During the winter months when it’s dark, damp, cold and gloomy, it can be all too easy to let our healthy eating habits slip and survive on heavy carbs and comforting sweet treats, and with Christmas creeping up on us there seems to be temptation everywhere we look. There are so many seasonal and healthy foods that we can enjoy at this time of year that could actually make us feel better, it’s all about choosing wisely!
We’ve compiled a short list of healthy foods that can be enjoyed over the festive period that can actually bring many health benefits.
Nuts are a traditional Christmas snack, and a great source of good fats, are full of vitamin E, folic acid, fibre and minerals. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium which can help to beat the winter blues. Why not buy nuts in shells and get the nutcracker out for the authentic Christmas experience?
…and Satsumas, clementines and oranges are another traditional Christmas favourite, often found at the bottom of a stocking! These orange fruits are packed full of vitamin C, vitamin A and are full of antioxidants.
Butternut, pumpkin and other orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potato all have antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory and insulin-regulating properties, and can be roasted or mashed to replace regular potatoes to give your meal a healthy twist.
Swapping some of the traditional Christmas meats such as beef, pork products or other red meats for salmon not only saves calories and fat content, it is also a good source of vitamin D, something we are all short on over the winter months.
A favourite here at the Wellbeing Clinic, dark chocolate is a good source of magnesium, so swapping some of the Quality Street for 80% or higher cocoa content would not only be beneficial to your health but could also save some calories as generally people eat less dark chocolate than milk, due to the stronger taste.
No food is bad, and it’s good to indulge every now and then, but variety and lots of colours are key when it comes to choosing good foods. Stay hydrated, and remember that ‘you are what you eat’, especially if you suffer from chronic illness, IBS or autoimmune diseases. Knowing nutrition can really help to heal your body, and save you from being ill over the festive period.