NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF FESTIVE FOODS
Every festival presents us with an array of delicious traditional treats. This could result in us moving away from our health and fitness regime. But not all foods eaten during festivities would ruin your diet plan. Below are the health benefits of certain festive foods that can be consumed guilt-free.
As a must-have dish during Christmas dinners, turkey contains an array of nutrients that benefit your body. By eating a three-ounce, skinless piece of turkey meat, it can provide you with almost 25 grams of protein as well as other important minerals and vitamins for your body. Turkey that has white meat gives you a lesser amount of calories and fat intake, whereas darker meat supplies your body with a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
Sweet potatoes are known for their versatility and you can come up with many unique Christmas dinner ideas with them. This root vegetable has loads of antioxidants like immune-supporting Vitamin A and C, as well as energy-boosting vitamin B. Sweet potatoes also have other beneficial nutrients like potassium (helps to manage blood pressure), manganese (aids in generating collagen, promotes skin and bone health), thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and are rich in carotenoids. They also help prevent chronic diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties. Sweet potatoes are also low in sodium, calories and fat-free, making it a ‘superfood’ that can be indulged baked, roasted, mashed or even as a pie
There is no doubt that cranberries are deemed as nutrition food and can be eaten dried, fresh, as part of a turkey stuffing or just as a side sauce during festive meals. These berries contain polyphenols, antioxidants that safeguard the body against free radicals and help the body stay away from infections. Apart from tasting good, cranberries can also help you cure urinary tract infection and E.coli, while shielding your body against any other common sicknesses like cough and flu. They also decrease the risk of being diagnosed with specific cancers, age-related vision loss, bring down the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and maintain good oral health by hindering bacteria from clinging to teeth.
Christmas is never complete without indulging in a slab of delectable and creamy pumpkin pie. This sweet treat is not only delicious but also contain a variety of nutrients. Pumpkins are full of Vitamin A, which helps with vision health, uplifts your immune system, prevents cognitive decline and aids in the maintenance of good skin, teeth and bones. Pumpkins also have fibre, potassium, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. If you are thinking of a healthier option, get hold of a smaller pie so that you would be able to watch the amount of added sugar and fat added into it.
This vegetable is a staple during the festive season. You can char them, roast them, or even enjoy them as part of a salad. Brussel sprouts are not only rich in antioxidants that are high in cancer-fighting properties, they also help in improving cardiovascular health and contribute to good digestive system. This festive season, try this unique Christmas dinner idea by roasting this mini cabbage-looking vegetable and incorporate chopped nuts or cranberries to the mix.
Some of these traditional festive dishes are definitely rich in nutrients. Coupled with all the information presented above, now you do not have to be afraid to savour delectable festive foods without spoiling your fitness goals.