Elf for Health: Day 3 of the H&H Advent Calendar

25 days of a Hip and Healthy Christmas: Tips to make this the best holiday season yet

On the third day of Christmas… We bring you three of our favourite Christmas SuperFoods

Christmas is a pretty decadent time of year but what if I told you you could that some of the best Christmas foods are actually very good for us? Read on for our favourite three foods that you can eat guilt-free till your heart is content:

Cranberries, when eaten fresh, are low in calories with just 46 calories in a cup of raw cranberries. They are an excellent source if Vitamin C, which is great for warding off winter colds, and they are packed with both insoluble and soluble fibre making sure that our digestive system get’s off to a good start. At this time of year we all enjoy a tipple or two but some people who over-load their system with alcohol can find that it causes them cystitis. Why the sudden tangent? Cranberries are well-known for preventing urinary tract infections so consuming these little red pockets of power can help in this department too. And they are also understood to help prevent kidney stones as well as being packed full of antioxidants! There is little these little red friends can’t do. But a word of warning – when cooked within an inch of their lives and covered in sugar to make a sauce their antioxidant potency is somewhat deflated!

Turkey is in fact increasing in popularity beyond the winter holidays as many Hip and Healthies look to leaner sources of protein – it provides 65% of the recommended daily value in one 4-ounce portion. It is also a good source of selenium (great for the brain) and vitamin B6, Zinc and B12. It is also the perfect food for those who get stressed or unhappy around Christmas time since it is high in the amino acid, tryptophan, a building block of the brain compound serotonin. Serotonin is not only the ‘happy’ hormone, it also encourages sleep and better quality of sleep at that. Now we know why we always need a nap after the Christmas meal!

Dark Chocolate (must be at least 70%)
Health benefits of chocolate centre around its flavanoid content, which are especially important in protecting against damage to ‘good’ cholesterol and the lining of the arteries. In fact, cocoa powder can contain as much as 10 percent flavonoids on a dry-weight basis. According to a recent study by the National Institute of Public Health and Environment of the Netherlands, dark chocolate also contains up to four times the antioxidants found in tea and has also been found to contain the same amount of antioxidants as those found in red wine. Best excuse ever to drink red wine and eat chocolate? We think so…