The Festive season is upon us… Shops decorated with Christmas decorations and carols playing in the background to Christmas memes stating 6 weeks till Christmas. The year is slowly winding down with everyone getting ready for the holidays. It is always a time of family, fun and food. But instead of picking up an extra 5 kg’s over the festive season, choosing what goes into your trolley will go a long way to prevent this. Here are some foods that are not only delicious but highly nutritious.
Whatever you eat for breakfast, whether it’s boiled eggs and avo, fruit and yoghurt or your favourite FUTURELIFE® product, make sure you include breakfast this festive season. Including a meal in the morning will keep you feeling fuller for longer, which will stop you from grabbing one of those mince pies or candy canes that stare at you while waiting in the queue to pay. Shopping on an empty stomach is never a great idea as you tend to buy things you usually wouldn’t.
Berries…blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, goji berries, blackberries or cherries, fresh or frozen, these highly nutritious fruit are in season and readily available this Christmas. They are known as some of the world’s healthiest foods and have often been referred to as superfoods. Berries contain high levels of phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring nutrients that help protect cells from damage. It is said that because of these phytochemicals, including berries in your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and mental decline. Berries are also high in fibre, packed with vitamins and minerals and contain less sugar than most fruit. Besides eating them plain, add them to salads, oats, and smoothies or make homemade fruit ice lollies. Add berries to yoghurt for a highly nutritious, lower calorie dessert .
Nuts are tiny packages that contain a multitude of beneficial nutrients. They are packed full of healthy fats and omega 3 (which are important for heart health and lowering cholesterol), fibre, Vitamin E and plant sterols which are promoted for their cholesterol lowering properties too. When choosing nuts, opt for those that are unsalted, raw or dry roasted, try steer clear of the salted versions as they contain a lot of sodium. They are great as on-the-go snacks, added to salads or smoothies, even use them to substitute crisps when having the family over this festive season. But remember they are still high in energy, therefore watch your portion, 1 small handful is enough!
I don’t know about you, but my family never ate turkey at Christmas time. So the first time I tasted it, I was pleasantly surprised. Turkey is slightly leaner than chicken, and has a different flavour. It contains B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc and selenium. Like chicken, turkey contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs. As it is similar to chicken, turkey can be used as a great chicken substitute just to add some variety to your Christmas spread.
Although we all hate to admit it, Christmas lunch or dinner is just not the same without potato. So this festive season, instead of including normal potato, switch it up for its more nutritious cousin, the sweet potato. These tuberous roots are packed with fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C as well as minerals, calcium and potassium. Steamed, boiled, roasted or baked these starchy vegetables are a great addition to your meals this festive season.
Filling up your trolley with delicious fruits and vegetables is a great way to fill up your plate without adding the extra calories. Instead of just your stock standard roasted or boiled vegetables, experiment with salads this summer. Salads have great texture, and are very attractive as they are often colourful and flavourful. Nutritional benefits include high in fibre, vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. Here are some easy steps to creating a world class salad.
- Choose your base e.g. spinach, rocket or type of lettuce etc.,
- Add vegetables of your choice, remember by including different colours it ensures you get different vitamin and mineral profiles e.g. onion, sugar snap peas, corn, peppers, carrots, celery, radish, long stem broccoli etc.
- Add your healthy fats e.g. seeds, avocado, olives etc.
- Then add a lean protein e.g. smoked chicken, cottage cheese, boiled eggs, tuna or salmon, chickpeas, beans or quinoa etc.
- Don’t forget about the fruit e.g. berries, apple, pear, grapes, pomegranate seeds or berries etc.
- Next add your favourite dressing, steer clear of those creamy dressings as they add extra calories. Then voila, you have a delicious salad!