• Dr Sally Norton

HANG ON TO THOSE HEALTHY CHRISTMAS HABITS


The message of that Christmas classic from Wizzard 'I wish it could be Christmas every day' would make most of us run for the hills, I suspect! Much as I love Christmas, come January I am more than happy to pack away the decorations, get back to some sort of routine and not see another mince pie for an entire year. But, although we regard Christmas as an enjoyable, and not particularly healthy time of year, there are a few Christmas habits worth hanging on to.....

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Keep buying turkey once Christmas is over! It is low in fat and high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Whilst red meat, especially if processed, may not be good for us, white meat and fish appear to be fine.

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Bowls of nuts in the living room are a Christmas staple. But nuts are rich in healthy fats and a handful of nuts such as almond a day can help ward off heart disease and other problems. But a handful is enough as they are high in calories. One way of stopping the easy snacking is to buy them shell-on - that way you can't eat them as quickly!

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A bracing winter walk is a Christmas or Boxing Day tradition for many families. And with good reason - science has categorically shown that the health benefits of a walk like this are great, protecting us from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer and more. So make it a regular fixture.

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Brussel sprouts aren’t everyone's favourite Christmas veg but they’re full of health benefits thanks to their fibre, antioxidants and nutrient content. There are now loads of good recipes to make sprouts well worth considering for more than just a day a year.

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Christmas chocolate selection tins are everywhere we look - though the benefits of these are non-existant other than the guilty pleasure they bring! But dark chocolate, rich in cocoa, may provide health benefits from antioxidants that justify you keeping the chocolate habit going. So, develop a taste for less sweet, dark chocolate and tuck in (in moderation!) throughout the year.

Christmas every day? No thanks!

But healthy Christmas habits, year long...I'm up for that.

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