The Healthy Secrets of Thanksgiving Foods
Winner: Brussels Sprouts
Green beans are a “decent source of protein,” says Largeman-Roth, but with that giant bird sitting in the middle of the table, few of us will be lacking in protein on the big day. Brussels sprouts, though, “are little baby cabbages, so they have all the benefits that other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, offer,” says Largeman-Roth. Members of this food family contain compounds that fight the nation’s two top killers: cancer and heart disease. “The little bends and branches of our blood vessels are the areas most prone to inflammation and a buildup of cholesterol, and natural substances in cruciferous vegetables have been shown to protect them,” says Sass. “They also have detoxifiers that can help stop the spread of cancer cells and deactivate cancer-causing substances.” Roasted or pan-sautéd Brussels sprouts are really flavorful. And if you need to convince the kids (or other picky eaters) to dig in, why not try calling them “baby cabbages”? It sounds so cute!