7 Christmas Day superfoods

Chestnuts

Why: Unlike most nuts, these are low in calories and fat so don’t bump up the already high intake of the season. Meanwhile, they're still rich in nutritional goodness with a high dose of vitamin C plus minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. They also contain folates, essential for red blood cells. Get roasting!

Try this: Add chopped chestnuts to your turkey stuffing and put a bowl by the fire instead of (or as well as) your Quality Street. 

Brussels Sprouts

Why: Not everyone’s Christmas dinner highlight, granted, but your health will benefit from a portion of these. There is a strong link between sprouts and cancer prevention, plus they'll give your ticker cardiovascular support and aid your digestion.

Try this: After boiling or steaming your sprouts until they are still firm but cooked, halve them and fry them up with red onion, chilli, garlic and walnuts, plus a squeeze of lemon and seasoning for a tasty spin on boiled greens. 

Cranberries

Why: These little red jewels contain phytonutrients, which are effective in reducing inflammation. They are also packed with vitamin C to give your immune system a helping hand.

Try this: Use honey to sweeten your cranberry sauce: it adds a nice flavour plus contains antibacterial healing properties to boost your immune system. 

Smoked salmon

Why: High protein smoked salmon is also rich in vitamin D, which is essential for bone health. A smoked salmon starter or Christmas breakfast is a must.

Try this: Mash an avocado on top of rye before layering with salmon for breakfast. The heart-healthy fats in the avocado will satiate you and keep you from snacking as well as boosting the dish. 

Turkey

Why: Ultra lean and high in protein, the Christmas centrepiece is a bird to enjoy while it restocks and repairs your over-worked muscles.

Try this: Go easy on the skin and load up your plate with veg.

Christmas pudding

Why: This traditional pud is low in fat compared to many other desserts, plus its dried fruit provides a decent hit of iron, which is essential for runners. Just go easy on the brandy butter.

Try this: Serve with a homemade custard to get a dose of vitamin D from the eggs amongst other nutrients.

Mulled wine

Why: Good news: red wine is bursting with antioxidants to help remove harmful free radicals from your body. Also, the extra spice adds to the metabolic burn.

Try this: Make your own, it’s simple, cheaper and healthier. Simmer red wine with a sliced lemon, orange, a cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, grated nutmeg and sugar to taste.