably even more important (especially on a day like Thanksgiving), is to minimize stress. Stress is quickly becoming known as a primary factor for the development of all illnesses. So while it’s true that you should be eating the good stuff and avoiding the bad stuff, remember to take things lightly on a day like Thanksgiving. Sit back, relax, and have a great time with those loved ones around you.