Go ahead and eat ALL the Thanksgiving food —it’s actually good for you

If you’re feeling stressed out by the upcoming American food holiday of Thanksgiving (that one is to celebrate the harvest, right?), we’ve got some good news.

Most traditional Thanksgiving foods have nutritional value. While it’s true with any food that consuming in mass quantities ups your caloric intake, eating Thanksgiving foods in moderation isn’t as bad as, say, eating a package of Oreos and baloney. In short, the calories aren’t entire empty.

Let’s break down some of the basic foods (h/t to Glamor for helping get this list started).

Turkey: High in protein! The USDA advises that a 3 ounce serving will get you 23 to 24 grams of protein for the day and only cost you 170-190 calories. Tofurkey counts, too!

Yams/Sweet Potatoes: These two starches are not interchangeable, but they both give you lots and lots of fiber, which helps you digest properly and make it less likely to get heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Green beans: These little green beauties are a source of an array of vitamins, from K to C to A to Manganese. Who needs a multipurpose vitamin when there are green beans on your plate?

Pecan pie: Pecans are high in fat, but it’s the good fat. They’re also chock full of fiber, which will help you digest all the other delicious foods you at for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry sauce: Tart, lovely cranberries are a superfood, high in antioxidants (outranking nearly every other fruit and vegetable!) and vitamin C. Don’t skip it when they pass this around!

Pumpkin pie: This holiday fave and inspiration for many hot beverages is actually full of protein, fiber, and according to Healthy Eating, has a “significant source of water-soluble B vitamins.” So don’t be scared to grab that second slice!

Brussel sprouts: Maybe you hated Brussel sprouts growing up, but how could you say no to a Brussel sprout and bacon sauté? (The answer is that there is NO WAY YOU CAN.) This veggie is filled with Vitamin C, folate, antioxidants, and tons of fiber!

So go ahead and get your nom on this Thanksgiving! And if you feel like trying out some unique recipes this year, allow us to introduce you to some “Mutant” Thanksgiving recipes we pooled together —recipes that deliciously combine some of our fave holiday flavors.

(Image via iStock)