While Christmas might well be the most wonderful time of the year, it's often the most overindulgent, sugar-filled and, let's face it, exhausting time too. December is full of temptations that can easily make the most avid gym bunny and devoted health-conscious eater tumble off the wagon. But it doesn't need to be that way. Premium dried fruit and nut brand, Forest Feast, tells us why we should ditch the sweets and pick up a handful of nuts instead this Christmas:  

Vegan on Female First

Vegan on Female First

Fight the flu: Christmas is often the time we get poorly after exhausting ourselves with festivities and one too many mulled wines in the run up to the big day. Reaching for a toffee penny isn’t going to help our energy levels, but snacking on nuts, which are high in protein, omega-3s, and energy boosting B and E vitamins, will.

The perfect pairing:  nuts make your favourite festive tipple taste better. Fact.  They also help justify that second or third glass (hello... I was thirsty!)

Be even more merry: Nuts from the walnut family boost levels of serotonin which provide feelings of well-being and happiness–perfect for spreading Christmas cheer this season. 

Banish the bloat: Festive sweets are generally a lot richer in sugar and fat, causing the body to store this excess sugar as fat or glycogen, which can make you feel sluggish and swollen. Eating nuts help your digestive tract. The fats and fibre found in nuts aid and lubricate the digestive system to keep things ‘moving along’.

Sweetie pickers wear bigger knickers: As a nation, we just can’t stop the sugar cravings. But don't despair; by switching from chocolate to nuts you can slow down how much you eat. Having to crack or shell a nut is a perfect way to keep portion size under control as studies have shown you end up eating fewer per sitting.

(Nut)butter up your guests: Get creative this Christmas and add texture and flavour to your festive party fayre. Nuts are versatile; they can be chopped, ground, or processed into oils, pastes, and butters for dips, crackers – the perfect way to show your guests that you are keeping up with 2017 foodie trends.

Crack the crunch:  So many festive dessert recipes can be improved with a little crunch, and nuts are the obvious choice to do this. Add them in the form of a topping by crushing Forest Feast Vanilla Cashew & Cranberry Fruit & Nut on salted caramel ice cream and serve with fresh pears for a sweet and fresh dessert.

Feel fuller for longer:  Nut consumption is associated with reduced appetite and increased feelings of fullness. The fibre and protein from nuts can keep you from munching on ‘naughtier’ calories later. This means that you can sail into 2018 comforted by the fact the fact that your 2017 jeans still fit.

Snack right: We all know how hard it can be to eat healthily at work around Christmas. The constant supply of sugary treats in the kitchen can be too tempting to avoid, especially if you have been too busy over the festive period to pack a lunch. Opt for a fistful of nuts instead. Nuts can be kept at room temperature too, which makes them ideal for on-the-go snacks and traveling.

Tuck into tradition: nutcracking is an age-old Christmas tradition that is in danger of dying out. This year, Forest Feast has brought out a new range of traditional nuts in shell which are perfect for cracking open around the fire with family and friends. Beats tucking into a selection box any day!

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