Top 3 Christmas Food That Are Good for You (And Asian Alternatives If You Are Not a Fan)!

Top 3 Christmas Food That Are Good for You (And Asian Alternatives If You Are Not a Fan)!

Top 3 Christmas Food That Are Good for You (And Asian Alternatives If You Are Not a Fan)!

It is that time of the year again! Even if roast turkey is not on your menu, it's still a season of Christmas meals and goodies. And, for those who can't gather, you can now have cookies and log cakes delivered to almost anyone anywhere.

Is this also the time to press the pause button on your healthy eating effort? Not Necessarily. Many traditional Christmas foods can be very good for you. If these traditional foods are not your favorites, we also provided some local alternatives that offer similar nutrients.

Roast Turkey

Turkey is not native to South East Asia, but we can now see turkey on every festive menu in town. Its meat is highly nutritious. Turkey is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and minerals.

Alternative:

There are endless alternatives to the turkey, ranging from lean red meat such as roast beef or pork loin to any fish or seafood of your liking. Stir-fried or Bakar (grilled), sambal or Assam, the South East Asian cuisine is rich in flavors and diverse in herbs and spices.

Healthy Eating Tip:

Having protein as your main will help promote the feeling of fullness and control your total intake. Many regional dishes have proteins and vegetables in one plate, such as Thai green curry and prawn sambal with green beans. Including such dishes in your party menu add variety to your table and helps your dinner guests with their healthy eating plants.

Brussels Sprouts

One of the oldest Christmas dishes is Brussels sprouts, often made with bacon and sometimes with nuts and cranberries tossed. As a part of the Brassica family, just like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamins, particularly vitamin K and C, and cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Alternatives:

Even if you are not a fan of Brussels sprout's taste, you don't need to miss out on the goodness. Other Brassica family members include cauliflower and Asia favorites such as kailan, baby kailan, pak choi, and Chinese cabbage.

Healthy Eating Tip:

Try to include at least two different dishes with vegetables of different types at every gathering. For example, there can be a salad as a starter and a baked vegetable served at main. For an Asian dinner, there can be a stir-fried vegetable on its own and vegetables in your meat curry.

Pumpkin

Roast pumpkins with spices, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin cooked into risotto or pasta are heartwarming winter dishes in colder countries. Pumpkin is rich in fiber, vitamin A, C, B vitamins, and a few heart-healthy minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It is also very low in calories!

Alternatives:

A solid contender for what pumpkin offers is the sweet potato. Both sweet potato and pumpkin have very similar nutrition profiles, and both are particularly rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is a superstar in fighting chronic diseases.

Healthy Eating Tip:

Here in Asia, you will most like find pumpkins in Chinese cuisine as pumpkin glutinous rice cakes, clay pot rice, or cooked into meat dishes like how the potato is used. Sweet potato is used very similarly; on top of which, you can also find roast sweet potato served as a snack. One note of caution, sweet potato is a starchy tuber and contains more carbs than pumpkin. If you are having sweet potato in a meal that includes rice, noodle, or bread, make sure you don't overeat.

Here you have it. Many traditional Christmas foods can be a part of healthy eating. Many Asian alternatives offer no less, if not more, nutrients. Lastly, as you begin at a dinner party, start with protein and vegetables first before getting to the starchy staples. It will help ensure you get sufficient nutrients first and promote fullness to keep you from overeating.