6 surprising ways Christmas is actually good for your health
By Prudence Wade. Published 2020-12-24BOLD-Living
Don’t worry, it’s not all bad.
1. There are loads of positives to eating cheeseChristmas means cheese, and a lot of it unless you’re lactose intolerant (soz guys). We all know that we shouldn’t eat too much of it unless we want to see it materialise on our backsides. However, it’s not all bad because there are actually a whole host of benefits to chowing down on camembert.Cheese contains tryptophan, which helps boost your mood. We always knew eating cheese was the key to happiness, and now science is proving us right! It’s also choc full of omega 3, calcium, vitamin D, B-complex vitamins and protein – all the good stuff for bone health, a strong heart and so much more. It also contains probiotics, which helps your digestion – definitely something you need during the over-indulgent holiday season.
2. You spend more time eating at a tableDue to our busy lifestyles, a lot of meals are eaten on the go. Sure, it saves you time, but it actually wreaks havoc on your health.However, around Christmas time we slow down a bit and spend more time sitting with family at a table for meals. Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com says: “Sitting at a table is much better for your digestion than being slumped on the sofa watching TV. Also, by sitting together at a table you usually take longer to eat your meal, which also aids digestion.”
3. You eat more turkeyUnlike chicken or beef, turkey isn’t exactly something we have regularly throughout the year. But we definitely up our turkey intake this time of year, thanks to both Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions – and that’s great news for your body.Wilkinson says: “Turkey is an incredibly healthy meat to eat, so don’t feel that you have to restrict your intake.” It’s a brilliant source of protein, helps balance blood sugar levels and is a good source of tryptophan – that lovely mood raising amino acid also found in cheese.
4. You go hard on the Brussels sproutsJust like turkey, it seems to be only at Christmas that you really tuck into Brussels sprouts – we’re not sure why, because we’re totally into our sprouts when we do eat them.And your sprouts love you right back – they’re packed full of nutrients. They’re a great source of vitamin C and K, as well as being full of all the good stuff like potassium and phosphate, making them one of the healthiest veggies around.
5. You use your brain moreThink that Christmas is a time where you can switch off and your brain goes into mush? That’s not entirely true – just think of all the games you play with your family in the festive season. Or should we say on Christmas day, only this year.Wilkinson says: “Challenging and stimulating your brain is important for memory. Around Christmas time you may find yourself playing the likes of Monopoly and Charades, which is a fun way to exercise our brains.” Having fun and actually doing good for your brain? Sign us up.
6. You celebrate with some bubblyA study from the University of Reading shows that drinking prosecco can lower your blood pressure, increase your blood circulation and so decrease your chances of having a stroke. We like the sound of that – as if we needed any more encouragement to have a fizzy tipple!So maybe you shouldn’t feel so guilty about your health this holiday season. Treating yourself is an essential part of your mental wellbeing, and we’ve shown that there are perhaps more health benefits to Christmas than you might have thought. Go on – you deserve it.
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