It’s not just an eight-foot-long diet-destroyer waiting to pack the pounds on your hips. Some of those tempting foods are actually good for you! According to Psychology Today, a lot of holiday staples are good for your heart and your brain. Meaning they can increase blood flow, boost your mood and improve your memory. Here are the facts:
- Let’s start with stuffing: It may be the #1 reason most people are even remotely interested in turkey. Stuffing’s also made of bread crusts – which are packed with disease-fighting and brain-boosting antioxidants. Chemicals that also fight against aging, increase immunity, and help keep your eyes healthy.
- Another good-for-you holiday food: Cranberries. They contain even more antioxidants than so-called “super providers,” like strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beets, and red grapes. In fact, the chemicals in cranberries are especially good at protecting memory, coordination, and balance. Studies also show that eating half a cup of cranberries a day can cut in half the number of brain cells that die after a stroke. So, pop some in your mouth as you’re stringing cranberry and popcorn garlands.
- One final healthy holiday treat: Hot chocolate! Just one cup made with two tablespoons of pure cocoa powder has two times the heart-healthy, cancer-fighting antioxidants of red wine or green tea, and five times more than regular black tea. Hot cocoa is better than cold chocolate milk. Studies show that heating the cocoa boosts the healing power of the antioxidants.