Herbfacts

Have a healthy, Happy Christmas!

Christmas is traditionally associated with over-indulgence and calorie-laden foods, but it doesn’t need to be this way! 

Clinical nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer gives us her top tips on how to make traditional Christmas fare healthy and delicious!

PERFECT POTATOES

No Christmas menu would be complete without roast potatoes.  However, swap the goose fat for coconut oil and you’ll not only be gaining some of the wonderful benefits of coconut oil, you’ll also have more energy to enjoy the rest of the day.

Although coconut oil is high in saturated fat (just like goose fat), coconut oil contains fats known as medium chain triglycerides, which are used by the body as an energy source, meaning that the calories are burnt quicker.  Coconut oil will also make your potatoes really crispy on the outside without any of the bad trans-fats that are generated by using other oils.

STEAM YOUR VEG

Overcooked, mushy vegetables tend to remind us of dodgy school dinners. However, by steaming rather than boiling your vegetables, you’ll  retain far more nutrients and enjoy more flavoursome vegetables.

Vitamin C, which is great for boosting your immune system particularly at this time of year, is high in most vegetables but it is dramatically reduced when vegetables are boiled.  Steaming is a much healthier way of cooking veg and retains their wonderful flavour.

SPROUT HEAVEN

The much-maligned Brussels sprouts are not welcome in every household, but their nutritional benefits are so fantastic that they should be on everyone’s Christmas menu.  They’re rich in immune-boosting vitamin A and vitamin C as well as bone-building vitamin K.

Even better, whilst they’re low in total fats they do contain some essential omega 3’s (nearly as many as flaxseeds).  Why not lightly steam them with some green beans and then toss them with some olive oil, roasted garlic, pine nuts and the zest of a lemon – delicious!

STOCK UP ON SATSUMAS

Satsumas are traditionally eaten at Christmas but why? Some say that during the Great Depression in the 1930s, money was tight, therefore satsumas were seen as a real treat and often included in children’s Christmas stockings.

They are a fantastic source of vitamin C – great at this time of year when the whole family, especially your children, could do with giving their immune systems a boost. Satsumas are also a great source of fibre to help boost the digestive system, which can often be challenged at this time of year by eating too much rich and fatty food and enjoying a few too many tipples.

So enjoy the festive season and try these nutritious alternatives for a slightly healthier Christmas!