By: Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN

The holiday season is a time for festivities, but it can also be a frenzy. We’re often on-the-go, pushing our boundaries, and neglecting our own wellness. Before this season ramps up and we get wrapped up in all the excitement of giving to others, let’s be sure we gift ourselves moments of self-care every day. Here are a few things we can focus on in the coming months:

Our Immune Systems:

When we are stressed, our bodies are less resistant to infections, colds, and the flu. Creating a healing plate at each of your meals can help keep your health in check during the busyness of the holidays.

What should be on your plate to support a healthy immune system?

 

Protein Foods

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Lean meat (Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef)
  • Beans
  • Dairy foods
  • Soy foods

Probiotic Foods

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Tempeh/Miso

High Fiber Foods

  • Fruits
  • Dried fruits, like California Prunes
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts/seeds

Prebiotics

  • Asparagus
  • Garlic, onion, shallots
  • Mushrooms
  • California Prunes

Zinc Foods

  • Red meat
  • Oysters
  • Breakfast cereal

Vitamin C foods

  • Citrus
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli

Vitamin D foods

  • Egg yolks
  • Fatty fish
  • UVB treated mushrooms
  • Vitamin D fortified milk

Omega- 3 foods

  • Fatty fish
  • Walnuts
  • Chia

Our Bones

It is important that our bones – the core structure of our body – maintain their strength and stability. Let’s be kind to our bones this season and thank them for the gift of movement by incorporating practices that maintain their health and strength.

Keep your bones happy and healthy by:

  • Consuming adequate protein
  • Consuming adequate calcium and vitamin D
  • Practicing weight-bearing exercises and weight training
  • Eating California Prunes, which have important vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that support bone health
  • Getting enough potassium from fruits, veggies, and dairy foods
  • Minimizing your alcohol intake, which may negatively affect your bones

Our Appetites

During the holidays, we love to showcase our favorite dishes and there seems to be food everywhere we turn. If you are trying to control your appetite over the holidays, here are some tips to help:

  • Eat regularly
  • Include protein with every meal and snack
  • Include foods with fiber to help calm your appetite between meals and keep you satisfied
  • Drink enough fluids
  • Get plenty of sleep and manage your stress levels

Our Sugar Intake

Hip, hip, hooray for prune purée! California Prune purée is a great way to reduce the sugar in our favorite treats while retaining moisture, sweetness, and flavor. Moreover, California Prunes come with other nutrients that support our health, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Learn how to make California Prune purée and check out these recipes for inspiration!

In summary, as joyous as they are, the holidays can take a toll on our bodies. Let’s be sure to take care of ourselves and include daily choices that help keep us healthy and happy through the rest of the year and beyond. California Prunes rise to the top as a food that fits into all the important focus areas discussed above and are worth including as part of your daily routine this season.

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