7 Christmas dinner foods that are good for your running

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Christmas can often seem like a nutritional disaster zone for runners, but steer clear of excess Quality Streets and you could be surprised at the health benefits...

 

Turkey

A 170g portion has just 240 calories and 4g of fat, but a hefty 44g of protein. Turkey is also a source of beta-alanine, which, converted to carnosine, delays muscle fatigue during hard exercise.

Cranberries

They are high in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that help strengthen capillaries, improve blood pressure and protect against vascular diseases and cancers.

Brussels sprouts

Sprouts have more glucosinolates – phytochemicals with anti-cancer properties – than their cruciferous cousins, including kale. They’re also a good source of vitamin C, folic acid and fibre.

Chestnuts

With only 2.7g of fat, 170 calories and 8.1g of fibre per 100g, these pack a punch. Unlike other nuts, chestnuts are a good source of carbohydrate and pack 43mg of vitamin C per 100g.

Red cabbage

It’s rich in anthocyanins, which boost brain function and support heart health. Its high fibre content acts as a natural prebiotic, encouraging the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Potatoes

An unsung nutritional hero: it contains very little sodium and is a source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C and B vitamins, especially B6, essential for a healthy nervous system.

Christmas pudding

Packed with dried fruit, it’s a great source of carbs and fibre. Raisins can be as effective as energy gels in fuelling endurance training, and they also contain iron and magnesium.


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