Thanksgiving spice packs powerful benefits

It's the day even the most disciplined eater lets loose and makes a little extra room -- because who can resist the temptation of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and of course the pumpkin pie?

Thanksgiving might seem like one of the least healthy days of the year.

And if you overeat, it certainly is.

But it doesn't have to be. In fact, it's possible to have your pumpkin pie and eat it, too -- because some of the Thanksgiving staples are perfectly healthy in moderation.

Turkey, for example, is an excellent protein, especially if you stick to the white meat. We'd probably all be a little healthier if we ate it more often the rest of the year instead of red meat.

Side dishes such Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower -- broiled or sautéed with herbs and olive oil -- can help prevent heart disease, fight cancer, and reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress.

But the most powerful ingredient in your Thanksgiving dinner is the one that gets almost no attention at all, despite the fact that it's in nearly every course.

It's in the sweet potatoes... the pumpkin pie... and maybe even in the coffee.

It's cinnamon -- and it's time to give the spice its due, because if you limit your consumption of it to just one day a year, you're doing it wrong.

Let me give you three BIG reasons to make cinnamon part of your regular diet:

  1. It can boost your brain: A study this summer found cinnamon speeds the learning process. In experiments on mice, the rodents were able to find their way through mazes quicker after a dose of cinnamon.You're no mouse, but human studies have shown that cinnamon can give your gray matter a charge, too. In fact, just the SMELL of cinnamon is enough to get your brain cells fired up!
  2. It can help digestion: Another recent study found cinnamon can lower the temperature in your gut by 3.6 degrees -- a change that allows the bacteria in there to work more efficiently so you get the nutrients you need from your food.
  3. It can cut blood sugar: Cinnamon is so powerful at blood sugar control that smart diabetics use supplements to help reduce their dependence on medication.

Of course, cinnamon isn't going to help much if it's mixed in with sugar, which is how it's often served.

Whether they're in coffee, pie, or sweet potatoes, it seems cinnamon and sugar are practically married!

It's time to give them a divorce.

Ditch the sugar, but hang onto the cinnamon. It's terrific in hot beverages even when they haven't been sweetened.

You can probably do without the potatoes, but if you want some pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, I won't stand in your way -- just be sure that slice of pie is an occasional treat and not part of a pattern.

For some tips on how to make it through the season's feasts without having to shop for looser-fitting pants, check out this free report from my House Calls archives.

PS: Speaking of getting healthier for the holidays, did you know that you can REVERSE all the major symptoms of diabetes in just ONE MONTH? That's right... get started today, and you can give yourself the gift of a NEW YOU for Christmas! Learn more about this groundbreaking science-backed approach to beating diabetes right here.