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To live long, eat Thanksgiving foods often

Nov. 24, 2010 at 11:02 PM

TORONTO, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Traditional Thanksgiving foods are some of the healthiest foods and warrant eating often, Canadian and U.S. researchers recommend.

Ryerson University Professors Marilyn Lee and Yvonne Yuan say roast turkey without the skin is a good source of protein -- about 1 ounce of protein per serving -- and white breast meat has about half the fat of dark meat, so it's a good meat to eat often.

Thanksgiving favorites such as baked/roasted or candied sweet potatoes and yams are good sources of fiber and vitamin A, while butternut and acorn squash, beets and brussels sprouts are delicious as side dishes and add vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to the meal, the professors say.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition says the plant compound luteolin -- found in carrots, peppers, celery and olive oil -- reduces age-related memory deficits by directly inhibiting the release of inflammatory molecules in the brain.

Bread crust, an ingredient in most stuffing, is packed with antioxidants, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says.

Cranberries are also packed with antioxidants and studies suggest cranberries also can aid recovery from stroke, researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth say.

Researchers from the Miguel Hernendez University identified cloves -- found in pumpkin pie spice -- as the best antioxidant spice, because they contain high levels of phenolic compounds.

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