Thanksgiving Table Icebreakers! ?How Veggies Can Make You Happy!

Thanksgiving is just days away, and what better way to prepare for the holiday than learning a few fun food facts to keep the conversation going at your thanksgiving table?!

November 22, 2014

We know Thanksgiving as “Turkey Day”, but if you wanted to create a historically accurate meal, you may have to rethink that name. Several historians actually say that, on the so called “first thanksgiving”, Turkey was not the centerpiece of the meal as it is today. So what meat was on the menu? According to the Smithsonian Magazine, though it is possible the colonists and American Indians cooked wild turkey -  goose or duck was most likely the wildfowl of choice

And contrary to popular belief - Turkey isn't responsible for drowsiness or the dreaded "food coma” that we all experience.  So what is? Scientists say that extra glass of wine, the high-calorie meal or relaxing after a busy work schedule is what makes you drowsy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Turkeys Raised in the United States during 2014 is forecasted at 235 million, that’s actually down 2 percent from the number raised during 2013.

So, where do most of our Turkey’s come from? The USDA tells us that a combination of six states account for nearly two-thirds of the turkeys produced in the United States during 2014. The largest turkey producing state is Minnesota, at 45.0 million turkeys, up 2 percent from last year. Followed by Arkansas  and North Carolina.

And you can’t have thanksgiving without cranberries, according to the USDA, Wisconsin is number one in cranberry production. Wisconsin cranberries are grown in marshes, which are flooded at harvest so the berries can “float” for easier collection.

Finally, here’s another fun fact…you can thank thanksgiving for TV Dinners! In 1953, Swanson had so much extra turkey (260 tons) that a salesman told them they should package it onto aluminum trays with other sides like sweet potatoes — and the first TV dinner was born!

How Veggies Can Make You Happy!

And while you’re plotting out your calorie heavy Thanksgiving meal, don’t forget to leave room for some healthy veggie side dishes. And no, I’m not talking about mashed potatoes with cream, or green bean casserole. I’m talking just simple tasty vegetables.

If you need a reason, listen to this – according to new research from the University of Queensland, vegetables, as well as making us nutritionally healthy, could be making us happier too!

This new study involved more than 12,000 Australian adults and looked at their choices on fruits and veggies then rated their levels of satisfaction, stress, vitality and other mental health markers.  According to the University’s Health Economics Researcher, Dr. Mujcic, eating about five fruits and five vegetables a day was the optimal point. He said wellbeing levelled out among people who ate more than this amount, but that fewer than 10 per cent of those surveyed were eating the optimal 10 serves per day.

In addition, a new study from U.K.’s University of Warwick found that mental health and well-being, defined by optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships, go way up as you increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume. Their study involved 13,000 people and the theory is that vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and other nutrients in help your cardiovascular, endocrine and immune systems function optimally. That makes your brain and body strong.

So add some veggies to that thanksgiving menu and have a happy and healthy holiday!


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