As we near the final stretch of the holiday season, it’s inevitable that a few tempting foods might sneak into your plate. Even if you’ve fallen off track, you don’t have to wait until New Years to entertain your health goals.
Our Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition team weigh in on which foods should make your “nice” list and some of the “naughty” ones to avoid. To make it even easier, we’re sharing some of our favorite healthy options from our friends at KitchFix. Join us on Instagram for Functional Medicine Friday Trivia and a chance to win meals from KitchFix!
- Wild Rice – Wild rice is a great option compared to regular white rice. Wild rice contains much more protein and has an impressive amount of antioxidants. It also improves heart health.
- Quinoa – Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, and one of the few plants that contains all nine essential amino acids. Try KitchFix’s Power Green Veggie Quinoa Bowl.
- Salmon – Salmon is loaded with vitamin B-6, which your body needs to make the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Additionally, Salmon has been linked to lowering cortisol levels, thereby improving sleep. Try KitchFix’s Dill Salmon with Garlic Mash.
- Vegetables – Some of our favorites are brussels sprouts, turnips, beets, and carrots because they are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The high fiber content help support gut regularity and health, and the high levels of vitamin K are great for bone health. They also are great for reducing inflammation!
- Yams/Sweet Potatoes –Sweet potatoes do it all, offering more potatoes for fewer calories and a healthy helping of vitamins and nutrients! Try KitchFix’s here.
- Fresh Fruit – Fruit is a great substitute for holiday candy, and contains great health benefits. Try it on top of KitchFix granola.
- Dark Chocolate- Dark Chocolate contains flavonoids called polyphenols. These may help blood pressure, clotting, and inflammation.
- Ginger- Ginger makes digestion easier and can help soothe upset stomachs. By stimulating the digestive track, ginger triggers the release of digestive enzymes and can increase muscle contractions in the stomach to help food movement in the upper part of the small intestine. Check out this delicious Ginger Carrot Soup recipe from KitchFix.
- Sweets and sugar: Despite it’s sweet disguise, there’s no fooling your health when it comes to sugar consumption. Avoid simple sugars when possible, which is probably the worst thing you can hear at the time of the year when sugar plums literally dancing in our heads. According to studies, refined sugars can suppress the immune system for hours after eating.There can be tons of added sugars in holiday beverages like egg nog, lattes, and frappes.
- Dairy: Dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods in our modern diet, second only to gluten. It causes inflammation in a large percentage of the population, resulting in digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as other symptoms including acne.
- Processed Foods: These can be notorious during the holidays. While the store-bought cookies may be tempting, they can contain many additives and fillers that may leave you feeling bloated later on.
About Functional Medicine
Getting to know what food works best for your body (and what food does not work for you) can bring your peace of mind with every meal. Learn more about Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition by scheduling a free consult at one of several clinics, here.