The Healthy Secrets of Thanksgiving Foods
Squash or Turnips?
Though turnips are slightly lower in calories, “they are not a particularly amazing source of any one thing,” says Largeman-Roth. On the other hand, the pigments that give winter squash (such as butternut and acorn) their characteristic bright color are associated with antioxidants that have been shown to protect vision and boost the immune system. “The beta-carotene in squash not only helps support immune cell function, but it helps to form the mucous linings of your nasal passages,” says Sass. And when that barrier is stronger, it is harder for any germs you breathe in to breach it and make you sick. Another point for squash: Though both turnips and squash are naturally fat-free, the sweetness of the latter enables you to cook it with fewer fattening add-ons such as butter or cream. Besides, says Largeman-Roth, “people tend not to be that excited about eating turnips.”