Festive Fuel: Five Christmas Favourites

Get the nutritional lowdown on your favourite Christmas foods

brussel sprouts
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Brussel sprouts

Benefits: Sprouts might be a lesser-loved vegetable but they are the nutritional stars of the festive season. Along with other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, they contain powerful antioxidants and may offer protection against cancer. Even a concise list of all their nutrients is impressive, including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamins C and E and folic acid.

Make it healthier: Steam your Brussels instead of boiling them to retain more of their nutrients. Another top tip is to keep cooking time to a minimum (less than eight minutes) so they won't release the bitter compounds responsible for those off-putting aromas.

Detox: Make sure you get a second portion, as these bite-sized vegetables help counterbalance seasonal overindulgence. “Brussel sprouts actually help your body to detox, so eat plenty of them,” says Matt Lovell, a sports nutritionist who has worked with the England Rugby Team (sportsnutritionvlog.com).

Recipe idea: Make Brussel sprouts one of the most mouth-watering options on your Christmas dinner table with our delicious croquette recipe.

Picture credit: Mimi Haldon/ Getty Images

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Discuss this article

"Government guidelines suggest you stick to a matchbox-sized portion per day."

Which size of matchbox? The little boxes are tiny - I'd want more cheese than that! - whereas the larger boxes are pretty big - I love my cheese but not sure I would want a lump that size!

Posted: 16/12/2011 at 06:47

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