Healthworks: St. Patrick's Day

In Healthworks, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day! Here's what's special about this holiday: green foods, getting together with friends and even a sip of brew. It can all add up to some really good luck. 

The bagpipes create the perfect soundtrack, while the 50 shades of green bring Corktown to life for Detroit's St. Patrick's Day Parade. This kind of gathering is good for your health! 

"We know from research that socializing helps release lots of different chemical substances from the brain, like endorphins, things like oxytocin, when you have warm relationships with people that you're close to, these hormones and substances make you feel good. They're good for your stress levels," said Dr. Lyla Black-Gumbs, from the Cleveland Clinic.

Anything that gets you with friends and outside in the sun can boost your vitamin D and make you feel better. 

Now let's talk about the food. Corned beef and cabbage is the go-to meal, but the corned beef doesn't get a lot of love from dieticians because it's a processed meat with nitrates. The cabbage however, is a superstar!

"The cabbage of course, being a leafy green vegetable, is going to be high in phytochemicals that are helpful in preventing cancer and fiber which is good for helping you feel full and satisfied," said Lindsay Malone, RD, from the Cleveland Clinic.

A little bit of alcohol can be good for you. That's considered two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. You may want to skip that green beer and opt for a darker stout beer for more nutritional points.

"Choose something that's going to pack a lot of nutrients into your beverage. So, those darker Irish beers will be higher in antioxidants which may provide that additional benefit," said Malone.

You can skip the dyed-green food and instead opt for naturally green foods that provide some additional health benefits, like leafy greens, avocados or green grapes.
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