Whether it’s turkey, winter vegetables or full-bodied red wine – it’s all loaded with nutrients
Turkey – A mood booster, rich in tryptophan is an amino acid that is the metabolic precursor to the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Serotonin has many roles to play in the body but the one thing that serotonin does is make us feel good! Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical that keeps us happy and upbeat. It keeps mood stable too. Serotonin also regulates our appetite, regulates sleep patterns, is involved in memory and sexual desire. A deficiency of serotonin has been linked to depression, and serotonin levels and availability in the nervous system is a major target in drug therapy for depression.
Parsnips – This gorgeous staple contains a substance called Fructo-Oligo-Saccharide or FOS for short. This is a very large molecular weight sugar that gets broken down by our gut bacteria. It is broken down by means of fermentation. When this fermentation process happens, the bacterial colony increase in number. The bacteria also release by products from this fermentation, such as short chain fatty acids like butyrate. These substances can stimulate repair mechanisms within the gut wall. FOS basically helps to maintain the long-term health of the gut and microbiome. This makes it a PRE-biotic.
Brussels Sprouts – Love them or hate them, brussels are a nutritional powerhouse. They have vast amounts of vitamin C, and magnesium, however, what makes them a power house is a group of substances called ‘isothiocyanates’. These are substances that are found in plants that give them a slightly fiery nature. The extreme end of this scale is mustard, with its powerful heat. But if you have ever bitten into a raw Brussels sprout or some very dark cabbage, you will notice heat there. That is the isothiocyanates doing their thing. What is so special about these fiery substances? They have been found to be anti-mutagenic, they can help to protect DNA within our cells from damage.
Cinnamon – Rich in antioxidants, inhibiting cancer growth, helps balance blood sugar, supporting diabetes and obesity, immune booster, relieves bad breath, anti-fungal used for candida, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory the bark and oil. Rich in manganese for blood clotting, absorbing calcium and optimum for brain and nerve function. Buy the Ceylon Cinnamon. Sprinkle over your porridge, smoothie or use in cooking.
Red wine – (Yeah!!!) contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that may protect the body from oxidative stress, and against cardiovascular disease. Research focuses on moderate red wine intake, and it’s important to note that high consumption of any alcoholic beverages can cause chronic health issues. Keep drinking the water!
Optimum digestion and chilling out after the mad rush up to the holidays – Take time to rest and relax, and try to only eat when you’re mentally calm.
With the mad run up to Christmas, rushing and stressing to get ready in time you are in “sympathetic nervous system mode” (fight-or flight; i.e. running away from a bear) your circulation is diverted from your digestion to your periphery (muscles) so you can run!!! Unfortunately, you can’t digest on the run! So, sit and relax through all your meals. Put your fork down between bites and chew your food well.
In order to, digest our food properly we need sufficient amounts of enzymes, hydrochloric acid (HCL), and bile which are all compromised by poor food choices, medications, various diseases, aging, and other factors. Include plenty of raw, gently cooked, blended or juiced vegetables and fruit.
Our intestinal tracts are host to over 500 different types of bacteria. In fact, you might be surprised to know that you have more bacteria in your gut than cells in your body! Due to poor diets, overuse of antibiotics and medications, environmental stress, diminished soil integrity, being born by C-section, among other factors, most people have too many bad bacteria compared to the good bacteria. Replenish the gut with healthy flora through the use of supplemental probiotics. Over winter this supports the immune system too, so a course now will keep you on the straight and narrow, plus help support weight maintenance and mood.
Though Christmas is associated with decadence and indulgence it is also abundant in healthy, versatile, flavoursome ingredients. Fill up on fabulous staples, keep calm and have fun with loved ones!!
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