The Health Benefits Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Have to Offer Health Benefits Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Have to Offer

With all of the delicious foods that you have on Thanksgiving, you might not have known that the majority of traditional thanksgiving foods are loaded with health benefits. Now that the holiday is over, chances are, you have leftovers that you’ll be going through over the next few days. 2022 was expected to be one of the biggest years for turkey lovers given that 88% of Americans indulge in Thanksgiving turkey so this year, the number of turkeys sold to families was expected to increase. 

Regardless of how many you cooked, there are health benefits that those Thanksgiving turkeys offer and it’s not related to their delicious taste after being cooked. As you prepare to go through leftovers over the next few days, let’s talk about some of the top thanksgiving foods and how they can impact your health….in a positive way.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Not only is your Thanksgiving turkey packed full of protein, but they are also packed full of vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, turkey is low in fat but this also depends on how you eat it because the ‘`no fat” benefit doesn’t really count when you eat the skin. Vitamins B6 and B12 are found in turkey and if you weren’t already aware of the benefits of these vitamins, B12 is actually responsible for the formation of our red blood cells. 

This vitamin also plays a vital role in cell metabolism and believe it or not, it positively affects our nerve function as well. While B6 is known for helping with brain development, seniors in Florida should also know that B6 is known for boosting immune health as well. One of the main things that you should take away is that turkey promotes better healing. This means that your leftover turkey can help to promote stronger muscles and even general body healing. Who knew that turkey had all of that to offer?

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries in juice form or even their raw form can;

Cranberries are actually considered to be a superfood and would you believe that once you create cranberry sauce, it still has health benefits to offer? Cranberry sauce is a good option to help relieve bloating and promote intestine improvement. It’s a known tart yet slightly sweet remedy to combat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well. 

While this may not be the most popular dish with everyone that attended Thanksgiving dinner, you can’t deny the fact that it’s very low in unhealthy fats and is packed with antioxidants. Seniors living in Florida should also know that cranberry sauce is expected to help us live longer and that there are a few ways it does this.

The Cleveland Clinic went into detail about the life-extending properties of cranberry sauce and it’s safe to say that the ingredients in the sauce are the perfect combination of the things you’d need to maintain good health. Cranberry sauce doesn’t have any trans fats or saturated fats and it can help with weight loss. Additionally, cranberries are known for being a good option to help with clearer skin making it a natural remedy for those that want to develop a skin routine. 

This traditional sauce is also a good way to stay regular and as we mentioned and it can help to fight cancer. The way this works is through the compounds found in cranberry sauce. Those compounds can help to protect your body from any damage from free radicals which contribute to the growth of cancer.

Sweet Potatoes

This might not come as too much of a shock because sweet potatoes are more popularly known as a healthy food choice. You might not have known, however, that sweet potatoes help to promote gut health, help with achieving healthier vision, and they’re simply nutritious. Of course, this will depend on the amount of butter and sugar that you put into your sweet potato dish but if you kept those ingredients light, you may be able to tap into some of the natural health benefits that they are loaded with.

Green Beans

Not too many people think about green beans right away when naming healthy foods but this vegetable isn’t short of any. These veggies are a great source of vitamin K and this vitamin is essential for seniors that want to promote better mobility. As we age, we tend to show lower levels of vitamin K and those with lower levels of this vitamin will often notice a decrease in their overall mobility. Vitamin K promotes healthy aging and it’s a good way to tap into a much better quality of life so if you had green beans for Thanksgiving dinner, you’re in luck. 

While some seasonings and additives may counteract the health effects of different foods, some will enhance them such as garlic. If you used garlic to give flavor to your green beans, this might have been a good thing since garlic helps to boost immune health and even has natural antibiotic properties. If you used bottled minced garlic, you won’t get the same experience as if you used fresh garlic as jarred garlic is pasteurized which kills the natural benefits that fresh garlic has to offer.

However, when reheating your green beans, consider chopping some fresh garlic to add a unique taste and more health enhancers. Overall, the green bean is a good source of Vitamin B and helps to promote healthy bones. For seniors living in Florida, this is important as green beans can help with fracture reduction and prevent significant bone injury.

Apple Pie and Stewed Apples

It’s a known fact that apples are full of nutrients but does apple pie present health benefits as well? The answer is, yes, apple pie is full of healthy advantages although you shouldn’t go and eat a whole pie in one sitting. Apples are a great source of fiber and can even lower your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Once those apples are put into pie form, however, they offer a few unique pros that you should be aware of. This warm and heart-filling pie;

  • Enhances overall immunity
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Acts as a good source of minerals

Even if you made stewed apples for the holiday instead of a baked apple pie, you’ll get something out of that as well. Stewed apples act as a probiotic and are a delicious way to enhance your health and wellness. 


Stuffing is made with a combination of ingredients; chicken, bread, vegetables, and eggs. It’s also important to keep in mind that stuffing can be made with different ground meats as the featured ingredient from chicken or turkey to even using oysters if that’s what you prefer. Stuffing in general can help you to boost your levels of fiber and if you need a boost in energy, the carbohydrates found in stuffing will give it to you.


You might not have thought that ham was a good source of health but this type of meat actually does have a few advantages to it. Ham is actually full of nutrients that contribute to energy and if you need a boost in your B vitamin intake, this might be a good option when you go to heat up leftovers. Ham isn’t only rich in protein but it’s much lower in saturated fat compared to other meats.

Enjoying It While It Lasts

While this isn’t nearly all of the foods that you may have had on your Thanksgiving table, it’s a good start for learning what your leftovers have to offer you aside from providing prepared meal options over the next few days or even weeks. Thanksgiving food is surprisingly made up of variations of superfoods and wellness enhancers so make sure to enjoy every bit of leftovers you do have.

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