5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving nutrition

We all look forward to stuffing ourselves with our traditional culinary favorites on Thanksgiving, but there are a few things you might not know about your annual feast. Here are some fun facts you can use to impress your friends and family from RediClinic – your neighborhood health clinic!

  • White meat or dark, you can’t go wrong. Turkey meat is high in protein and exceptionally low in saturated fat. It contains many vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins. Dark turkey meat has about twice the fat of white meat (although it is still low in overall fat content), but contains more vitamins and minerals.
  • Yams probably aren’t on the menu. The orange-colored root vegetable many Americans call “yams” are really sweet potatoes. Sweet potato flesh can vary widely in color, from white to orange to purple, and the skin color can be white, yellow, red, purple or brown. True yams have tough, brown skin that looks like tree bark, with flesh that is starchy and not sweet. Yams are generally imported to America from the Caribbean. Unless you’re shopping at a specialty store, there are probably no yams in your casserole.
  • The cranberry’s closest relative is the blueberry. Both the blueberry and the cranberry are species of the plant genus Vaccinium, and are native to North America. These berry cousins boast high amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants (which give them their rich colors) and also vitamin C. This year, try this healthy recipe for Cranberry Sauce with Star Anise from EatingWell!
  • Pass the – shellfish? At the original Thanksgiving meal observed in November 1621, there was no milk, cheese, bread, butter, mashed potatoes, corn or pumpkin pie. Instead, it’s likely that the Pilgrims and native Americans feasted on venison, ducks, wild turkey, shellfish, porridge, beans, nuts and squash. Since the colonists would not have had butter or wheat flour to make crusts, there would have been no pies or tarts.
  • Eating turkey doesn’t make you sleepy. It’s a myth that consuming turkey makes you need a post-Thanksgiving dinner nap. Turkey meat does contain tryptophan, an amino acid that triggers production of sleep-inducing serotonin, but no more than many other foods. The real cause of the drowsiness is carbohydrate-laden foods – think mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing and desserts. Overeating these side dishes causes your body to release extra insulin.

This Holiday Season, We’re Redi When You Need Us

If your holiday celebrations are interrupted by illness, head to your nearest RediClinic health clinic, located inside select Rite Aid Pharmacies and H-E-B grocery stores. Our board-certified clinicians treat more than 30 common illnesses and injuries so you can get well fast. Make an online appointment and be seen same-day or next-day!