Normally when people think of their Christmas Dinner they are excited but know that at the end they will be half asleep on the couch too full to move but still with one hand in the Roses tin beside them.

Did anyone ever think of the health benefits of their Christmas dinner? If not-read on, you could be pleasantly surprised!

Turkey: the lighter coloured meat on turkey is a great source of easily absorbed protein. Choosing the lighter coloured meat also ensures you do not consume as much fat. The darker coloured meat and the skin contain a higher fat content so these should be avoided if possible.

Brussel sprouts: you love em’ or hate em’! If you’re like me and you ADORE  a good brussel sprout then congratulations because you’ll be stocking up on valuable nutrients like vitamin C to boost immunity, folate for DNA synthesis and repair and fibre to keep our digestive systems healthy. All hail the humble sprout!!

Carrots: contain beta carotene which is needed in the body to make Vitamin A. Vitamin A can help with our vision. Carrots are also a great source of fibre.

Roast potatoes: SPUDS!! Potatoes are a source of potassium which helps with muscle contraction, healthy blood pressure and fluid balance in the body. These are a source of both fibre and vitamin C. Go easy on the oil for roasting to keep them a little healthier!

Cranberries: Mmmm I’m dreaming of them already!! Cranberries are packed with antioxidants to fight free radicals in the body, keeping us healthier and free from disease. Why not make your own cranberry sauce this Christmas? By doing this you can control exactly what goes into it and reduce the sugar content in comparison to shop bought varieties!

Parsnips: Delicious roasted parsnips are filled with valuable fibre, potassium and vitamin C! Go easy on the added honey or other flavourings, they’re yummy just as they are!

Smoked salmon: This is a brilliant source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are so important for healthy brain function. Cut back on the Marie Rose sauce to reduce fat and sugar intake or again, make your own!

Now, don’t go mad on Christmas Day and tell everyone you’re eating 5 plates of dinner because ‘it’s full of nutrients-Emma told me!’. The cooking method, added sauces and portion sizes can all influence our waist lines and overall health! Cut back on added fats, salts and sugar in dishes and watch your portion sizes. Getting outside for some exercise is also a great way to keep healthy this Christmas.

Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy all of the delicious and nutritious foods 😊 Emma

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