Think Christmas dinner is laden with fat? Think again....
When we think of Christmas food, over-indulging on snacks, chocolate and alcohol often spring to mind, but there’s one meal that leaves us feeling more stuffed than a turkey that can actually be good for us. That’s right, Christmas dinner can actually be better for us than we think, and has a whole host of hidden benefits that we probably didn’t realize. So stack your plate with sprouts and have an extra helping of turkey!
The star of the show and the most important part of a traditional Christmas dinner, this beautiful bird is brimming with health benefits. As well as being an excellent source of protein and low in fat, (even lower with the skin removed), turkey is also rich in vitamins B3 and B6 which are crucial to brain health and producing energy. On top of that, this festive bird is also high in magnesium, selenium and zinc, which help to boost the immune system and keep skin looking fresh.
Apart from chowing down on this delicious meat, you can also get the benefits of turkey from making a mouth-watering gravy from the carcass and it’s juices to drizzle over your dinner too.
Although unpopular with some, Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be complete without the Brussel sprout! A member of the Brassicaceae vegetable family, they’re closely related to kale, mustard greens and of course cauliflower’s of which they resemble the most.
Low in calories but high in fibre, sprouts contain a good amount of vitamin K which is essential for bone health and blood clotting, and are also high in vitamin C which helps our immune system function and encourages iron absorption.
Gone are the days of them being bland and over boiled, there are so many different ways to enjoy sprouts. Finely chopped into a salad, sprinkled onto home-made pizza and even sautéed and stir-fried, whatever way you enjoy them, sprouts are for life and not just for Christmas!
Although honey glazed parsnips might not be the healthiest, naked roast parsnips are high in fibre and low in calories making them the perfect side dish to a delicious dinner on Christmas day. This delicious root veg is high in folate as well as vitamins C and K and can be easily incorporated into your everyday diet.
Whether you mash or roast, bake, fry, grill or boil them, parsnips are the perfect veggie to enjoy in casseroles, soups, stews and Sunday dinners as well as part of a Christmas feast.
An unlikely candidate when it comes to things that are good for us, the classic Christmas pud actually has some health benefits, so you can have a second helping guilt free. Whilst traditional Christmas cakes and puddings aren’t typically low in fat, a large portion of their ingredients are dried fruit which count towards your 5 a day, and are also high in fibre.
A must have ingredient in most festive recipes and traditional Christmas puddings, spices such as cinnamon contain anti-inflammatory properties, and nutmeg which can help aid digestion.