Christ­mas din­ner: It’s health­ier than you think. The sur­pris­ing truth

Quit the guilt – the an­nual fes­tive feast might ac­tu­ally be good for you af­ter all!

Woman's Own - - HELLO & WELCOME -

Christ­mas day of­ten means a big booze blowout, a gi­gan­tic din­ner and one too many trips to the cho­co­late tin – and that’s be­fore you hit the cheese and bis­cuits. how­ever, nutri­tion­ist rob hob­son ex­plains why in­dulging your­self could ac­tu­ally be quite healthy…

Pota­toes

Why they’re healthy: A good source of vi­ta­min B6, which al­lows the body to use and store en­ergy from the pro­tein and car­bo­hy­drates found in a va­ri­ety of foods, as well as main­tain­ing healthy skin. If you keep the skin on pota­toes, then they are also a great source of fi­bre. Make it health­ier: Try roast­ing baby pota­toes with the skin on as they re­quire hardly any oil. When serv­ing, choose the big­ger pota­toes – they’ll have ab­sorbed less fat dur­ing roast­ing. ✱ One por­tion = TWO Medium pota­toes (around 200g)

Pigs in blan­kets

Why they’re healthy: These are high in pro­tein, which the body needs for growth and re­pair of tis­sues. They’re also a good source of vi­ta­min B12 in the pork, which helps to make red blood cells and keeps the ner­vous sys­tem healthy. Make it health­ier: Try to roast these on a cool­ing rack over a roast­ing tray in the oven to re­move some of the fat dur­ing cook­ing. ✱ One por­tion = TWO Or three small sausages

Stuff­ing

Why it’s healthy: If the stuff­ing is made from fresh, add in­gre­di­ents such as nuts, seeds and dried fruits. These can add fi­bre to the stuff­ing and other key nu­tri­ents, such as vi­ta­min e and mag­ne­sium. Make it health­ier: Re­place bread­crumbs with quinoa, which is packed with amino acids and cal­cium. One por­tion = 30-50g

Parsnips

Why they’re healthy: Parsnips are a good source of fi­bre and fo­late, re­quired for the body to form healthy red blood cells. They are also high in vi­ta­min C, which aids the process of heal­ing wounds. Make it health­ier: Try roast­ing your parsnips in light olive oil or steam­ing. ✱ One por­tion = TWO parsnips

Brus­sels sprouts

Why they’re healthy: These are rich in vi­ta­min K, which is re­quired for blood clot­ting – to help heal cuts and wounds – and good bone health. These veg­eta­bles are also rich in zeax­an­thin and lutein, two an­tiox­i­dants that are ben­e­fi­cial for eye health. Make it health­ier: Try steam­ing your sprouts, rather than fry­ing in oil, and cook with herbs in­stead of ba­con. ✱ One por­tion = Four Or Five sprouts

Car­rots

Why they’re healthy: These are high in vi­ta­min A, which is im­por­tant for im­mu­nity as it helps to main­tain strong mu­cus mem­branes (which line your nose and wind­pipe) that act as a first line of de­fence against germs. Make it health­ier: Roast car­rots with cumin seeds or steam them. Stick to olive oil and limit the amount used. ✱ One por­tion = One Medium car­rot (80-100g)

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