A person is said to consume around 7,000 calories on Christmas Day alone. But don’t go beating yourself up about over indulging on turkey and mince pies. Life is all about balance – and our favourite Christmas foods do have their health benefits…
Brussels sprouts – An 80g serving of Brussels sprouts contains four times more vitamin C than an orange. They’re also a great source or protein, iron and potassium.
Turkey – Turkey is an excellent source of protein and is one of the leanest meats you can eat. In fact, regular turkey consumption can help lower cholesterol. It also contains essential amino acid Tryptophan which helps you sleep.
Cranberry sauce – Cranberries are often said to be one of the world’s healthiest foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and consumption has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and breast cancer.
Parsnips – Parsnips are great for your gut and digestive health as they have a lot of fibre. They contain folate, potassium and vitamin C.
Christmas pudding – Christmas cake has more fruit and therefore more nutrients than sponge cake and typically contains less calories per 100g. Christmas cake and pudding also usually include spices such as cinnamon which has been shown to soothe digestion and regulate blood sugar levels.
Mulled wine – Red wine contains lots of antioxidants and increases your good cholesterol levels to fight against heart disease. It also has a high concentration of resveratrol which keeps you looking young – just don’t go drinking it by the bucket load to achieve eternal youth. All alcohol should be consumed in moderation.
Roast Potatoes – Potatoes (even roasted ones) are full of Vitamin C, B6 and potassium which are great for your immune system.
Cheese – Although cheese is high in calories, it’s also one of the richest sources of dietary calcium and contains Vitamin B12 which is important for the nervous system.
Nuts – Nuts are high in protein and are packed full of healthy, unsaturated fats, making them a much better snack choice than crisps, chocolate and sweet treats.
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What’s your favourite Christmas food? Let us know on social media by using the hashtag #MyIrishLife