When you think of Christmas, you think of cheer and holiday joy. You think of Santa and mistletoe. You think of giving and receiving gifts, and you think of food. Just thinking of Christmas food makes your mouth wet. Flavorful, colorful and aromatic, Christmas food is the type of food that creates memories that stay with you for years to come. But for people who suffer from pain, the added stress and certain foods can aggravate the pain. Are there holiday foods that cause less pain?
In this informative post, we will see various mouthwatering recipe options for the holidays. These recipes are flavorful, nutritious, and perfect for your next holiday dinner party for less pain. Let us not forget though that it is relatively easy to put on some extra pounds during the holidays, so walk 30 minutes per day whether you are eating traditional Christmas food or our nutritious takes. Extra weight can also aggravate pain.
Stuffed turkey is the centerpiece and a staple of many a Christmas dinner party. This delicious fowl is usually basted with butter, but we recommend you try using extra-virgin olive oil instead. EVOO has a high Omega-3 content, but remember that to get the most nutrition out of it bake your turkey at a temperature no higher than 170 degrees Celsius to avoid the oil experiencing nutrient loss in the and the release of toxins; this will also apply to the veggies that make up the stuffing. Another trick to make the recipe a little more health-friendly is to use vegetable stock during the preparation. Before cooking try adding cloves or fresh oregano under the skin for extra flavor and some garlic gloves for that distinctive aroma. All of these ingredients have significant anti-inflammatory properties, and if cooked correctly they will be preserved.
If you think that to have a healthy Christmas dinner you have to forego dessert you would be wrong. Stevia is a natural sweetener that can easily substitute processed white sugar in both the pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. Remember that pumpkin is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and pantothenic acid. Fresh cranberries are considered a superfood for their insane amount of anti-oxidants. We think Stevia is a fantastic substitute for processed sugar because it does not alter the natural flavor of foods. Stevia also possesses a slight hypotensive effect as well as being rich in flavonoids and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Another delicious staple of the holiday dinner is the dried fruits and nuts. By themselves, dried fruits and nuts are a great snack to have before a meal, but they are also fantastic when added to desserts or salads. Dried fruits and nuts are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, and can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease as they help regulate cholesterol levels. They are also high in fiber and contain protein. Most are rich in magnesium which is a great anti-inflammatory.
A favorite side dish during the holidays is the mashed potato. We recommend baking the potatoes unpeeled as this allows essential phenolic compounds to transfer from the skins to the meat of the potato thus providing you with a higher health benefit.
What about grapes, you ask? Grapes and berries play an important nutritional role when eaten in moderate amounts. These fruits have a close relationship with immune health, a reduction in oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory effects. Grape juice, in particular, has been shown to have a fantastic capacity to reduce inflammation of the colon.
Last but not least, remember to add smoked salmon these holidays, instead of jam and other food choices. Salmon is an excellent addition to any balanced diet for its high content of polyunsaturated fats and being highly rich protein but when smoked its sodium levels go through the roof, and this can have adverse effects on your blood pressure. Try to limit your sodium intake to 125 grams every other day. Salmon can be a fantastic food choice this Christmas, as it has even helped patients with active ulcerative colitis to reduce their symptoms.
Keep all of our tips in mind to have a healthier Christmas season and enjoy some of your favorite dishes while fighting inflammation that leads to pain. Look forward to next year’s goals with optimism and wellness.
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Grimstad, T., Berge, R. K., Bohov, P., Skorve, J., Gøransson, L., Omdal, R., … & Hausken, T. (2011). Salmon diet in patients with active ulcerative colitis reduced the simple clinical colitis activity index and increased the anti-inflammatory fatty acid index–a pilot study. Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation, 71(1), 68-73.