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NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF FESTIVE FOODS

The festive season promises a surfeit of delicious traditional foods. This could cause us to stray away from our overall health and fitness plan. Luckily, not everything presented during the celebration is harmful to your health. Here are a number of nutritional values incorporated in some common festive foods that can benefit your body.

16 Dec 2019
Turkey

Turkey is a popular addition during Christmas dinners and it is packed with an abundancefood nutritionthat keeps you in goodhealth. Three-ounce of turkey meat can supply your body with close to 25 grams of protein as well as other vital minerals and vitamins. The nutrients include zinc, selenium, magnesium, Vitamin B and potassium. While white turkey meat has a lower amount of calories and fat intake, darker meat nourishes your body with a good supply of minerals and vitamins.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are not only a great source of antioxidants which are loaded with immune-helping Vitamins A and C, and energy-boosting vitamin B, they also have other excellent nutrients. It contains potassium (aids in keeping your blood pressure in check), manganese (helps generate collagen, encourages skin, health, and bone health), riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, and are high in carotenoids. Its anti-inflammatory qualities also protect you from chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This starchy vegetable is also fat-free, and low in calories and sodium, giving it the title of ‘superfood’ that can be consumed baked, roasted, stuffed, mashed or even whipped into a pie.

Cranberries

Cranberries are rich in nutritional values and can be consumed fresh, dried, added in turkey stuffing or even as a sauce accompaniment during festive meals. These little berries contain polyphenols, antioxidants which shield the body against any free radicals and prevent you from catching any infections. In addition, eating cranberries can also help you deal with urinary tract infection and E.coli, as well as keep you away from other common illnesses like cough and flu. It also has other properties that reduce your risk of specific cancers, age-related vision loss, lessen low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, and maintains good oral health by fending off bacteria from sticking to teeth.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin pies are regarded as one of the most healthy yet beloved food staples of the festive season. These pies are delicious and contain a variety of nutrients. Pumpkins primarily contain Vitamin A, which aids vision health, boosts your immune system, prevents cognitive decline and supports the maintenance of healthy skin, teeth and bones. Pumpkins also contain fibre, potassium, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. For a healthier alternative, reduce the pie crust size to help you control the consumption of added sugar and fat.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are deemed as nutrient-packed vegetable staple of the festive season. They can be enjoyed in many ways – roasted, charred or even in a salad. Besides being rich in antioxidants that have cancer-fighting features, they also help in enhancing cardiovascular health and ensure good digestive system. For the next Christmas dinner, opt to roast the sprouts and add chopped nuts or cranberries to the dish.

These five traditional festive meals are very much loaded in nutrients. With the health benefits mentioned above, you do not have to be extremely careful with foods consumed during the occasion as you will still stay on the right track to achieve your overall fitness goals.