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FEED YOUR FACE: Yummy, Good-For-You Holiday Flavors and Recipes

By Dr Jessica Wu

I love the smell of holiday cooking and baking—especially when the goodies are yummy and good for you. Here are some of my favorite holiday flavors, along with recipes that I’ll be making for my friends and family:

Cinnamon has been shown in some studies to decrease blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes. It’s also thought to increase metabolism and fight fat. How to use it: Instead of chocolate shavings, try spiking your cocoa or coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon for extra flavor. Or, toast walnuts, or pecans in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and cinnamon.

Cranberries are packed with a powerful antioxidant called ellagic acid, which has been shown to fight wrinkles and sunburn due to UV damage (when eaten as well as when applied to the skin). How to use them: Instead of the usual starchy party mix, try serving a mix of almonds, dried cranberries and cashews to get your sweet and salty fix.

Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, and copper, which is essential for making collagen. One type of sweet potato extract was even shown to decrease fat production in lab studies. How to use them: Substitute sweet potatoes (minus the marshmallows) for rice, pasta, and regular potatoes as a side dish. Or, make my favorite, sweet potato fries. Cut sweet potatoes into strips and toss with olive oil. Season as desired (salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic or onion powder), spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes or until crispy golden brown.

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