Christmas Recipes

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For most, Christmas time is when we are able to indulge in the treats we like to eat and drink without guilt and the arrival of the cold weather also encourages us to curl up with a mug of something hot and sweet.  Without doubt, this opportunity should be enjoyed throughout the holidays.

However, a little advice to ease the uncomfortable side effects of over indulgence would be to have a thought for the work your digestive system, liver, brain and heart will go through this Christmas.

To soothe your digestive system remember to have days where you get your 5-a-day without the lashings of gravy, butter or sugar accompanying your fruits and vegetables. E.g. have a banana with breakfast, they are a great source of fibre and they contain potassium which can combat irritability.

To keep your heart healthy over the holidays a bowl of porridge in the morning won’t go amiss as the soluble fibre in the oats can help to keep cholesterol levels normal in the long run. Including some mackerel on toast or a smoked salmon starter in your holiday feasting could also help the heart function properly as it is a good source of omega 3 which is known to raise good cholesterol in the blood.

To help your brain cope with the extra load of stress and the effects of alcohol, choose sensible portions of wholegrain breads, cereals and wholegrain pasta or rice with lunch/dinner to boost your cognitive function and also to keep your blood sugar levels steady which will also help to keep your mood above the “Grinch” level.

Finally, the liver. Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale and cauliflower have a detoxifying effect. Having these vegetables steamed will help to retain the B vitamins, vitamin K and iron in them and help to keep your liver in working order over Christmas and ultimately allow you to maintain your Christmas cheer!