When we think about Christmas foods we often associate them as being fattening, calorific and generally not good for us. Although this is probably true for a lot of Christmas foods, you might be surprised to know that there are good number of Christmas foods that are actually good for you and are packed full of essential nutrients.
Let’s start with the turkey. This exceptionally popular Christmas food is actually really good for you. Turkey meat is high in protein (more so than chicken) and is low in fat. A typical 100g portion of turkey meat will contain just 2g of fat whilst a portion of dark meat the same size contains 4.1g of fat. Just leave out the skin which is full of fat! Turkey meat is also a good source of niacin, which helps to control cholesterol levels and reduce your cardiovascular risks.
This one surprised us (pleasantly we might add!), but roast potatoes can actually be beneficial to your health. Calorie wise, they are still quite high – generally they will have twice as many calories as boiled potatoes. However, potatoes themselves are low in saturated fat and are fantastic source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate and fibre. Cook your potatoes in vegetable oil instead of the traditional goose or duck fat to avoid adding fats which aren’t so great for you.
Smoked salmon is popular option at Christmas and it’s also very good for your body! It’s full of omega-3 essential fatty acids which look after your heart and at just 143 calories per portion you don’t need to worry about counting calories! Similar to turkey, it’s also a great source of protein and niacin.
Vegetables are an amazing source of vitamins and nutrients and are low in calorie, however many of us don’t eat the right amount to get the full benefit from them. Except of course on Christmas day when it’s estimated that everyone who eats a Christmas dinner will eat the full recommended five a day in just one sitting. Load your plate up with sprouts, carrots, cabbage and parsnips which collectively offer fantastic benefits to your health, such as protecting against cancer, keeping your skin, teeth and hair healthy, and helping to prevent heart disease and strokes.
It’s Christmas, so we know it’s hard to avoid the good stuff, but it’s good to know that so many of the vital parts of a Christmas meal are actually super beneficial to our health!