The five items in your Christmas dinner that are actually very good for you 3 years ago

The five items in your Christmas dinner that are actually very good for you

It’s one of our favourite times of the year, and along with family downtime, a holiday from work and some nights on the town, we can’t help but love all the food that ties into our festive fun.

Top of the list? A Christmas dinner, with ALL the trimmings.

With news that your Christmas day chow-down can clock up to 1,500 calories for dinner alone, but did you know it’s also packed with some real health benefits?

Read on for how second helpings might not be such a bad idea…

Treat Yourself To Some Turkey

As well as a being packed with protein, Turkey is a great source of iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. It is also a source of vitamin B6 and niacin, which are both essential for the body's energy production. Regular turkey consumption has also been proven to help lower cholesterol level and being a low-GI, the white meat can help keep insulin levels stable.

christmas dinner

Ham

Ham is rich in protein, like all red meats. Ham also contains some essential minerals and vitamins like Copper, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Zinc and Riboflavin. Your body uses riboflavin to convert foods to energy, while niacin is used for the metabolism of fatty acids. For added health benefits, always choose lean cuts of ham, as these contain less fat and calories and are healthier for you. When cooking, avoid frying and go for roasting and boiling, using herbs to season rather than salt.

Green Goodness

Brussels sprouts might be one of the least favoured vegetables in the supermarket, but they also happen to be one of the most nutritionally benefit greens you can eat. Not only are Brussels sprouts a good source of protein, iron and potassium. Commonly used to help aid digestion, they’ve also been known to be beneficial for deteriorating eyesight and having cancer-fighting properties.

Brussel Sprouts If ever there was a super-food! They lower cholesterol, are a great source of antioxidant vitamins, keep your immune system strong, keep wrinkles at bay and even contain essential fatty acids. Phew. Go sprouts!

Saucy Surprises

Cranberries are a superfood that sneak its way onto your plate in the most delicious sauce. Cranberries have vitamin C and fibre, and are only 45 calories per cup.  Cranberries contain large amounts of phenols, linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease. Cooked cranberries can also last up to a month in a covered container in the fridge so be sure to make a double batch and save some for your leftover sandwiches!

Sample some spuds

Potatoes do not contain any cholesterol or saturated fat therefore reducing the risk of heart disease and other coronary problems. Due to the fact that they are rich in fibre, potatoes can also help keep you feeling fuller for longer and can help you lose weight. So second helpings might stop you from tucking into the Roses tin after dinner…

Roast Potatoes Goose fat is a taste choice, it doesn’t actually make your poppies any more crispy. The trick with potatoes is to keep them large and parboil them so they absorb less oil. Shake the colander to fluff them up and then give them a quick toss in hot olive oil, they’ll crisp up just as well. Calorie saving of 79