21 December 2017 -
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How to have a Healthy Christmas
In a few more days Christmas will be upon us. The media often shows the festive season in a rather negative light when it comes to our health, as it’s a time of year when it’s impossible to say no to calorie-laden food and drinks.
However, it certainly doesn’t have to be completely unhealthy, and it’s definitely possible to have a great time without it impacting on your health. Follow our tips and you can enjoy a healthy and wholesome Christmas this year.
Christmas and Stress
Many people in the UK find Christmas an incredibly stressful time of year, particularly women who often feel an immense amount of pressure to ensure that everything goes smoothly and everyone has a magical time. Old people and people without families also find Christmas a difficult time of year; it’s hard to be alone when it feels as if everyone around you is having fun. At a time when the days are short and the nights are long, perhaps it’s unsurprising that anxiety and depression rates soar in the winter months. Be kind to each other and to yourself – it really doesn’t matter if the roast potatoes aren’t crispy enough or if the kids have a few tantrums!
Christmas bonus: wine and chocolate
In the UK, the office Christmas party is an institution and most workplaces have a culture of pre-Christmas drinks and nights out. Your liver does have the ability to cope with short-term spikes in the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, but if binge drinking continues over a prolonged period, your liver will become damaged – and liver disease is predicted to become a major cause of deaths in the UK in the next few years unless current drinking patterns change. Before going out, eat something to line your stomach and avoid drinking more than two or three alcoholic drinks.
Now, let’s focus on the Christmas dinner. Of course, not everything has to be healthy, but some things are actually very good for you if you stick to small amounts. Turkey is an incredibly healthy source of lean protein, particularly the dark meat. A glass of wine a day reduces the risk of heart disease, dark chocolate contains antioxidants and salmon contains an incredible amount of omega-3 fatty acids. All of which are often consumed over the course of a traditional Christmas! However, this does not mean that you should feast constantly for two days. Everything should be done in moderation, and that also applies to your eating habits. If you want to enjoy this Christmas with a healthy and calm heart, pay attention to certain things. Here are a few tips:
Cooking is great, but fry in olive oil rather than lashings of butter!
Bake chips in the oven, not in the fryer!
Drink a glass of water after every glass of wine!F
Opt for low-fat creme fraiche with your mince pies rather than clotted cream.
Do you have any other festive ideas that are healthy and tasty? We’d love to hear them!
Oh, Christmas Tree …
Did you know that your Christmas tree can actually improve your health? According to the alternative medicine of aromatherapy, pine needles have an antiseptic effect. Native Americans used pine needles earlier to fill their mattresses to keep vermin away. Pine oil is said to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and its scent is good for your respiratory system. If you have an artificial tree, don’t despair as a few drops of essential oil works almost as well!
Time to relax
Many people see Christmas as a chance to completely unwind. That’s why Christmas is so good for you and your body. Being asleep or lying lazily on the couch is incredibly beneficial and good for your health. Sufficient sleep and relaxation will give your immune system, your mood and your memory a real boost. However, a bracing walk in the fresh winter air is also healthy and strengthens the body’s defences, but wrap up well with warm clothes, a scarf and a hat – you’ll feel full of energy to enjoy the rest of the holidays!
Pressies are a major part of Christmas. That’s a good thing because giving someone a gift makes you happy. The body of a happy giver seems to produce extra dopamine and serotonin – these are substances that act like natural antidepressants. However, if you don’t have the time or inclination to battle the shops, you could also experience the gift-giving buzz by donating some money to charity, donating blood or inviting someone to Christmas dinner!
All of us at Dokteronline.com wish you a reflective and healthy Christmas!
Sources: Nhs, Mind, Gov.uk
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Last updated on December 21, 2017.