Turkey, often the centrepiece of the Christmas feast, is not only delicious but also keeps on giving as many of us enjoy leftovers for days afterwards. Turkey stock is a seriously nutritious addition to post-holiday meals. Rich in collagen it can promote joint health, improve skin elasticity, and aid digestion. Turkey is also a wonderful source of:
- Lean Protein: essential for muscle health, immune function, and tissue repair.
- Tryptophan: an amino acid that plays a role in serotonin production. This can contribute to a sense of well-being and may help alleviate holiday stress.
02 Chicken Liver Pâté
Chicken liver pâté might seem a surprising inclusion to our list but in moderation it can be very nutritious especially if homemade with reduced alcohol and butter:
- Rich in iron and B12: foods can help prevent anaemia and maintain energy levels.
- High in Vitamin A: These livers are loaded with vitamin A, which supports vision, immune function, and skin health.
03 Lentil & Nut Roast
For those looking for a delicious plant-based option, a lentil and nut roast is a fantastic choice:
- Plant Protein: Lentils and nuts provide a substantial source of plant-based protein, essential for muscle health and overall well-being.
- Fibre-Rich: This roast is high in dietary fibre, promoting digestive health and aiding in satiety, helping you avoid overindulging in less healthy options.
04 Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is a colourful and nutritious addition to your Christmas table, especially when braised with apples:
- Rich in Antioxidants: help protect your cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Fibre: supports digestive health and can help regulate blood sugar levels.
05 Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are nutritious but can make some people feel gassy. This is because they contain raffinose, which can be hard to digest. If you enjoy Brussels sprouts but worry about gas, try cooking them a little longer or eat them in small amounts to reduce the chances of digestive discomfort. If you don’t have any issues, these mini cabbages are packed with essential nutrients that can benefit your health in various ways:
- Rich in Vitamins: Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system during the cold winter months. They also provide vitamin K, important for blood clotting, and vitamin A for healthy vision.
- Fibre-Rich: Brussel sprouts support digestive health and can help keep you feeling full, which may aid in portion control during holiday meals.
Parsnips are a versatile root vegetable that deserves a place on your Christmas dinner plate. Here's why:
- Rich in Fibre: Just like Brussels sprouts, parsnips are high in dietary fibre, promoting healthy digestion and aiding in weight management.
- Natural Sweetness: Parsnips offer a natural sweetness that can satisfy a sweet tooth without the added sugars found in many holiday desserts.
Cranberries are a staple of traditional holiday meals, and their health benefits may surprise you:
- Urinary Tract Health: Cranberries contain compounds that can help prevent urinary tract infections by inhibiting the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder wall.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans, are often found in holiday recipes and snacks, and they offer numerous health benefits:
- Healthy Fats: Nuts are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Protein and Fibre: Nuts provide both protein and fibre, making them a satisfying and nutritious snack that can help control your appetite.