Has this cold weather got you down? Feeling stressed by all the shopping, driving, parking, wrapping, and standing in line? Then it’s time for a pick me up! Little did you know that some common holiday flavors are actually nutrient-packed powerhouses that can get you feeling cheerful in no time flat.
So toss one of these delicious flavors in with your next meal, drink, or dessert and feel your energy levels rise and your bad mood dissolve.
In a hot drink or sprinkled on your morning oatmeal, cinnamon just makes everything taste better, and it’s good for you too. Full of calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese – 1 little teaspoon of cinnamon can do a lot for your mood. It has also been used in traditional medicine for many years to help with digestion problems – something we may all have after too much holiday indulgence.
Another great stomach soother is peppermint, which also is full of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and manganese, as well as a ton of other nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids and potassium. You can enjoy peppermint tea as well as tossing it in salads and stir frys (really!) Get it fresh and see just how fabulous mint can be in just about anything.
Warm and fragrant nutmeg (and its subtler cousin, mace) is really one of those holiday spices that should be in everything – so do it! You’ll love the spicy flavor, as well as the boost you get from the assortment of minerals contained within; including copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, and iron. It is also a major antioxidant, just in case you’ve chowed down on your neighbor's triple fudge death cake!
This time of year will have you thinking of gingerbread man cookies, but ginger tea and fresh ginger are better bets to get in the holiday mood. It is good for soothing stomachs after a few too many spiked coffees. With more than 50 known antioxidants, this is a mega detoxifier, and can help you get rid of a little extra holiday weight and even prevent migraines – something we can all use after a stressful day!
Fresh ginger offers the most benefits, and is readily available at most supermarkets. Helpful tip: you can store fresh ginger in the freezer so it will last longer.
This amazing little spice has a ton of good nutrients, and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Used for centuries to help ease pain, fevers, and coughs, cloves can clear up your sinuses on a cold winter’s day and warm you up from the inside out. Full of vitamin C, fiber, amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids, this is one spice that really is worth its weight in gold. Besides baking, cloves are a great way to liven up soups and stews. For the best flavor, buy whole cloves and grind them yourself – they will last longer this way as well.
Festive, delicious, healthy and fun, these flavors are great to add to your families traditional treats for years to come!