You’ve hung the stockings up, Elf is on the telly and you’re kicking back with your first mug of mulled wine.
Perfect time to enjoy your favourite Christmas Food, like a mince pie. Which often turns into four, accompanied by a liberal sprinkling of Celebrations, too.
Sound familiar? You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the average Brit consumes a whopping 3,500 calories on Christmas day.
Which sure, is a lot—but should not be the focus of your festivities.
You prioritise your health all year round. Don’t prioritise it over happiness on the big day.
Here at WH we firmly believe—as you should too—that Christmas is about fun, family time and festive cheer, not worrying about Christmas food calories or saying no to another slice of pudding because it doesn’t fit your macros.
To save you from that stress, we’ve got some good news.
A select few types of Christmas food are actually chock full of vital nutrients to keep you looking and feeling your best, meaning that you’ll be practicing balance all holiday long.
Here are the Christmas food staples you should be piling high on your plate:
CHRISTMAS FOOD THAT IS GOOD FOR YOU:
1. CRANBERRY SAUCE
Bursting with antioxidants, cranberry sauce is the perfect liver-enhancing Christmas food to help you recover from that Christmas party hangover.
“Cranberries support liver health because they contain a high concentration of antioxidants, specifically proanthocyanidins which are known to quench free radicals and amplify other antioxidants,” says nutritional therapist Shani Kekati reveals.
Plus, it tastes great. Just remember to go for the low sugar option.
Not just for roasting on an open fire. This Christmas food is packed with heart and skin-boosting fatty acids, says Neema Savvides, nutritional therapist at Harley Street Fertility Clinic.
Not only that, but Neema describes chestnuts as a fertility superfood: “They are one of the best sources of beta-carotene which is crucial for enzyme production for egg fertilisation.” Go nuts.
3. BRUSSEL SPROUTS
Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts can help you guard against that nasty post-Christmas bloat thanks to their high fibre content, says head nutritionist at The Nutri Centre Shona Wilkinson.
That’s because fibre keeps your digestive system happy and healthy. Try roasting your sprouts to bring out their sweetness and adding chopped nuts or cranberries for an added flavour boost.
“Turkey is almost pure protein and therefore a great way of obtaining your protein intake without having to worry about fat intake as well,” says Shona.
Meaning there’s no need to feel guilty about going up for seconds.
5. RED CABBAGE
Loaded with vitamin C, red cabbage is a great Christmas food for battling off illness during the festive season.
“One cup of chopped red cabbage has 56% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells that fight invading bacteria and infections,” Shani explains. Not too shabby.
Turns out that the humble parsnip is a hidden warrior when it comes to protecting your heart and lungs. “This Christmas food is packed with potassium and folate, important for cardiovascular health,” says Shani.
Forget your usual spuds, roast a few of these health-boosting beauties instead. Yum.
7. NUT ROAST
You’d be nuts to miss out on this veggie favourite, which is fantastic for your skin thanks to their high vitamin E content.
Tuck into nut roast to give your complexion that party glow for New Year’s Eve.
Worried about Christmas party prep? Read our Vegan Christmas Food Hacks and How A Nutritionist Does Christmas Parties.