Dr. Oz's Thanksgiving Superfoods
It’s the final frontier for health-minded food nuts: Making over Thanksgiving classics without denying friends and family their beloved turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. But by juggling the season’s most nutritious—and delicious—ingredients, your Turkey Day feast can be the healthiest meal of the year. Give your favorite holiday dishes a nutritional boost by adding these ten ingredients—endorsed by Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of The Dr. Oz Show. Plus, seven recipes!
WHY IT’S A SUPERFOOD A favorite of Dr. Oz’s, pomegranate may be one of the gut-friendliest foods around. Its anti-inflammatory compounds help protect the colon from damage caused by diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s.
THANKSGIVING TWIST Stir pomegranate juice into vinaigrettes to taste. Use it instead of milk for moister, sweeter cornbread or instead of water in cranberry sauce, and mix a handful of pomegranate seeds into that sauce before serving.
WHY IT’S A SUPERFOOD A single leek provides over half the recommended daily value of vitamin K, “a nutrient so vital to bone health that people deficient in vitamin K2 [which the body makes from K] get osteoporosis,” Dr. Oz says.
THANKSGIVING TWIST Substitute sweeter leeks for onions (fully or partially) in winter squash soups, succotash, stuffing, gravies, and brines.
WHY IT’S A SUPERFOOD One large rutabaga provides 300-plus percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also loaded with eight phytoalexins, which Dr. Oz says are “compounds that have anti-tumor, antimicrobial, and neurotrophic (meaning they promote the growth and survival of brain cells) properties.”
THANKSGIVING TWIST Peel, slice, and serve raw rutabaga on a crudités platter. Boil and puree the peppery-yet-sweet veggie and lay it under roasted vegetables or fruits. Or, roast rutabaga and toss chunks of it into cooked stuffi ng or blend it until smooth for winter squash soup.
WHY IT’S A SUPERFOOD Consuming the leafy green increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol and decreases LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. “It’s also a very good source of calcium, which your heart needs in order to beat properly,” Dr. Oz says.
THANKSGIVING TWIST After sautéing kale in extra virgin olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper, mash it with boiled red potatoes or layer it in vegetarian favorites like butternut squash gratin and pumpkin-ricotta lasagna.
WHY IT’S A SUPERFOOD According to Dr. Oz, “protein-packed pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan—richer, in fact, than turkey—which increases the brain’s levels of mood-improving serotonin.”
THANKSGIVING TWIST Garnish double-baked sweet potatoes with roasted pumpkin seeds or toss them into spicy mixed nuts, salads, cooked stuffing and roasted Brussels sprouts.