CHRISTMAS overindulgence is not necessarily bad for your body if you choose your festive foods properly…
At Christmas most of the people -even those who are usually conscious about their diet- eat more than usual. But most of us are not aware of the fact that festive foods can be really good for our body, it's just the matter of the choice that we make to turn the Christmas feast into a really healthy one.
Whether you want to get into a better mood, sleep tighter, be more energetic or boost your immune system you can pick up the perfect meal from the festive dinner table. So let's discover what are the special festive foods good for.
Walnuts are a great nut to crack open at Christmas. They are rich in omega 3 fats and just one small portion will provide you with more than the daily recommended intake. They help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and skin problems and are great at increasing brain power – you only have to look at a walnut to see it looks like a brain.
Raw and activated are best.
Antioxidants can save your day because they protect your DNA from free radical damage/oxidative stress. Chop it, chew it, salad it, sir fry it, juice it, blend it in your shakes, nutri blast it.
Do what ever it takes to get extras in while you are drinking and eating more.
They keep your immune system strong and protect against heart disease , diabetes, cancer, arthritis and everything else you can think of.
Go eat some right now!!!
3. *Christmas pud (what I can hear you sayin??)
Christmas Pud contains loads of healthy ingredients. Raisins can help head off high blood pressure, provide energy-boosting iron and are rich in protective antioxidants, while sultanas are a source of calcium, magnesium and manganese which strengthen bones and help head off osteoporosis. The currants in the pud can help combat sniffles by inhibiting the fluvirus, reducing inflammation in the airways and boosting levels of friendly gut bacteria that strengthen the immune system. Also eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, a nutrient under increasing focus as a key factor in immunity and general health.
*Yes it still contains lots of extra calories so be sure to moderate and exercise the extra energy off.
4. Salmon (not if you are vegan)
Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fats which help protect against heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They also help keep the brain healthy, fighting off depression and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. Salmon is also a great source of vitamin B12 and selenium, helping to protect against cancer.
Nutmeg contains many anti-oxidants essential for optimal health. It contains good levels of minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium making it a great spice to protect against heart health.
6. *Red wine
Red wine contains the compound resveratrol, an anti-oxidant shown to protect against heart health, cancer and other diseases however it should not be drunk in an attempt to get health benefits!
*A little bit can be therapeutic... any more is damaging to your brain and body. Don't overdo it because all the good bits go out the window.
Carrots are a highly nutritious vegetable containing an excellent source of antioxidants. Rich in carotenes, they help protect against cardiovascular disease and promote good eye sight and night vision.
8. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a perfect winter vegetable as they are packed with immune boosting properties including high levels of vitamin C. Known as part of the ‘brassica’ family, these vegetables are great at helping the body detoxify potential toxins, a must for this time of year!
9. Prawns (not if you are vegan)
Prawns are another good source of protein. Protein is essential for growth and development and for boosting energy levels. Prawns also contain high levels of selenium, protecting against cancer and encouraging cell repair.
Cinnamon has great anti-inflammatory properties, helping to fight conditions such as asthma and arthritis. It has been used for years as a digestive aid, helping to relieve heartburn, bloating and gas and it also has amazing anti-bacterial action that can help reduce those nasty bugs that can cause food poisoning.
10. Turkey (not if you are vegan)
Turkey is a fantastic source of protein and contains high levels of tryptophan which is a precursor to the hormones serotonin and melatonin, essential for good mood and sleep, explaining that post Christmas dinner nap!2. ParsnipsParsnips are a great source of potassium helping to protect from high blood pressure. They also contain good levels of folate which helps lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with increased risk of heart disease.
Cranberries are an amazing source of vitamin C and have long been used for their anti-inflammatory protection. Their unique structure makes it difficult for certain types of bacteria to latch on to the lining of the urinary tract helping to fight off urinary tract infections.
Some exerts from Nutrition expert, Sally Wisbey