Health Benefits Behind Your Favorite Christmas Dishes

When you come home to celebrate the holidays with your family, there’s always an elaborate feast laid out on the table. Enjoying good food is essential for a celebratory Christmas holiday. But with all of these overwhelming options of food, it’s natural for everyone to overeat. “It’s Christmas!” some would say. So you have to let yourself just enjoy the food and not worry about your health.

But eating too much of this unhealthy food can lead to negative feelings afterward, especially if you’re a budding health coach taking courses on the basics of nutrition and wellness. You might feel bloated, nauseous, and even guilty.

Well, what if there’s a way for you to enjoy a guilt-free Christmas dinner with your family? All you’ll need to do is be aware of the health benefits of some Christmas dishes. Stick to these foods so you can indulge in good food over the holidays.

cup of hot chocolate and a ginger bread

Roast Turkey

The turkey is always at the center of the Christmas table. The holidays aren’t complete without it. So everyone has to have some of it unless you’re a vegetarian or vegan. But you know that it’s not exactly a healthy thing to eat. The amount of fat in it is astounding. The turkey itself is full of fat. Add to that the melted butter or oil that it’s been basted with.

But turkeys are also rich in vitamins and minerals. The most obvious one is protein, especially if you stick with the lean meat. Apart from that, it’s also quite rich in vitamin B3 and B6, which are good for the health of your brain. They’re also good sources of energy–which you’ll need to keep up with your nieces and nephews who are hopped up on sugar.


Of course, you can’t enjoy turkey without gravy. It’s the pinnacle of a good turkey meal. Without it, you’re just eating a chunk of plain lean meat. The good thing is that the gravy can be good for you. It just depends on how it’s made.

Most, if not all, people make their gravy from the drippings of the baked turkey. The drippings have a rich umami taste to them, making gravy the perfect pair for the turkey. But a healthier way to make gravy is from bone broth.

Gravy, then, could have B vitamins, riboflavin, and niacin. All of these would be good energy boosters and beneficial to your nervous system. And, of course, gravy would also be rich in protein.

Brussels Sprouts

Many people despise brussels sprouts. While it’s a holiday staple, there’s a lot of hate for them. Most of the time, it’s because of the unappealing smell and appearance. But your family still makes them. So what you can do is step up and be the one who enjoys brussels sprouts.

Like many vegetable dishes, brussels sprouts are full of health benefits. They can balance out all of the meat that you’re eating with the turkey. They’re rich in vitamin C which is always good for your immune system. They’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is the good fat that you would want your body to have.

Christmas Pudding

Many health-conscious individuals avoid desserts like it’s the plague. And it’s understandable. Everyone should steer clear of desserts’ high amount of sugar and fat.

But maybe there are some aspects to desserts that can outweigh the benefits. People just enjoy them because they’re so good. So they indulge. But there are some desserts that have many health benefits. Christmas pudding is one of them.

They’re full of B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and iron. All of these are good to build the strength of your bones, immune system, and energy. Cinnamon, which is a key ingredient of the Christmas pudding, is full of antioxidants. This can help in various ways such as reducing inflammatory and chronic pain.

Red Wine

Among the array of available alcoholic drinks, during the holidays, this would be the healthiest option for you. It’s rich in antioxidants, especially from the darker grapes. One of its antioxidants, resveratrol, is especially good in fighting off cancer.

Red wine is also great at keeping your heart healthy by regulating your cholesterol levels and blood sugar. To make the family Christmas dinner feel more festive, enjoy a glass of red wine.

Some might say that holiday dinners are just an excuse for overeating. It’s one of the few times in the year that it’s socially acceptable to fill your stomach to the brim. But that doesn’t mean you can do that as well and forget all about your health. You can still enjoy a good holiday meal just knowing all of the health benefits that you can get from it.

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