This article was written by Beau Radclyffe-Thomas & was originally published in The MuscleTalker December 2012 edition
Usually when talking about eating over the Christmas holidays, the common themes are 'unhealthy' and 'fattening', however there are some surprising health benefits to your Christmas dinner, which become a great way to justify indulging yourself over the festive period.
First up is turkey, a very lean white meat which is naturally low in fat, especially when the skin is removed. A great source of high quality protein, it's a typical part of a bodybuilders diet whether its Christmas time or not so feel free to indulge. Not only is turkey a high protein, lean meat, but is rich in vitamins B3 and B6, vital for brain health and energy production as well as zinc and selenium, which benefit the skin and immune system.
Cranberry sauce is packed full of antioxidants and nutrients that are essential for good health such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and potassium as well as vitamins A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin K. Cranberry sauce is also low in calories and high in fibre.
Although most people dislike them, brussel sprouts come with a range of health benefits. This traditional Christmas vegetable is high in fibre, which aids in digestion and can help lower your cholesterol, sprouts are also packed with antioxidants and contain vitamins A, C and E and contain especially high levels of vitamin K, which promotes bone health and is essential for brain and nerve function. Another Christmas vegetable, carrots are packed with carotenoids including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein, these antioxidants protect the eyes and vision as well as helping protect against cancer.
Roast potatoes are a complex carbohydrate that provide lasting energy and are a much better choice than more sugary options. They contain a surprising amount of vitamin C; one medium potato contains almost half the recommended daily intake. Roast potatoes are also rich in B vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and iron as well as being a source of dietary fibre, which promotes gut health and aids digestion. They are rich in vitamin B6, which benefits brain and nervous system health as well as benefiting energy production.