Normally when people think of their Christmas dinner they are excited but know that at the end they will be half asleep on the couch too full to move but still with one hand in the Roses tin beside them.. sound familiar?!
Did anyone ever think of the health benefits of their Christmas dinner? If not, read on, you could be pleasantly surprised!
Turkey: the lighter coloured meat on turkey is a great source of easily absorbed protein. Choosing the lighter coloured meat also ensures you do not consume as much fat. The darker coloured meat and the skin contain a higher fat content but if you enjoy them go ahead – it’s one day of the whole year remember!!
Brussel sprouts: you love em’ or hate em’! If you’re like me and you ADORE a good brussel sprout then congratulations because you’ll be stocking up on valuable nutrients like vitamin C to boost immunity, folate for DNA synthesis and repair and fibre to keep our digestive systems healthy. All hail the humble sprout!!
Carrots: contain beta carotene which is needed in the body to make Vitamin A. Vitamin A can help with our vision. Carrots are also a great source of fibre.
Roast potatoes: SPUDS!! Potatoes are a source of potassium which helps with muscle contraction, healthy blood pressure and fluid balance in the body. These are a source of both fibre and vitamin C.
Cranberries: Mmmm I’m dreaming of them already!! Cranberries are packed with antioxidants to fight free radicals in the body, keeping us healthier and free from disease. Why not make your own cranberry sauce this Christmas? By doing this you can control exactly what goes into it and reduce the sugar content in comparison to shop- bought varieties!
Parsnips: Delicious roasted parsnips are filled with valuable fibre, potassium and vitamin C! Plus they are so tasty!
Smoked salmon: This is a brilliant source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are so important for healthy brain function in particular. Smoked salmon is delicious AND healthy! Bonus!
Now, don’t go mad on Christmas Day and tell everyone you’re eating 5 plates of dinner because ‘it’s full of nutrients-Emma told me!’. It’s just nice to know we are getting some pretty amazing nutrients from our lovely Christmas meal. As I said before – it is ONCE a year, enjoy it!
Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!
Emma Brennan is a qualified Nutritionist and is a registered member of the Association for Nutrition (AFN). Emma attained her qualification in Human Nutrition from Ulster University, Coleraine. Emma has a passion for all things nutrition and health related and her mission is to educate the public about their health and wellbeing through her blogs, videos and nutrition tips online and through the Good4U Nutrition Service provided to schools, sports clubs and businesses.