Coming up to Christmas can be time of great excess! For some it’s great fun, but for others, there is a worry about gaining weight and controlling appetite. However, Christmas is actually filled with healthy ingredients that can help achieve a balance with all of the other ingredients.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be covering these and showing how you can easily incorporate health into your December time. And I’ll start with one of my favourite Christmas foods; Cranberries.
Cranberries are packed full of health promoting anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are great for health as they counteract damage done in the body by harmful substances and toxins. The range of anti-oxidants in cranberries have been linked to prevention of urinary tract infections, protection against heart disease, protection of our livers, cancer prevention and a reduction in inflammation levels in the body.
What I find interesting about the research on cranberries, as with many whole fruits and vegetables, is it is not just one element of these natural foods that make them so great for health. It is the combination of a unique blend of anti-oxidants, range of vitamins and minerals, high fibre levels etc that provide such protection against illness.
Here, as with many cases in health, increasing your variety of fresh foods can protect against health much more than a single supplement of vitamin pill. Fresh cranberries will start appearing in our food stores delis and supermarkets from now till Christmas so buy up!
This is really the only time of year I tend to see them in shops so if they are reasonable in price I’ll buy up and freeze them or simply buy in bags from the frozen section. At other times of the year, you can mostly buy them dried or in a juice. Cranberries are naturally very bitter so all recipes and products will have sugar added – go for the lowest sugar versions. As with all dried fruit and juices, as they are high in sugar, keep them to a small handful or small glass.
- 450g fresh cranberries
- 1 pear, small dices
- 1 apple, small dices
- 50 mls honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp horseradish
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Blend cranberries in a blender or food processor. In a bowl, combine blended cranberries and rest of ingredients. Keep in the fridge overnight before eating, if possible.
- Wheat free, gluten free, dairy free