Henrietta Norton explains how, despite the extra indulgence, it’s still possible to have a nourishing and nutritious festive season
Mid-winter celebrations give us the opportunity to commune and foster cheer, bringing light to the darkest month of the year.
“Research has shown that Brussels sprouts have significant cancer-preventative properties”
However, in our modern interpretations of Christmas it can also be a time of over indulgence, a feast of sugar-laden and alcohol-dipped temptations. Despite our latter day adaptations to this seasonal feast, the original Christmas fare was in fact extremely nutritionally rich, providing those vital nutrients for the body’s needs at this time of year.
Nourishing indulgences this Christmas:
Turkey – an abundant source of L-tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin the main brain chemical that gives us the ‘feelgood’ factor during the darker months. Particularly in the darker meat, zinc and iron are both important for the generation of energy and hormones that stress adaption. It is also an excellent source of selenium needed by the thyroid gland to support the body’s use of food for energy.
Cranberries – the accompanying traditional recipe for cranberry sauce can be rich in anthocyanidins, powerful antioxidants with a known ability to fight off infection (especially in the urinary tract). They are also rich in vitamin C, supporting the immune and circulatory system.
Brussels sprouts – too often left to the side of the plate – most especially by children – but research has shown they have significant cancer-preventative properties. Steamed Brussels sprouts have also been shown to reduce cholesterol by supporting gall bladder function and digestion. Just 10 of these little green bombs will give you over 140% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C
Nuts – freshly cracked walnuts by an open fire are one of many joys at this time and research shows that there are a great deal of health benefits to be achieved from this activity too. Walnuts are rich in vitamin E and the antioxidant group ‘phenols’, both of which support cardiovascular health. Rich in protein they also support blood glucose fluctuations that can lead to sugar cravings or energy lows. More recently, walnuts have been researched for their ability to promote the production of melatonin, the brain chemical that induces sleep. The best benefits come from freshly cracking them and eating all but the shell.
Visit wildnutrition.com for Food-Grown® supplements and information on Nutritional Therapists at clinics in Lewes and London
Raw Organic Green Brussel Sprouts Ready to Cook
Cranberry with leaves
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