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23 Dec 2016

Christmas Super Foods

Red Wine

It is not unusual for many of us to consume an extra 500 calories a day during the holiday season, a few crisps/peanuts here, a couple of chocolates there, throw in a sausage roll and a glass of bubbly and before you know it the damage is done. But you don’t need to turn into a diet bore, just take advantage of what happens to be in abundance at this time of year.

Super Foods

Turkey is one of the richest sources of tryptophan, which is an amino acid – essential for producing serotonin (the happy hormone). Making it perfect to combat the stress that comes with the festive season! It is also high in protein, whilst being lean in fat and includes many B vitamins that protect the nervous system.

Cranberries have twice the amount of antioxidant activity than is contained in raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries and they are packed with vitamin C.

Brazil Nuts are incredibly special for their high selenium levels; you only need to eat 2 nuts to get your recommended daily intake! They are heart friendly and help to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Chestnuts are of course popular at this time and they are great at counteracting salty snacks, the potassium they contain balances the effect that too much salt has by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.

Sprouts come in the camp of ‘love them’ or ‘hate them’, but they do contain very powerful anti-cancer properties, so that might just convince you to include them in your diet. It’s hard to believe, but they actually contain more vitamin C than oranges.

Carrots contain beta-carotene which the body needs to make vitamin A, and they are fantastic for our skin, which can often worsen in the winter and if we over-indulge.

Dark Chocolate in small doses – 1 or 2 squares, (70% or higher) has been shown to help lower blood pressure due to the high content of flavanols (another antioxidant). But do keep to a small amount as the high fat and sugar content can cancel out the benefits.

Red Wine has heart-protecting antioxidants, but similar to the advice on chocolate – consume too much and you undo the good. You could also try it as a mulled wine; the added cinnamon can help to reduce blood sugar levels.

Satsumas are not just for the bottom of a stocking! Two satsumas count as one of your five a day and will give you a decent amount of folate and vitamin C, especially helpful at a time when coughs and colds are more prevalent.

Other great choices would be Salmon (Omega 3 fats), Game (B Vitamins & Zinc) and Dried Figs (Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Potassium and Calcium). A good rule of thumb to live by is ‘Everything in Moderation’ – enjoy the Holiday Season!

Written by: I4C_Blog_Admin