The 9 Feel-Good Foods to Take Advantage of this Holiday Season
The holidays are a perfect excuse to indulge in some lazing around in front of the fire with your loved ones, snacking on your favorite holiday treats (can you ever get enough pumpkin pie!). For many diet-conscious individuals who are looking to get the best out of their body this Christmas, the various treats associated with the time of year can be a serious threat.
Fortunately, though it may sound like something too good to be true, some of the best Christmas treats you love to eat during the holidays can also be healthy and even beneficial for your fitness regimen. Here are some reasons why you should eat, drink, and be merry this festive season.
1. Smoked Salmon
A delicious and indulgent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, smoked salmon is spectacular for boosting your heart health, and when it’s prepared properly, it can serve up as little as 142 calories per 100gram portion. What’s more, for muscle-builders, salmon can also be a judicious source of protein, and a helpful way to access niacin that assists your body in breaking down the food you eat for energy.
2. Roast Turkey
The holiday season simply isn’t complete without a nice fat turkey – but you don’t have to be the one that’s full of stuffing this year. Turkey is low in fat and high in protein so long as you avoid eating the skin. After all, 100grams on your plate will only give you around 2 grams of fat – if you’re happy to stick to the light meat. Like salmon, turkey is also a fantastic source of niacin.
3. Cranberry Sauce
Need something to make sure your turkey doesn’t go dry? Cranberries contain a great level of vitamin C, and research taken from Finland has shown that drinking cranberry juice can also help you to fight back against urinary tract infections. Thank the Fins for that type of information! They must grow a lot of cranberries up there! Cranberry juice is very healthy, now you have something to point your figure towards though in terms of knowing at least one part of your body that benefits from this type of fruit.
4. Red Cabbage
The perfect side-dish for a colorful holiday meal, red cabbage is brimming with surprisingly high levels of calcium, which make it great for healthy teeth and bones. What’s more, this veggie is a marvelous source of folate, and contains plenty of healthy carotenes too. It may be hard to eat since the taste is not there and not that appealing but now red cabbage can go down a little better since who does not care for having healthy teeth!
Another staple of the Christmas roast for most families, carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene, which can be transformed into vitamin A by your body, for healthy skin and improved eyesight. Here’s a trick that you might not know – the darker orange your carrot is, the more beta-carotene it is likely to contain. What’s more, carrots are also high in potassium, which is required to regulate the balance of fluid in your body.
You can even eat baby carrots quite conveniently in the movie theater (too bad Transformers 5 has not came out yet!). They help clean your teeth after you eat that chocolate bar and those Red Vines for example.
An impressive source of folate, parsnips are packed with about twice the amount of fiber that you would typically get in the same portion of carrots. Unfortunately, they also come with about two times the amount of calories. However, so long as you avoid adding fat during your roasting process, you should be able to get away with a relatively low-calorie meal.
7. Roast Potatoes
Roasting potatoes in fat and oil is a stellar way to pile on extra calories – but it is Christmas after all. Fortunately, you can still benefit from your spuds through the fact that they’re often low in saturated fat, and when they’re cooked in vegetable oil, they can be even healthier, packing in magnesium, potassium, folate, and vitamin B. Roasted potatoes also come with a reasonable amount of added fiber.
8. Mince Pies
When it comes to the calories you expect to get from mince pies, the truth is that most of the fattening stuff comes from the saturated fat found in the pastry. The more expensive you go when buying mince pies, the thinner your pastry will be, and the greater the fruit content might be. All of the dried fruit could also give you a reasonable boost of potassium too.
9. Christmas Pudding
You might think that we’re clutching at straws now, as most Christmas puddings – particularly store-bought ones, are high in calories and saturated fat. However, the fruit inside is full of potassium, so you should be able to ease your conscious slightly with the knowledge that a portion of pudding will also give you plenty of fiber and iron. Keep in mind that puddings with more fruit and nuts are likely to have a lower content of saturated fat.
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About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.