The couple of weeks ahead will probably be a heavy mix of food, drinks, office parties, gala Christmas and New Year festivities. It’s a wonderful time of celebration and enjoyment; but often spells disaster for our digestive systems with an aftermath of gassiness, bloating, cramping, or heart burn, needless to say weight gain as well.
But good for us we have a few magic foods up our sleeve so that you can enjoy guilt free Gourmet Delights.
Festive overindulgence is not necessarily bad for your body if you choose your festive foods properly. As most of us, even these conscious about their diet- eat more than usual, no need to despair…festive foods can be really good for our body, like everything in life, it’s just the matter of the choices that we make…
So continuing with our Magic Series, I am enumerating some Magic Power Foods, along with their individual properties, that we should indulge in this Festive Season…
Read on and decide what Works Best for you, as we know our bodies best
There’s almost nothing healthier than a big, gorgeous, juicy pomegranate. Pomegranates are a new super food: They are high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fibre, and low in calories. The plump, red fruit is not only rich in disease fighting antioxidants; it’s super easy to splash into the holiday punchbowl, or indulge in fresh fruit desserts or by tossing the seeds over steamed veggies or a nutritious salad. Whether you snack on fresh pomegranate arils (seeds) or drink the juice, feel guilt-free as you enjoy each delicious mouthful: you’re doing your body a favor.
Talk about a treat for chocolate lovers! Cocoa, one of nature’s many miracles, is in fact the great super-food that many people seek. The dark variety of this sweet spice can be blended into a warming mug or added to bake goods in small doses to ward off the dangers of stroke or coronary heart disease. Cocoa is a titan of health benefits, the likes of which humanity has never known.
Fresh Green Beans
Fresh beans are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, manganese, dietary fibre, potassium, folate, and iron if you steam them lightly and add a splash of olive oil and natural spices. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like green beans decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy and overall lower weight.
How sweet it is for your health to eat sweet potatoes! The sweet variety is a rich source of fibre, vitamin A, and potassium, which the white variety simply lacks. It is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients just don’t make the mistake of loading them with butter, cream, and marshmallows and sabotaging all that good stuff.
Pumpkins are very good for you. They fit well into a health-conscious diet. And aside from that, they taste good! Pumpkins are low in calories but high in fibre. They are also low in sodium. The seeds are high in protein, iron, and the B vitamins. Pumpkins are very high in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant
Cranberries are an amazing source of vitamin C and have long been used for their anti-inflammatory protection. Their unique structure makes it difficult for certain types of bacteria to latch on to the lining of the urinary tract helping to fight off urinary tract
Many of us love a whiff of nutty, earthy, sweet nutmeg in our Christmas baking. Nutmeg relieves diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas pain. Nutmeg contains many anti-oxidants essential for optimal health. It contains good levels of minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium making it a great spice to protect against heart health.
There are so many healthy reasons to use cinnamon in your morning oats, hot beverages, baking, and vegetable side dishes. Among them, cinnamon lowers bad cholesterol and balances insulin levels so you can resist the urge to binge on Christmas cookies. Cinnamon has great anti-inflammatory properties, helping to fight conditions such as asthma and arthritis. It has been used for years as a digestive aid, helping to relieve heartburn, bloating and gas and it also has amazing anti-bacterial action that can help reduce those nasty bugs that can cause food poisoning. Super for weight loss, indulge in this Magic Spice
Walnuts are a great nut to crack open during Festivities. They are rich in omega 3 fats and just one small portion will provide you with more than the daily recommended intake. They help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and skin problems and are great at increasing brain power – you only have to look at a walnut to see it looks like a brain.
Sprouts contain a significant amount of protein and dietary fiber, as well as vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamine, vitamin C, vitamin A, and riboflavin. In terms of minerals, sprouts contain manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Along with all of those components, sprouts are also a rich source of enzymes that are essential as these help boost the various metabolic processes and chemical reactions within the body, specifically when it comes to digestion. So include sprouts in your festive salads.
Apples contain a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells from degeneration, high in potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure; they can help reduce the risk of stroke. A medium apple provides five grams of fiber – more than most cereals. Apples are one of the top fruits with plenty of pectin, a soluble fiber that reduces cholesterol infections
Reason to Cheer- Red Wine for its heart-healthy, antioxidant prowess. Not only does the red vintage boast disease-blasting benefits; it is low in calories as compared to other forms of holiday cheer at approximately 75 calories per 4-ounce glass. Red wine contains the compound resveratrol, an anti-oxidant shown to protect against heart health, cancer and other diseases, however it should not be had in an attempt to get health benefits !!!!!
Turkey an essential Christmas Treat is a fantastic source of protein and contains high levels of tryptophan which is a precursor to the hormones serotonin and melatonin, essential for good mood and sleep, explaining that post-Christmas dinner nap! Not only does the white portion of your favorite holiday bird pack plenty of low fat protein—it packs a healthy dose of folic acid, vitamin B, zinc, and potassium, which all work to lower blood cholesterol, and ward off cancer and heart disease.
Salmon also provides important amounts of the antioxidant amino acid taurine. It is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. It is a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6
Aditi Srivastava Director Diet Mantra- Chain of Diet & Wellness Clinics & Diet Consultant IndoIndians