Brussels sprouts

‘Brussels sprouts are Cruciferous vegetables that are packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and magnesium. As a valuable source of glucosinolates they protect our DNA from damage. They can also help to avoid the mid-afternoon slump onChristmasDay, as they are packed with B Vitamins, essential for energy.

Many don’t like the sulphur smell they emit when cooked, but they’re excellent for you! Try steaming them to keep in their goodness and add nutmeg forChristmastwist.’ says Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist atwww.nutricentre.com

Cinnamon

‘Cinnamon is one of nature’s most revitalising herbs. Filled with potent antioxidants – more than almost all other spices and herbs – it may help to reduce signs of ageing, boost metabolism as well as aid digestion, gently warming your stomach, supporting the breakdown of your food more efficiently.’ explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist (www.marilynglenville.com).

Do you have a sweet tooth? ‘Cinnamon is also great for reducing sugar cravings. Add some to a cranberry, pear and clementine juice for a festive pick me up on the go! You can also combine it with spinach or kale for a super shot of festive green goodness!’ adds Wilkinson.

Nuts

‘Nuts are packed with goodness, high in essential nutrients especially the minerals and vitamins. They are also protein-rich so are broken down more slowly and therefore stay in the stomach longer, making us feel fuller and snack less.

They also help to balance your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which is an essential part ofhealthyweight loss and management. Nuts are high in calories, so don’t gorge on them, but allow yourself ahealthydecent handful a day. Make sure they’re raw and unsalted to get the maximum benefit from the delicate oils they contain.’ says Dr Glenville.

Turkey

‘Turkey is a great source of lean protein. It is also low in fat and low in calories – just what you need this festive season! ‘Turkey is also high in Selenium, which supports metabolism, Zinc that help to boost our immunity and vitamin B6 essential for energy production.’ explains Wilkinson.

Do you often feel like snacking? ‘Carb cravings are a sign of low levels of the amino acid – tryptophan, which is necessary for the serotonin production – a ‘happy’ brain chemical. It plays crucial role in sleep and wake cycles as well as digestion. A lack of it can lead to low mood and anxiety. Instead of reaching for stodgy carbs go for turkey – it’s packed with tryptophan!.’ says Dr Glenville.

Mulled red wine

As if you need an excuse to have one…‘Red wine is a good source of resveratrol. This powerful antioxidant, which can be found in the skin of red grapes, berries, cocoa and red wine, is produced in plants to defend them frominvading microorganisms.

It can not only protect you from damaging free radicals but it also boosts cell replication. By promoting ahealthy, inflammatory response in our body it delays premature aging process and turn excess flab into calorie-burning ‘brown fat’. If you are not a big fun of red wine but want to stayhealthy, keep radiant skin and look fabulous this festive season go for a supplement with resveratrol.