Christmas Foods to Eat for Good Health - NeuroBalance Chiropractic

Christmas Foods to Eat for Good Health

healthy-christmas-foodsFood is a central part of the holiday season and it’s a great time to indulge a little. Fortunately, many traditional holiday foods are surprisingly good for your health. With a little knowledge, you can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and other serious health conditions while you enjoy your favorite holiday foods. Read on for some foods you can look forward to (and a few that you should limit) to improve your overall health.

Foods to enjoy

Nuts and Seeds – These are good sources of magnesium, a mineral that plays important roles in hundreds of biological processes. Magnesium helps open the airways to help you take in more oxygen. Magnesium also helps calm the nerves, reducing muscle cramps. Other foods high in magnesium include brewer’s yeast, parsnips, whole grains, and figs. Nuts are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat shown to support both the heart and brain, protecting against cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. Stick with unsalted varieties, however, as too much salt can raise your blood pressure.

Cranberries – Cranberries are loaded with vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants and other compounds shown to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Cranberries may well be one of the healthiest foods you can enjoy this season.

Cruciferous veggies – Red cabbage, sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables are also rich in antioxidants that can help reduce disease risk. These vegetables should be gently cooked to avoid destroying nutrients. If you boil these vegetables, you can use the water to make gravy to get all the nutrients from these foods. Cruciferous vegetables contain a compound known as indole 3 carbinole that can help limit damage to healthy cells and slow tumor growth.

Spices – Herbs and spices do more than just lend extra flavor to food, they are also great sources of antioxidants and other healthy compounds. Ginger, for example, contains anti-inflammatory compounds and can ease tummy upsets and arthritis pain, while chillies are high in capsaicin, which can relieve aches and pains. Many herbs contain phytochemicals shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and many cancers.

Foods to limit

Salt – Sodium is critical in the body, but too much can backfire on you. Limit salt to no more than 6 grams per day. More than this triggers your kidneys to retain water, which raises blood pressure and strains the kidneys, cardiovascular system, and brain. Watch the ready made snacks, particularly crisps and nuts, and resist reaching for the salt shaker.

Saturated fat – Pastries and pies in particular tend to be high in saturated and trans fats. These foods tend to raise bad cholesterol levels and add to visceral fat. That doesn’t mean you should avoid these foods entirely, just be mindful of how much you eat and alternate these foods with healthier fare. Other foods high in unhealthy fats include meat pies, sausages, lard, cream, and cake.

Sugar – Everyone has a favorite holiday sweet they look forward to, but one thing they all have in common is sugar. Try adding some cinnamon to your porridge or smoothies. Cinnamon isn’t just a delicious spice, but it can also help reduce sugar cravings and lower blood sugar levels when you do indulge. Avoid added sugar in sauces by making your own, and consider swapping refined sugar for agave nectar or honey when making homemade treats. Choose chocolate with at least 70% cacao to get a healthy boost of antioxidant polyphenols.

To learn more about how to eat for better health over the holidays, call your Sydney chiropractor at Neurobalance Chiropractic on 02 8039 6700.

, , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply