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5 Delicious Thanksgiving Sides to Ease Discomfort

top view of various healthy Thanksgiving side dishes, including peas, roasted brussel sprouts and carrots, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, etc.

It's that time of year again – when the air gets crisp, the leaves put on their fiery display, and the aroma of Thanksgiving goodness fills the house. Ah, there's nothing quite like it, is there?

But as much as I love gobbling down turkey and stuffing, I know that joint, muscle, or nerve discomfort can sometimes dampen the holiday spirit. So, this year, I've whipped up a list of five delicious and healthy Thanksgiving side dishes that can do double duty - satisfy our taste buds and ease our aches and pains.

Plus, I've even tested these with my grandkids, and they gave their stamp of approval. So, grab your apron, my friend, and let's get cookin'!


1. Sweet Potato Mash with a Twist

Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of potassium, which is essential for maintaining healthy muscles and nerve function. Potassium helps regulate the balance of fluids in and around your cells, reducing muscle cramps and nerve irritation.

Let's start with the classic sweet potato mash, a personal favorite of mine. But instead of drenching it in butter and marshmallows (although I admit, that can be tempting), try this healthier twist:


  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil the sweet potato cubes until tender, then drain.
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes, and add olive oil, Greek yogurt, ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix until smooth and creamy.
  3. Serve it up, and watch your grandkids ask for seconds. This dish is packed with potassium, which can be kind to your joints.

2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with a Zing

Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin K, which can help reduce inflammation in your joints and muscles. This can lead to decreased discomfort and pain, making them a great addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

Brussels sprouts might not be everyone's favorite, but when roasted to perfection and paired with some zesty flavors, they're a real treat.


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Roast them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until they're tender and crispy.
  • Sprinkle dried cranberries over the top before serving. The antioxidants in Brussels sprouts are a great ally for your joints.

3. Applesauce with a Healthy Twist

Apples are packed with fiber and contain natural compounds like quercetin, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be particularly beneficial for easing joint and muscle discomfort and providing relief to nerve-related issues.

Applesauce - a classic side dish that transports me back to my grandma's kitchen. This version is not only delicious but also a natural source of relief for discomfort.


  • 8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a large pot, combine the apples, water, honey (or maple syrup), and cinnamon.
  2. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and have turned into a chunky sauce.
  3. Serve it warm or cold; either way, it's a delightful treat and can offer comfort to sore muscles.

4. Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Almonds

Quinoa is a fantastic source of plant-based protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. These amino acids support muscle repair and growth, making it a great choice for muscle health. The addition of cranberries provides antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, benefiting joints and nerves.

This one's a crowd-pleaser, and even picky eaters might find themselves coming back for seconds!


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions, using water or vegetable broth.
  2. Let it cool, then add cranberries, almonds, green onions, orange zest, and juice.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cranberries are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making this dish both delicious and comforting.


5. Steamed Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic

Asparagus is a low-calorie vegetable rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients, including vitamin K and folate. These nutrients can help reduce inflammation and provide relief from joint discomfort. Garlic offers additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, while lemon adds a burst of flavor.

A simple yet delightful side that adds a burst of color to your Thanksgiving table. It's not only tasty but also offers potential relief for discomfort with its antioxidant-rich goodness.


  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Steam the asparagus until tender-crisp.
  2. In a skillet, sauté garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
  3. Toss the steamed asparagus with the garlic, lemon zest, and juice.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Asparagus is not only a tasty side dish but also contains antioxidants that may help ease discomfort.


Incorporating these dishes into your Thanksgiving spread not only adds delicious flavors but also provides the nutritional support your body needs for improved joint, muscle, and nerve health. Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast with a side of well-being!

Here's to a cozy, discomfort-free Thanksgiving, my friends!


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