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Three Wise Men-u Items

healthy holiday foods

Image thanks to Half Chinese

Oh tradition.
I hate when foods are in lyrics, which is why I feel Jimmy Buffet should just stay on his island and stop singing menus at Americans. But somehow, when foods are in a holiday song, they are more than tolerable. They are encouraged. You might even forget some foods exist if it weren’t for the Christmas carols.
They’ve become traditional. But are they good for you?
Let’s take a look at some culinary favorites that made it into the carols…

That Old Chestnut

This time of year is the traditional season for roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Not only are they good on Nat King Cole’s voice, but they are also healthy, containing no cholesterol and no gluten. Unlike other “nuts,” they have vitamin C and are low in calories. They are also a great source of dietary fiber.

What a Pear

If your true love gives you a pear tree, you can enjoy the fruit, once you’ve beaten the partridge over the territory. (Unless it’s Danny Bonaduce, then good luck on that.) They have vitamin C and K in heavy doses, and count as 9.5 percent of your daily copper intake. Did you even know you had a daily copper intake? Pears are good fiber, which can lower cholesterol, and are considered to be hypoallergenic by most doctors. So eat up!

Ain’t Nothing But a Cranberry

So I was listening to the Waitresses’ holiday classic “Christmas Wrapping,” where she sings about forgetting the cranberries. I wish I could forget that song. It’s not good for you.
The cranberries in question, however, are.
At only 45 calories a cup, they are full of fiber and vitamin C. They beat almost every fruit and vegetable in antioxidants, too, which is great for fixing what’s ails you on a cellular level. Cranberry juice can fight certain bacteria, and helps keep your urinary tract healthy.

But Wait, There’s More!

This one is a cheat, but it’s almost mandatory for the holidays: gingerbread. If you can’t beat them, join them, but feel free to give it a healthier twist. Here’s a recipe I found that lessens the caloric naughtiness and lets you be nice.