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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.Pumpkin Cheesecake
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.Gingerbread
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.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2010.Try these healthy holiday recipes