Thanksgiving Day dinner is probably one of the most documented celebratory meals, involving organic food. When the colonists carved the first turkey with the various tribes of Native American Indians, neither group had access to a deep fryer, trans fat or processed foods. As the holiday has always promoted surfeiting the solar plexus, it is a grave misconception that Thanksgiving Day dinner is void of healthy foods. Upon deconstructing the traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner, its components bare a meal copious in nutritional sustenance.
A menu of healthy yet piquant foods, the pilgrim diet consisted of wild turkey, squash, cranberries and other vegetation produced from the harvest. Even the pumpkin pie was a labor of love, concocted without the aid of canned pumpkin filling, packaged sugar or a pre-made piecrust. As the colonists’ daily intake was rich with organic produce, Americans, who are monitoring the BMI, can revel in the healthy foods and nutritional value of Thanksgiving Day dinner.
What’s in the turkey? It’s not an urban legend that turkey is laden in an ‘˜essential amino acid’, labeled tryptophan. In an article, authored by Erik Strand in Psychology Today, tryptophan is a key ingredient necessary for the brain’s production of serotonin (responsible for maintaining mental equilibrium). Nevertheless, turkey also provides a good source of selenium and protein.
Healthy food fact: Wild turkeys have smaller breasts than the farm raised turkey. Opt for an organic turkey, which is never fed animal byproducts, antibiotics or any supplemental growth hormones; and, less likely to contain all the sodium found in regular store bought turkeys.
Is cranberry sauce a healthy food?As settlers named the cranberry for the flower vine’s resemblance to a crane head, among sailors, the fruit garnered a reputation as the elixir for staving off scurvy. Rich in vitamin C, cranberries are associated with reducing bacteria in the urinary tract, and loaded with an antioxidant known as an anthocyanin, abundant in red and purple fruits and vegetables.
Healthy food tip: Colonists and American Indians sweetened cranberries, using maple sugar. Raw sugar and Splenda ® are two low sucrose alternatives to reducing the calories of homemade cranberry sauce.
What’s the story behind squash? Squash was a hearty byproduct of the settler’s harvest. While squash is not a popular component of every American Thanksgiving Day dinner, the food has many healthy qualities. It contains a rich source of B-complex vitamins (folate, B6, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), vitamins: A, C, K and minerals: potassium, magnesium and copper.
Health food preparation tip: Instead of over-seasoning squash with salt and to minimize sodium intake, substitute with granulated garlic and lemon pepper.
What about the carbohydrates?As for the mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, stuffing, pumpkin pie and macaroni and cheese, compromise with one choice. Consuming, all five accounts for another 500 calories (at least). And, for those purists, trying to reenact the original Thanksgiving Day dinner, pumpkin pie is an organic slice of the menu.
As for enjoying the Thanksgiving Day Dinner without weight gain: Remember, it’s what and how much you eat that attributes to weight gain.
Eric Strand ” Tryptophan Whad Does it Do, Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200310/tryptophan-what-does-it-do
Answer.com ‘” Cranberries http://www.answers.com/topic/cranberry
NutritionData.com – Squashhttp://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2929/2