It’s that time of year again where you spend time with your family, eat a little too many mince pies, raid the chocolate box and escape the cold by watching those classic Christmas movies like Home Alone. The festive season is a joyous time for the whole family, although it’s not so great for your waistline.
Not to worry however – indulge and enjoy, as the Christmas season can actually boost our health and wellbeing.
“It might come as a surprise, but a home-cooked Christmas dinner can actually be a healthy meal. The basic components – turkey, vegetables and potatoes – are all whole foods, which are naturally nutrient-rich. Turkey is a great source of lean protein, the vegetables provide fibre and antioxidants, and both provide lots of vitamins and minerals. Of course, other components of the meal – especially the desserts – may not be quite as good for us!” explains leading nutritionist Cassandra Barns, who specialises in energy, sleep and digestion.
If you want to keep your Christmas meal healthy, the trick is to fill up on the turkey and vegetables and have smaller amounts of the treats… and, quite simply, try not to overeat.
“Most of us get some time off work over Christmas,” adds Cassandra. “This is a great chance to catch up on some sleep, relax and de-stress – if family allows, that is. Good sleep and proper relaxation are just as vital as healthy food for our mental and physical health. So, as long as you haven’t overindulged too much, you could actually go back to work after the Christmas break feeling refreshed and energised!”