Delicious, Healthy Holiday Foods for Your Brain

An overhead view of a butternut squash on a table
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Many of us downsized our holiday celebrations this year, but we’re still making traditional dishes that bring us comfort and joy — and maybe even a boost in our immune system.

We’re also still enjoying trying out new recipes and cooking, especially when it comes to the holidays. A survey by snack food giant Frito-Lay found 63 percent of consumers polled said cooking at home will help keep them entertained in the coming months.

As for what we’re cooking, Ginger Hultin, a Seattle-based dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said many of her clients — from those in their 20s to those in their 60s and 70s — are asking her advice on including foods that help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and help people remain as healthy as possible.

Check out this Staying Sharp story on eight foods that help strengthen the immune system.

Hultin encourages her clients to choose seasonal foods, such as squash, cranberries and citrus fruits, which are at their peak of freshness now and are good sources of immune-boosting vitamins and other nutrients. She also points out foods that studies have linked to being protective against cognitive decline, such as dark leafy greens.

“But the number one thing I tell them is to watch their alcohol intake,” she said in an interview. “Drinking not only can add a lot of calories, it can also increase your health risk, especially now during COVID-19.” Drinking alcohol may impair immune function, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Read the full article on Staying Sharp: 5 Delicious Holiday Food Choices for Your Brain.

This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any expert, professional or specialty advice or recommendations. Readers are urged to consult with their medical providers for all questions.

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