Healthy holidays

The holidays are a lot about tradition. And many of the traditional holiday foods that have been around for hundreds of years boast impressive health benefits. Indeed, perhaps the very reason these foods make it to the holiday table year after year is because they make us feel good.

Take cranberries, for example. You find them in sauces and desserts around the holidays. Plus, ample research has shown that cranberry extract fights off urinary tract infections, including a brand new report from the American Botanical Council that should settle the question for good.

You’ll also find ginger frequently used in holiday baking and cooking. Ginger is a well-known—and very effective—remedy for nausea. Plus, ginger appears to reduce inflammation in the body and works as a natural painkiller. Not a bad herb to keep on hand during the stressful holiday season, for sure. (So, don’t forget your gingerbread, man!)

And of course who can think of holiday treats without mentioning peppermint? Peppermint leaf extract helps treat irritable bowel problems and gastro-intestinal upset—and makes a great after-holiday-dinner mint. It also has a soothing, cooling effect when applied topically. (So, during the holidays, stick with peppermint.)