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How to Have a Healthy Christmas

How to have a healthy Christmas

It's coming up to Christmas, the time of year for festivities and merriment. There are mince pies and Christmas parties galore, so it's understandable that some people fall off the health wagon somewhat. However, it is possible to have a healthy Christmas period without missing out on all the fun. Here are seven ways to stay healthy over the next few weeks.

1. For a lot of people Christmas means chocolate. Milk chocolate has a very high fat and sugar content which can be linked to illnesses including heart disease, stroke and obesity. Instead of grazing your way through a tin of Quality Streets, why not switch to dark chocolate? Studies have shown that dark chocolate is a fantastic source of antioxidants and can improve overall health!

2. As well as chocolate, there are lots of festive treats that people indulge in over Christmas that they wouldn't necessarily consume for the rest of the year. Some of these treats, while delicious, are dense with calories and fats. Some can be altered or swapped for a healthier option, for instance, if you're making mince pies, try to increase the amount of fruit while decreasing the amount of pastry.

3. When cooking any meal there is always the small chance of food poisoning. When cooking your Christmas dinner, ensure to minimise the risk of cross-contamination as much as possible and to make sure all meat is cooked thoroughly before serving. You can tell if a turkey is done when its juices run clear.

4. With such a huge variety of delicious dishes on offer at Christmas dinner, it's easy to get a little greedy and overfill your plate. Overeating comes with all sorts of health risks, including diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, so it's important to avoid eating to the point of being uncomfortably full - as tempting as it might be. A good tip is to use smaller plates, which will encourage you to eat less! This is also a great idea for the buffets that can often be found at Christmas parties.

5. If you take medication for any health issues, make sure you don't run out of your prescriptions over the winter holidays while the pharmacies are closed. To avoid a nightmare, ensure you are well stocked up before the holidays begin.

6. This time of year can have a great toll on your liver, thanks to all the Christmas parties and mulled wine. Try and give your liver a break, and take at least a few alcohol-free days between Christmas and New Year.

7. It's understandable to be exhausted after all the rushing around doing last minute shopping and socialising with friends and family. This can take a great toll on your body, so it's important to take a rest every now and then or you run the risk of doing yourself some serious damage. What a great excuse for a lie-in when it's chilly outside!

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