We are starting to look forward to some serious festive gourmet eating...and amongst all of the treats are some genuine nutritional champs! Read on:
Turkey - for life, not just for Christmas
Why is it that we only eat turkey at Christmas? It is a great source of low fat protein and also provides B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc and selenium. Turkey also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that triggers serotonin production and helps you get some valuable shut eye during the party season. Gobble it up!!
Break out the chestnuts!
High in fibre, low in fat AND a source of vitamin C, potassium, copper and magnesium, amino acids and antioxidants. It’s our stuffing of choice!
This unglamorous looking nobbly root might just be your NBF on Boxing Day. Prized down the ages for its calming effect on the digestive system - here’s the science bit: phenolic compounds help relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production and suppress gastric contractions and movement of food and fluids through the gastro-intestinal tract. If you’ve no room left for gingerbread, try steeping a few slices of ginger root in boiling water for a revitalising infusion- aaaah!
Abandon your prejudices - the humble sprout is actually a nutritional super hero! 20, yes 20 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, an antioxidant, vitamin A, which supports healthy eyesight, vitamin K for blood clotting, folate which bolsters red blood cell health and is important to pregnant women, potassium which can help regulate your blood pressure and fluid balance. Convinced yet? Did we mention, vitamin E, most of the B complex of vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, calcium, manganese and selenium....just don't over cook them and they will really love you back!
Is there a more Christmassy smell in the whole world? Apart from the deliciousness factor, cinnamon is great for enhancing any natural sweetness present in food, so you don’t feel the need to ladle more of the white stuff in. It also contains record levels of polyphenol antioxidants. Studies are also now investigating the possible beneficials effects of cinnamon on blood sugar levels. Time to spice up your life!
Too often the wall flowers at the Christmas party - left to languish at the bottom of your stocking. Satsumas are bursting with vitamin C - just one satsuma can provide nearly half of your daily recommended intake. Add folate, potassium, calcium, and most of all the fact that they are quicker and less messy to peel than oranges, and they go straight to the top of our Christmas list!
Walnuts are a great source of protein and fibre, so they are great for satisfying your appetite and helping you to slow down on those Quality Street! In addition they contain vitamin E, manganese and copper. Lastly, they provide the healthy fat ALPHA-LINOLEIC ACID (ALA), which is increasingly believed to be beneficial to hearth health. Pass the nutcrackers!
Chocolate’s base ingredient, cocoa, is a good source of many important micro nutrients including iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and zinc. It also contains the antioxidants catechins and procyanidins. Whether we can claim that our Xmas selection pack retains these virtues is doubtful. Unless it’s high percentage cocoa (say 70%) it’s more likely that the good stuff is counterbalanced by the sugar and fat side of the equation. However, after much self sacrifice and dedication to health and wellbeing research, Winchester GP can confirm that chocolate is absolutely delicious, and in moderate consumption, will undoubtedly contribute to general feelings of festive happiness and wellbeing. We wish you wonderful Christmas!
If you have enjoyed reading this blog post on Feel Good Festive Food, please consider liking and sharing using the social media buttons below! Upcoming posts for the new year include - some easy to keep New Year's resolutions that will get 2016 off to a great start, how to tell the difference between feeling down and depression, and acne- stay tuned :)