Nutrients Found At Christmas Dinner
The holiday season is when friends and family come together to enjoy each other’s company. Many people do this by having a big Christmas dinner either on Christmas eve or on Christmas day. Regardless of when it is held, many people stuff themselves and take in a lot of excess calories. However, there are some good nutrients in the foods that are being eaten. Continue reading to learn more about some nutrients at Christmas dinner.
Nutrients At Christmas Dinner
Turkey is one of the more common holiday foods and also is very nutritious. It contains many nutrients such as selenium, zinc, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium potassium and even choline, Which you can learn more about here.
In addition to these vitamins, turkey is also loaded with some of the B vitamins. There are three main B vitamins with these being, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, and lastly, vitamin B12.
Vitamin B3 also called niacin is used in the body to produce energy and allow the cells to communicate with each other.
Pyridoxine, vitamin B6, is used to support the formation of amino acids. Amino acids are compounds that combine in order to form proteins.
Finally, vitamin B12 is crucial for DNA production and is also used to help form red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues, they then bring back the carbon dioxide to the lungs so you can exhale.
While it isn’t present as much as the others, turkey also contains other B vitamins like folate, thiamin, and riboflavin (B9, B1, & B2).
Ham is another holiday staple dish, and like turkey, it can be the main course for the meal. It contains many nutrients as well. Some of these nutrients are thiamin, selenium, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and even iron. It also contains many other nutrients in small amounts.
One potential benefit that pork can have is its ability to aid in exercise performance. Another nutrient not mentioned above was beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid. The body uses it to produce carnosine which is important for muscle function.
One study showed that high levels of carnosine, through beta-alanine supplementation could reduce fatigue and improve physical performance in trained sprinters. This could mean that if you intake enough pork you could be able to have better workouts and burn the excess calories from the Christmas dinner.
Potatoes are arguably the most common side dish around the holiday season. During Thanksgiving, they are usually mashed and served alongside some gravy. However, at Christmas dinner, many people opt into serving them as baked potatoes.
One thing that gives potatoes their benefits is the antioxidants in them. Antioxidants protect the body from compounds called free radicals that damage your body if left unchecked. Your body is exposed to them in many ways such as the pollution in the air, cigarette smoke, and UV light from the sun. Your body also makes free radicals when it converts the food you eat into energy (metabolism).
One study found that the colored potatoes, like the purple ones, can have three to four times more antioxidants than white potatoes. Regardless of what potatoes you use, make sure to keep the skin on it, as that is where most of the nutrients are.
One of the most common drinks found around the holiday season is hot chocolate. This warm drink can do many things for the body. Its benefits come from the cocoa powder that is present in it. One possible benefit of cocoa is it may be able to reduce high blood pressure.
One study found that cocoa had a small, yet significant reduction in blood pressure. However, the effect was even greater in the people who had high blood pressure from the start. One thing to note is that while you may be receiving benefits from the hot chocolate, it has many other things that you should limit, so remember to drink it in moderation.
Even though they are one of the most disliked vegetables, Brussel sprouts are incredibly nutritious. In fact, a half-cup serving contains more than the amount of vitamin K that you need each day. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese and folate. They are also rich in antioxidants which as mentioned above, protect the body from free radicals.
One study found that the compounds found in vegetables like Brussels sprouts possess some anti-inflammatory properties. As mentioned above, Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants. Studies have shown that kaempferol, one of the main antioxidants in Brussels sprouts, has anti-inflammatory properties. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your Brussels sprouts, steam them or roast them.
When it comes to the nutrients at Christmas dinner, there are many foods that contain many benefits. If you eat a balanced diet and don’t overeat at the holiday season, you can ensure that you are making wise decisions and are staying healthy. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about How Shellfish Affects The Body.