5 Super Healthy Ingredients To Bake Christmas Cookies With
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When the festive time of year comes around everyone likes to indulge a little to get into the holiday spirit. It usually means tons of food and drink and a lot less exercise. Holiday fare can be laden with sugars and fat and will play havoc with your diet. I guess that’s why we have New Year’s resolutions so we can pay penance for the overindulgence the days before. However, having a great time during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to give up eating healthy, far from it. One of my favorite treats are cookies, something to munch on with a cup of coffee, or just when you need a lift during the busy days. There are some ingredients you can use for your cookies that will make them just a little bit healthier if you make them yourself.
It is one of the classic tastes of the holiday season. Gingerbread and ginger cookies are a tradition all over the world. It’s no wonder, as the health-giving properties of ginger have been known for centuries. Ginger comes from the root of a plant and can be found in thousands of recipes as it adds a unique fragrance and flavor to cooking. The active ingredient is gingerol, an oil which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
The great thing about cooking with baking with ginger is that it tastes great, and it has a host of proven health-giving effects. Gingerol is known to lower the risk of infections, as it inhibits the growth of various types of bacteria. It is also suspected of lowering blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It can minimize chronic indigestion and has seen to give some relief to those who have muscle or joint pain, and women during menstruation. Studies have looked at how it could improve brain function and combat Alzheimer’s, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent some cancers by reducing the growth of abnormal cells. So as an ingredient, ginger really can be classified as a superfood.
Another of the festive favorites, cranberries have been used for decades as an accompaniment to Turkey. Cranberry juice is also popular. However, people are only now beginning to understand the health-giving qualities of the berry. Like raspberries and strawberries, the cranberry is high in antioxidants, and studies have shown when consumed, they increase the antioxidant level in the blood. Medical research has also shown that cranberries can have an effect in preventing and treating urinary tract infections. Cranberries contain compounds which inhibit bacteria, such as e.coli, from attacking the wall of the urinary tract and causing inflammation and pain. S
ome studies have looked at how the cranberry can improve the immune system, and help reduce the risk of colds and flu. The little red berries are thought to have a cleansing influence on the body and can detoxify the digestive system. Studies have suggested they work like yogurt or kefir, and their probiotics stimulate functional activity in the gut. Regular consumption of cranberries has been shown to have an effect on enzymes which are known to trigger heart disease.
Making cookies with quinoa really is a super healthy alternative to regular flour. It is only relatively recently that the health benefits of quinoa have become widely known. The protein-rich ‘super grain’ as it is sometimes called, contains nine essential amino acids. With almost twice the fiber of other grains, quinoa helps prevent heart disease by reducing the risk of high blood pressure, and diabetes. The iron content in quinoa keeps the red blood cells healthy and increases brain function. If that were not enough to convince you how good quinoa is for your health, then there are other elements the body needs to stay in tip-top condition.
The quinoa grain contains lysine, which is used to promote tissue growth and repair. It is also rich in magnesium, which can alleviate migraines, and improves the function of the nervous system and encourages the growth of healthy teeth and bones. Quinoa is high in vitamin B2, known as Riboflavin, which is known to improve the energy metabolism of the brain and muscles.
Most people associate the pumpkin with Halloween lanterns and not much else. However, eating and cooking with pumpkin is very good for you. One of the great things about pumpkin is that it is full of fiber, so once you eat it, you will feel fuller for longer, and hence it is a great addition to a weight-watching diet. The bright orange color of a pumpkin is because it is full of beta-carotene, which is also found in carrots. The body turns the beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyes and can protect against cataracts.
Along with the vitamin A, pumpkin has a big shot of vitamin C, which is known to help the body improve its immune system, and thus fight off cold and flu infections. That beta-carotene also helps your skin look younger, as it is a natural protection against the damaging ultraviolet rays that cause the skin to wrinkle. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat pumpkin and have a high beta-carotene diet have a lower risk of some cancers, such as prostate and lung cancer. Researchers have also shown that pumpkin appears to reduce blood glucose levels, and increase the supply of insulin within the body, thus helping to control diabetes in some patients.
Everyone loves an oatmeal cookie, and eating one shouldn’t be regarded as an indulgence, but as part of a healthy diet. Oats and oatmeal are rich in soluble fiber which is known to reduce cholesterol levels. Along with the antioxidants, the fiber fights the harmful cholesterol, and the oatmeal also contains extracts that prevent heart disease. With such a high fiber content oatmeal is good at regulating the bowels, and preventing painful constipation.
The side effect of this is it reduces hunger pangs and can help in a weight-loss diet. The Lignan extract that helps prevent heart disease, according to the American Cancer Society, also reduces the chance of breast cancer, ovary, and prostate. Oatmeal should also be considered one of the real superfoods.