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10 Healthy holiday foods to serve this time of year

Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD is one of our SheKnows Experts. She's a registered dietitian, mom of two and freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience in the nutrition field. She is the founding editor of "Raise Healthy Ea...

The holidays are filled with seasonal food that packs a nutritious punch. Make these 10 holiday super foods part of your menu and your guests will be begging for more.

Superfood for Thanksgiving


1. Sweet potatoes

High in vitamins A and C, beta carotene and a good source of potassium and fiber, sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. They also have a sweet taste and rich color that sets them apart from other potatoes.

Try sweet potatoes in a casserole, tasty pie or simply roast with some olive oil and honey >>


2. Cranberries

When you serve cranberries you're not just providing a tasty holiday treat, you're serving an antioxidant heavyweight. In fact, cranberries provide one of the highest amounts of antioxidants in the fruit and vegetable families. They're also a good source of vitamin C and fiber.

Try making fresh cranberry sauce, cranberry chutney or fresh blueberry and cranberry relish >>

3. Pumpkin

This orange beauty is good for more than just being carved up for Halloween. Rich in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C, pumpkin makes a great addition to pies, baked goods and even as cute little appetizers (you gotta see this!).

See many more pumpkin recipes >>


4. Pumpkin seeds

Don't forget to save the seeds from your pumpkin for roasting to make a tasty appetizer or nutritious snack. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of minerals including manganese, magnesium, copper and zinc and they provide plenty of protein.

5. Butternut squash

One of my personal all-time favorite winter squashes is butternut squash. This beautiful orange vegetable sports high levels of vitamins A and C and also is a good source of potassium, magnesium and fiber. But the best part is its irresistible sweet taste.

Get creative with these butternut squash recipes >>


6. Apples

Looking for a fun fall activity with your family? Go apple picking and come home and make apple pie, applesauce or just enjoy the apples for a snack or with some peanut butter. You'll be getting a filling and tasty good dose of soluble fiber.

7. Turkey

Typically the main dish for many holiday dinners, turkey is not only low in fat and saturated fat (absent the gravy, of course), it's rich in niacin, selenium, vitamin B6 and protein and is a good source of zinc. Don't forget to make sandwiches with the leftovers.

Discover other unique ways to use your turkey leftovers >>


8. Pecans

High in manganese and antioxidants and a good source of copper, thiamin and fiber, pecans go above and beyond the call of duty both in nutrition and taste. Try pecans in pies, as an appetizer or caramelized and tossed in a green salad.

9. Pomegranates

High in vitamins C and K and a good source of potassium, folate and copper, pomegranates deliver not just good nutrition but big taste (and versatility). They're also a rich source of antioxidants including tannins and anthocyanins.

Try pomegranates on cheesecake, in a cocktail or au naturel >>


10. Brussels sprouts

It's the season for Brussels sprouts so why not choose it as a holiday side dish? They're high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber and folate, not to mention antioxidants. Try them roasted, sautéed or in a soufflé.

Find out how to choose, store and cook Brussels sprouts >>

More holiday diet tips

Top sugar-blocking tips to avoid holiday weight gain
How to avoid holiday weight gain
8 Surprisingly easy ways to cut calories this holiday season

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