Thursday, 11 December 2014

Five Foods You Should Include In Your Diet Over Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching I wanted us to take a moment to think about what foods we’re going to be feasting on over the festive period, hopefully this post will help you get started. There is always a lot of temptation at this time of year with numerous different indulgent options available so it’s the perfect time to step back and think about what you’ll be putting in your mouth. Christmas should be a time where we relax and have fun with our family and I wouldn’t ever say don’t let yourself go a little but, with that being said, let also focus on some of the tasty options on hand which won’t damage your waist line quite as much. Below I’ve listed five incredible foods that you must include in your diet over Christmas. These foods boast fantastic nutritional value and will also benefit your health in many ways.

  1. Smoked Salmon - Having smoked salmon with eggs on Christmas morning is a tradition for a lot of families and it’s certainly one I plan to act on in my household. Salmon is extremely high in omega 3, which will contribute to healthy function of the brain and heart, act as great anti-inflammatory for joints and can also reduce the risk of depression through acting as a stress ‘reliever’. What more could you want before a busy day of unwrapping presents, preparing the turkey and dealing with all those in-laws!
  2. Turkey - I’m sure this one will come as no surprise to you and I expect the majority of people reading this post intend to tuck into a nice big turkey for their Christmas lunch. Turkey is a great source of lean protein and it also contains numerous minerals and vitamins such as selenium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, niacin and vitamin B6. Turkey will help keep blood sugar levels stable as it registers very low on the GI scale. Finally, turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan which plays a role in the release of serotonin, improving your mood whilst playing an important role in proving a boost to the immune system.
  3. Vegetables - Brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower etc. are all great examples and as far as I’m concerned the more variety you can get your hands on the better. Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and contain virtually no sugar registering very low on the GI scale. The more colour you can get on your plate the better as eating more coloured vegetables will help protect against certain illnesses and degenerative conditions. Vegetables contain hundreds of phytochemicals which act as antioxidants helping to get rid of potentially harmful molecules called free radicals before they get a chance to damage our cells.
  4. Fruit- If you have a choice of desserts over Christmas, make sure you go for the dessert with plenty of fruit in. Most fruits are low in fat, sodium and calories. Try and stick to fruits without skin such as berries, grapefruit and watermelon. These tend to have a lower sugar content and will therefore minimise raise to your blood sugar level. Fruit contains many essential nutrients such as potassium, fibre, vitamin c and folic acid. Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dietary rich in fibre can help reduce blood cholesterol levels, may lower risk of heart disease whilst aiding overall bowel function. Finally vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, immune system function, healing cuts/grazes and keeps teeth and gums healthy. So don’t just eat fruit over Christmas, start eating it regularly all year round to take advantage of these great health benefits.
  5. Nuts & Seeds - Instead of snacking on chocolate, sweets and crisps replace them with some mixed nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are full of different vitamins and minerals for example:  all nuts contain vitamin E in, a powerful antioxidant to help promote better looking skin, hair and nails. They also contain magnesium, potassium, fibre, zinc, iron and vitamin B6. Most nuts are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. By eating a handful of nuts a day instead of sweeter alternatives you will, in the short term, help stabilize your blood sugar level and, in the long term, improve cholesterol levels whilst reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Hopefully you won’t get bought too many sweets and chocolates if you ask for mixed nuts instead.


So please take note of all the above foods you should include over the Christmas period. They are all incredibly tasty and healthy so if you do in fact enjoy them why not make it a change for life and take the positive steps into the New Year as well. I hope you have a fun, fantastic Christmas and New Year. Relax from your busy and hectic lifestyle for a few days. Eat lots of good food, recharge and prepare yourself for an awesome 2015!

Thank you for reading.

Simon Passey –