Cookies. Candy. Cake. The holidays can be one big fat trap. But before you steer clear of the dessert table, take a look at the who-knew health benefits of these seasonal treats. We're not saying to eat them with abandon (we wish!), but you can enjoy a slice of your favorite goodie guilt-free.Pecan Pie
Research shows that pecans have the most antioxidants of any nuts, including almonds. As a bonus, they're loaded with cholesterol-lowering plant sterols and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
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A half cup of the canned variety contains more than 350 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin A, an immune-boosting nutrient. Plus, pumpkin has high levels of carotenoids, the pigments responsible for its bright orange color, which studies suggest may neutralize free radicals in your body, helping prevent disease.
Guilt-free holiday appetizers, side dishes and more
A natural anti-inflammatory, ginger can reduce exercise-related muscle pain. The potent spice also aids digestion, which makes gingerbread a perfect finish to a big holiday meal.
More holiday eating tips from FITNESS
Recipe Makeovers: Low-Calorie Holiday Cookies
12 Surprisingly Healthy Holiday Recipes
Party-Proof Your Diet Plan
Get more healthy holiday recipes in the November/December issue of FITNESS Magazine, on newsstands now!