By Hebe Richardson Bsc (Hons) ANutr
Traditional Christmas foods are full of amazing flavours and seasonal variety. I have selected some of my favourite components of a Christmas dinner to show you why it’s time to get excited about Christmas food.
Starting with carbohydrates, a food group that everyone loves to hate. Over the last few years carbohydrates have received a lot of bad press when it comes to nutrition. Although they may not be your first thought when considering nutritious foods there is a lot to get excited about when considering potatoes. Not only are they tasty and filling, they are a predominant source of energy in our diets - important for keep us going through the day. Potatoes are not one of our 5-a-day and instead sit in the carbohydrate category. However, they do contain a small variety of micronutrients which can make useful contributions towards our daily intake. Potatoes also contain fibre, most of which is found in the skin. Fibre is important for a whole host of reasons, and its consumption has been linked to multiple positive health outcomes
Moving on to the vegetables, starting with Red cabbage. A seasonal favourite, often found braised with herbs, apples and vinegar. As well as being delicious, red cabbage has a lot going on nutrition-wise. For example, it’s a great source of both Vitamin C and Folate. Vitamin C is important vitamin for the normal functioning of the immune and nervous systems.
You may have heard that eating carrots will help you see in the dark. This is because carrots are a good source of beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in our bodies. As well as being important for normal immune system functioning, Vitamin A is also important for the maintenance of normal vision.
Often seen alongside the humble carrot, Roast parsnips bring a delicious sweet flavour to our Christmas dinners. Similarly, to carrots, parsnips have a lot to say on the nutrition side of things. They are a source of folic acid and potassium which have important roles to play in our health. For example, potassium is important for the normal functioning of the nervous system as well as folic acid which is important for cell division, as well as blood formation.
Make the most of your Carbs and Veg this Christmas,
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