Christmas dinner and its hidden benefits

It’s the month of Christmas and the festive spirit has already begun. This is the most wonderful month of the year when we are all busy decorating our homes with beautiful Christmas trees and are early waiting to prepare some of the scrumptious festive delicacies for Christmas brunch or Christmas Eve dinner. It is also the time of the year when we all find excuses to binge on the most lavish spread of festive delicacies. Right from the popular ginger bread cookies, turkey, eggnog, Brussels sprouts to the rum raisin cake there are quite a few surprising health benefits of everything that we eat and drink on this auspicious day.

When it comes to the holiday season, most of us are worried about the fact that we might overindulge and put on some those extra pounds but guess what, tucking into your Christmas dinner is after all not that bad for your health, in fact it could actually be better for you than you think. However you just have to remember to be careful of how much you eat.

This week, we present you some of the health benefits of these three most popular Christmas dishes.

1. Rum Raisin Cake: It is quite difficult to imagine Christmas celebrations without the signature pies and of course the rum raisin cake. It is a perfect cake for gifting your loved ones. This particular cake is a traditional holiday season dessert in most of the Caribbean. As the name suggests the two main ingredients used to prepare this dessert are rum and raisins. Rum is known for its medicinal properties. Due to the presence of antimicrobial properties, it prevents cold and infections. Rum increases the mineral density of bones, which further helps in preventing osteoporosis. Reduces the risk of dementia, prevents cancer, lowers heart attacks, and when consumed in moderation it prolongs your lifespan by about two to five years. On the other hand, Raisins are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. They assist in digestion, makes your bones stronger, treats infections, increases fertility, improves the texture of skin and hair, controls diabetes, boosts kidney health, and is an excellent source of iron.

2. Turkey: This is definitely one of the most widely eaten and classic main course dishes during Christmas. Apart from Turkey being a good source of lean protein; it is rich in Niacin, which reduces your bad cholesterol and increases the good HDL cholesterol. This meat is loaded with zinc, iron, phosphorus and potassium. The selenium content boots the level of immunity and works as an antioxidant. It keeps the insulin levels stable. Turkey is regarded as showing mood enhancing properties, as it consists of an amino acid called tryptophan; which produced serotonin that helps you stay in a cheerful mood. Those of you who are health conscious can eat a skinless roasted white turkey as it is low in saturated fat and total fat. In fact it consists of less cholesterol than beef or chicken.

3. Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry sauce is simple to make and is a perfect topping for a turkey dish for the festive season. While it is a known fact that Americans are very much fond of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving and it is also served even in UK during Christmas. The main ingredient used to make this delicious sour topping is Cranberry. Cranberries consist of numerous health benefits. They are often referred to as ‘superfood’ as they have antioxidant properties and high in rich nutrients. These essential nutrients have been associated with lowering the risk of urinary tract infections, preventing cancer, enhancing the immune system and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They also good for your teeth as they contain proanthocyanidins. Due to the presence of vitamin E they are good for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and arthritis. As far as skin is concerned, cranberries act as an excellent agent for clearing out skin impurities. They are also am excellent source of nutrients for treating hair fall and fighting against dandruff.

-Akhila kakarala
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