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Why: Unlike most nuts, these are low in calories and fat so don’t bump up the already high intake of the season. But they are still rich in nutritional goodness with a high dose of vitamin C plus minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. They also contain Folates, essential for red blood sells. Get roasting!
Try this: Add chopped chestnuts to your turkey stuffing and put a bowl by the fire instead of – ok as well as your Quality Street.
Why: Not everyone’s Christmas dinner highlight, granted, but your health will benefit from a portion of these. There is a strong link between Brussels and cancer prevention. Additionally they will help your ticker with cardiovascular support and give your digestive system a healthy aid.
Try this: After boiling or steaming your sprouts until they are still firm but cooked, halve them and fry them up with red onion, chili, garlic and walnuts plus a squeeze of lemon and seasoning for a tasty spin on boiled greens.
Why: These little red jewels contain phytonutrients, which are effective in reducing inflammation. They are also packed with vitamins including vitamin C to give your immune system a helping hand.
Try this: Use honey to sweeten your cranberry sauce, it adds a nice flavour plus contains anti-bacterial healing properties to boost your immune system.
Why: High in protein as well as vitamin D which is essential for bone health a smoked salmon starter or Christmas breakfast is a must.
Try this: Mash an avocado on top of rye before layering with salmon for breakfast. The heart healthy fats in the avocado will keep you from snacking as well as boosting the dish.
Why: Ultra lean and high in protein, the Christmas centerpiece is a bird to enjoy whilst it restocks and repair your over worked muscles.
Try this: Turkey is a healthy meat, go easy on the skin and load up the plate with veg.
Why: This traditional pud is low in fat compared to many other deserts, plus it is packed with dried fruit giving it a decent hit of iron, which is essential for runners. Just go easy on the brandy butter now.
Try this: Serve with a homemade custard to get a dose of vitamin D from the eggs amongst other nutrients and avoid smothering with shop brought nasties.
Why: Good news. Red wine is bursting with antioxidants to help remove harmful free radicals from your body. Plus the extra spice adds to the metabolic burn.
Try this: Make your own, it’s simple, cheaper and healthier. Simmer red wine with a sliced lemon, orange, a cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, grated nutmeg and sugar to taste.
This article originally appeared on Runners World UK