Dr. Martin Milner, naturopathic doctor, medical director, and CEO at the Center for Natural Medicine, Inc, shared with us some tips to take care of yourself in the upcoming holiday season.
In this article, Dr. Milner shares three holiday foods to avoid, and offers some alternatives, including a delicious salad recipe.
What are some of the unhealthiest holiday foods people eat?
(Image via Women's Health)
Typical recipes for eggnog use heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, raw eggs (yolks and sometimes the whites as well), nutmeg, and some form of alcohol—usually rum, brandy, or Cognac. This is a cholesterol, sugar and alcohol bomb.
Raw eggs are great for creating a creamy texture, but what about the risk of getting salmonella food poisoning? The actual risk of getting salmonella from a raw egg is low: about 1 in 20,000.
If you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, you might not want to risk food poisoning for the sake of eggnog ecstasy. You can buy pasteurized eggs and use those instead (they've been treated to kill off bacteria), or "pre-cook" your egg mixture to 160 degree to ensure that your drink has zero risk of salmonella.
Most of us are not sticking to the half cup serving size. We’re most likely drinking at least a full cup or up to 12 ounces—meaning we’re drinking our calories in sugar and carbohydrates.
Good news is, the milk and eggs are a high source of protein (18 grams), choline, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and D.
A good substitution would be replacing the milk and heavy cream with oat milk and oat milk creamer, and replacing the sugar with stevia or monk fruit sugar.
These candy canes are all sugar and they’re usually pretty large. While you work your way through the entire cane, your teeth and your blood sugar are facing the consequences. These sticks are also usually loaded with artificial colors and dyes.
Enjoying one probably won’t do much damage but turning it into a habit is asking for lots of dental visits, especially for children.
Eating fruitcake is nothing like eating actual fruit. Many fruitcake recipes use dried fruit instead of fresh fruits. Dried fruits are often made with added sugars and juices, plus sulfites as preservatives, which you might be allergic to.
Then, the recipe often adds even more sugar with a side of butter, flour, molasses, and more.
An alternative would be dehydrated fruit. Use whole fresh fruit and slice 1/4" to 1/2" pieces. Dehydrate with a dehydrator or in the oven at 225 degrees fahrenheit.
Doc Milner’s Superfood Salad Mix
For those of you who want to support healthy blood pressure with food as your medicine and medicine as your food, this is the recipe for you.
Choose your favorites and mix to create your favorite blended, complex, and targeted healing salad from the list below.
- Arugula – great tasting nutty flavored salad green.
- Spinach – great source of vitamin A, C, iron and calcium.
- Asparagus – raw tips for the kidney and immune system, high in vitamin A,C and iron.
- Cabbage (red or white) – for the stomach and ulcers, high in fiber, vit. A and iron.
- Beets – highest in nitrous oxide for blood pressure support.
- Carrot – for the skin and mucus membranes, rich in vitamin A.
- Celery – be generous, for lowering blood pressure, high in fiber.
- Cilantro – great for detox and taste.
- Mushrooms – your choice, for the immune system.
- Parsley – great for the kidneys.
- Peppers – sweet red, yellow, orange or a mix of all.
- Red radish – bitters great for the liver.
- Watercress – great for the liver.
- Alfalfa, pea, sunflower, mung bean (high in vitamin C), red radish (spicy, great for the liver) sprouts.
- Almond slices – omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
- Artichoke hearts – great for the liver.
- Avocado – essential fats.
- Cranberry, dried for kidneys and vessel walls and heart.
- Sliced apple, blueberries, cherries, sliced peaches.
- Nuts and seeds, freshly ground, sunflower seed, chia seed, flaxseed, almonds, pecan, walnuts – rich source of calories, protein, and essential fats omega 3,6,9 and fiber.
- Olives and olive oil – omega 9 fatty acids.
- Pica de gallo and/or salsa instead of salad dressing.
Now you know what holiday foods to avoid or consume in moderation, and you have a salad recipe to get the right nutrients in your body to stay healthy year-round.
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