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How to Add Superfoods to Your Holiday Meals

This holiday season, give your appetite and your health a seat at the table by eating superfoods!

What is a superfood, you might ask? It’s a term that was popularized to describe foods that could have numerous health benefits beyond satisfying your hunger.

Check out these five superfoods and find out how you can add them to your holiday spread!

Ginger

Gingerbread Pancakes

Ginger is often a natural staple of the holiday table — from gingerbread cookies to candied ginger — the spicy flavor pairs wonderfully with other festive flavors like cinnamon. This season, you can enjoy the taste of ginger while reaping the benefits of this superfood!

You may be familiar with the use of ginger to relieve nausea. Ginger may also support lower overall inflammation as well as improve digestive function (1).

If you’re looking for ways to spice up your holiday meal, try out one of these ginger recipes:

Gingerbread Muffins

Flax and Protein Gingerbread Pancakes

Gingerbread Latte

Berries

healthy blueberry crumble
Blueberry Crumble

Blueberries and cranberries belong to the same plant family and genus, Ericaceae Vaccinium, and both offer numerous health benefits.

Both blueberries and cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and have been shown to contain compounds that may reduce inflammation in the body, protect vision and liver health, improve brain function and immunity, and decrease the risk for heart disease, cognitive decline, and diabetes (2). 

Share one of these berry centered recipes this holiday season:

Cranberries

Cran-Orange Quick Bread

Low Sugar Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

Blueberries

Blueberry Flaxseed Crumble

Vegan Flax French Toast with Berries

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Nuts and Seeds

Christmas Cookie Granola

If you’re looking for a superfood filled with health benefits that’s wrapped up in a tiny package, look no further than nuts and seeds.

The unsaturated fats in nuts help control blood glucose and keep you fuller longer. Nuts also support lower cholesterol, inflammation, and blood pressure (3). 

Did you know that Manitoba Milling Co. Smooth Whole-Milled Flaxseed is a superfood too — it is a seed after all!

You can find out more about some of flaxseed’s superfood benefits here.

If you need a last minute gift for someone else [or yourself], try out these holiday-themed recipes featuring nuts and seeds:

Christmas Cookie Granola

Easy Freezer Fudge

Shelley’s Granola

Garlic

You may want to put away the mistletoe this year if you are planning on filling up with this next superfood.

Garlic, although pungent to the nose, has been shown to benefit cellular health (4).

Try out these recipes featuring garlic this season:

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Marinara Sauce

Dark Chocolate

dairy free, vegan, low sugar, low fat, low calorie, homemade, healthy

In case you needed an extra reason to eat chocolate this holiday season, it may be doing more for your body than just bringing up nostalgic feelings! 

Chocolate — dark chocolate, specifically — has been shown to regulate blood pressure, insulin, glucose levels, and serve as a prebiotic (5).

Other studies have even found that dark chocolate may even benefit brain health — now that’s a sweet trade-off (6).

If you’re ready to dig into some holiday chocolate — for your brain, of course — check out these chocolatey recipes for a festive treat:

Creamy Low Sugar Hot Chocolate

Espresso Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate

Easy Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

For even more superfood ideas check out these recipes to add superfoods to your kids’ snacks!


Sources

  1. Anh, N. H., Kim, S. J., Long, N. P., Min, J. E., Yoon, Y. C., Lee, E. G., Kim, M., Kim, T. J., Yang, Y. Y., Son, E. Y., Yoon, S. J., Diem, N. C., Kim, H. M., & Kwon, S. W. (2020). Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 12(1), 157. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010157
  2. Ma, L., Sun, Z., Zeng, Y., Luo, M., & Yang, J. (2018). Molecular Mechanism and Health Role of Functional Ingredients in Blueberry for Chronic Disease in Human Beings. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(9), 2785. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092785
  3. Kim, Y., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M. (2017). Benefits of Nut Consumption on Insulin Resistance and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Multiple Potential Mechanisms of Actions. Nutrients, 9(11), 1271. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111271
  4. Wan, Q., Li, N., Du, L., Zhao, R., Yi, M., Xu, Q., & Zhou, Y. (2019). Allium vegetable consumption and health: An umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. Food science & nutrition, 7(8), 2451–2470. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.1117
  5. Montagna MT, Diella G, Triggiano F, Caponio GR, De Giglio O, Caggiano G, Di Ciaula A, Portincasa P. Chocolate, “Food of the Gods”: History, Science, and Human Health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Dec 6;16(24):4960. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16244960. PMID: 31817669; PMCID: PMC6950163.
  6. Berk, L., Miller, J., Bruhjell, K., Dhuri, S., PATEL, K., Lohman, E., Bains, G. and Berk, R. (2018), Dark chocolate (70% organic cacao) increases acute and chronic EEG power spectral density (μV2) response of gamma frequency (25–40 Hz) for brain health: enhancement of neuroplasticity, neural synchrony, cognitive processing, learning, memory, recall, and mindfulness meditation. The FASEB Journal, 32: 878.10-878.10. https://doi.org/10.1096/fasebj.2018.32.1_supplement.878.10