Stocking up on food for your Christmas Dinner this week? Don’t forget to add these essentials to your shopping list.
Not only is the turkey the most traditional meat to serve on Christmas Day, it is also one of the healthiest! With its high protein content, turkey even contains slightly fewer calories than chicken, with a 3-ounce portion of turkey breast containing 125kcal compared to chicken breast which contains 130kcal. Turkey also contains slightly more branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) which are linked to optimal muscular growth and repair, and is also lower in cholesterol making it good for your heart!
Love them or hate them, brussels sprouts sum up the festive season like no other vegetable! Traditionally eaten on Christmas Day, brussels sprouts are in season from October to March, although they taste sweetest when picked after a good frost, meaning that we are in luck this Christmas! Packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, they are also a good source of dietary fibre and omega-3. So, make sure this super food is on your plate, as brussels sprouts support the body’s detox, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory system. For the tastiest sprouts, choose those which are bright green, firm and small (and thus sweeter) with tightly packed leaves, and try out a recipe with bacon and chestnuts.
In season from August to May, the parsnip is also sweetest from the first frost onwards. Low in calories and a good source of dietary fiber, the parsnip is also a good source of: vitamin C, needed for a healthy immune system; vitamin K, needed for good bone structure; and manganese, needed for normal brain and nerve function.
Belonging to the same family as the parsnip, the carrot is in season almost all year round. They are a good source of dietary fiber, and are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and B8, as well as pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper and manganese. Studies show a wide variety of health benefits associated carrots including their role in boosting immunity, aiding digestion, and lowering blood pressure.
December is the season for red cabbage, and a popular choice due to its wealth of phytochemicals, antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Its organic compounds are almost too many to list, but its antioxidants like anthocyanins and indoles are extremely valuable for human health. Its nutrient-dense nature make it beneficial for boosting the immune system, reducing the signs of ageing, maintaining good eye health, and helping protect against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.