Benefits: Packed with protein and low in fat (even less than chicken). High in the amino acid tryptophan, which naturally increases your levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin and relaxes your body. Avoid: The skin, which is filled with fat and calories, and is high in toxins.
Sweet potatoes Benefits: Much healthier than white potatoes, sweet potatoes are a dense source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and beta carotene. Gives you sustained energy without causing a blood sugar spike. Avoid: Adding calories with toppings like marshmallows or too much butter. Try adding cinnamon or a low-calorie butter spray instead.
Pumpkin pie Benefits: Pumpkin is high in fiber and rich in carotenoids, which may slow the aging process. Topping with cinnamon adds an additional antioxidant punch and helps to control your blood sugar levels. Avoid: Overindulging or adding whipped cream or ice cream.
Broccoli Benefits: High in polyphenols and indoles, which may help to optimize hormone levels and prevent cancer. A good source of selenium, vitamin C, and soluble fiber. Avoid: Overcooking as this will destroy many of the beneficial nutrients. Also make sure to avoid topping with large amounts of butter. Try extra-virgin olive oil with sea salt and pepper instead.
Red wine Benefits: Good source of resveratrol, which has many potential benefits, including life extension. The alcohol content is beneficial as well, as studies suggest that 2 alcoholic beverages per day contribute to a healthier and longer life. Avoid: Overdoing it. More than two glasses and you are likely hurting your body more than you are helping.
Cranberries Benefits: Rich source of antioxidants, especially anthocyanidins which may prevent cancer. Avoid: Candied variations which contain excess sugar.