You may love to eat white mashed potatoes with your turkey, but sweet potatoes are better for you. Nutritionists tell us we need to eat brightly colored fruits and vegetables, even in space (and we all know how important green is)!

Astronauts will soon be able to have fresh vegetables at Thanksgiving dinner on the International Space Shuttle, because they’ll have their own hydroponic gardens (where plants are grown in water, rather than soil) there. Carrots are the perfect vegetable to start this project with, since they have a large amount of vitamin A, which helps protect against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataracts and enhances the immune response. Astronauts can be exposed to elevated levels of radiation, which might put them at risk for some types of cancer. Researchers believe that the addition of unprocessed carrots to their diets may help reduce the negative effects of radiation and cancer development.

The bright orange color of carrots is what tells you they’re healthy. The color of the fruits and vegetables we eat can be as important as the quantity. Eight in 10 Americans are missing out on the health benefits of a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. Researcher Amy Hendel says, “A daily dose of color could result in positive health benefits.”

And if you want to be healthy, even on a diet, be sure to eat a handful of nuts every day (any kind will do). They may be high in calories but they’re worth it, since they reduce the risk of heart disease.

Changing your focus from dieting to living healthy during the holidays boosts the chances of maintaining your perfect weight. Psychotherapist Stefanie Barthmare says, “Many of us will gain at least five pounds from the middle of October through New Year’s Day. Because weight gain is gradual, we don’t realize the damage of our indulgences right away. But the scale tells all when the holidays are over. That’s why ‘lose weight’ is at the top of our New Year

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