Have a happy, healthy holiday in store!


November 12 seems to be the unofficial start of the holiday season in Canada; at the grocery store, that usually means one thing...a lot of sugar.

Among the decorations, aisles are typically filled with cookies, chocolates and fruit cakes. Why not nestle in a few goodies for your healthy shopper? There are plenty of festive and nutritious foods on supermarket shelves to entice while keeping the dietitians happy!

Read on for tasty tidbits on the healthiest festive foods this season.

Citrus: Mandarin oranges are the norm but Meyer lemons, sweet limes, tangerines, satsumas and blood oranges abound through the winter months. Citrus are packed with vitamin C, making them great for cold and flu season. Substances found in oranges have also shown protective effects against cancer and heart disease. Why not offer citrus with spices and a recipe for homemade mulled cider?

Pomegranates: Pomegranate season is short and pomegranates have plenty of heart-healthy anthocyanin pigments and ellagic acid helps support detoxification in the liver. Perfect for those who might overindulge during the holidays.

Cranberries: Whole cranberries, dried cranberries and not-from-concentrate juices are anti-oxidant powerhouses that find their way into every recipe and special occasion. Cranberries contain pigments that help lower risk of infection from certain bacteria and plant pigments that support optimum health.

Turkey: Turkey is the ultimate lean protein and it’s not just for Christmas dinner! Lower in saturated fats than red meat, turkey is a perfect choice for those New Year’s resolutions too. Recipes to help use up leftovers and for enjoying turkey year round are wonderful at this time of year.

Healthy Dips: Hummus, olive tapenades, Greek yogurt-based dips and veggie pates are great options for deliciously healthy entertaining. Pair them with healthful whole grain rye crackers or brown rice crisps.

Nuts: Raw nuts, as opposed to salted and roasted varieties, are true superfoods. Chestnuts, cashews and hazelnuts are holiday favourites.

Dark Chocolate: Chocolate is not always on the naughty list...if it contains at least 70% cocoa, it can be a healthy treat! In the spirit of the season, this is a great time to feature Fair Trade chocolate options.

Holiday Teas: A few of the tea companies do holiday teas in sinful-sounding flavours like gingerbread or mint truffle. Green tea leaves contain a cancer-busting compound called EGCG and all forms of tea have been linked to better anti-oxidant support. L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea, helps calm the nerves and counteracts the effects of caffeine. A great, comforting drink for cold winter nights.

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