Christmas is almost here! Hooray! And now on with the real work- the Christmas dinner! It’s a well known fact that we tend to pig out a little more than usual this time of year, and while there is no harm in that once in a while (Christmas is only once a year, after all!) it does make sense to limit the damage as much as possible! Last week we wrote about ways to survive the party season, and this week we’re all about the festive food. So here are five little super foods for your Christmas dinner this year- so you can enjoy it guilt free!
Hoorah! The centre-piece of the whole meal is our number one super food. Why? Because it’s low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in folic acid- a great protection against birth defects, some forms of cancers and heart disease.
Go on, have a little more cranberries with your turkey this year- they’re filed with free-radical antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Research has also shown that cranberries help to prevent urinary tract infections too. Make your own sauce this year:
- Place fresh cranberries in a small saucepan and cover with a little fruit juice
- Add a small pinch of sugar
- Boil until the berries pop
- Reduce to a simmer for a few minutes and allow to cool
This humble vegetable is a superhero in disguise, so make sure you help yourself to plenty this year. The pea contains a generous serving of fibre and when eaten fresh (rather than tinned or frozen) they can help to maintain a healthy digestive system- vital at Christmas we think!
We love sweet potatoes! And here’s why: they’re packed with beta-carotene, antioxidants, and fibre. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body, which is essential for our eyes, healthy skin and the immune system; Antioxidants defend against free radicals and help to promote good health and prevent diseases; and fibre helps to maintain a healthy digestion. Now you see why we call the sweet potato a super food! Bake it in the oven to bring out the sweet flavour and enjoy!
Whole wheat bread
We often promote a bread free diet, but at Christmas there is no harm in indulging- especially if it’s whole wheat bread. These bad boys are packed with fibre and so much healthier than their white counterparts. Do check labels to make sure it’s 100% whole wheat.
After you’ve eaten…
Don’t panic if you eat too much. Christmas is once a year and we all need to let our hair down a little now and then. If you are feeling a little sluggish after dinner, here are a few tips to help:
- Go for a walk. Simple, easy exercise to clear the cobwebs and burn off the treats.
- Drink plenty of water- it will stop you from wanting to eat more, keep you hydrated, and help to flush the food through your body too.
- Take a nap. Why not? Its tradition to have a snooze after dinner and its a great way to recharge the batteries.
- Take yourself away from the food and spend a few minutes meditating or relaxing so that you’re ready for the next round of festivities.
Most importantly, enjoy your Christmas dinner. Have a wonderful time!