A Healthier Holiday Menu: Reworking Traditions
Home » A Healthier Holiday Menu: Reworking Traditions

A holiday menu is a staple in every culture, especially in December during Christmastime. Housing the release of bonuses, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Eve, December is always going to be that month with a lot of celebrations. Whether it is a house or office party, food and drinks will not be far behind, and with that often comes unhealthy food.

Although your holiday menus are considered a huge part of tradition, they are the reason why medical professionals are on high alert during the season.

For example, a slice of fruitcake has a small percentage of Vitamins A and C, Calcium, and Iron. But with it comes an astounding amount of sugar which will give you 300 to 500 calories. Another, this time with a local flavor, is puto bumbong. A single piece has 300 calories with only a few grams of protein, a small percentage of Calcium, and Vitamins A and C.

So how about we skip those this year and make a new holiday menu with something else? Read on for recipes and ingredients that will fill your holiday menu with a lot of nutritional value.


Mushrooms are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals that enable the body to eliminate free radicals.

Free radicals are toxic by-products of bodily processes such as metabolism. They grow in numbers in the body, and when their numbers become too high results in oxidative stress. These can harm the body’s cells, leading to various health conditions.

Mushrooms contain the following antioxidants:

  • Selenium – helps boost immune function, improves hair and nail health, and supports a healthy thyroid. 
  • Vitamin C – is a nutrient the body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen in bones. This is also vital to the body’s healing process.
  • Vitamin D – helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorous. It also is important for building bone.
  • Choline – a nutrient that supports lipid metabolism and liver health. The liver naturally produces a small amount of choline. Because of this, the body mostly gets its supply from consumed food. Additionally, choline is also good for the brain and central nervous system to control memory and mood; the liver and muscles work correctly; cell formation and membrane repair; and lipid breakdown, and energy conversion.
In addition, mushrooms are also a good source of:
  • Fiber – a type of fiber called beta-glucans helps lower blood cholesterol, a high-fiber diet also supports the growth and maintenance of beneficial microbes. Some of these microbes break down fibers into short-chain fatty acids that have been shown to stimulate immune cell activity.
  • Potassium – the main role of potassium is to help maintain the normal levels of fluid inside cells. It also regulates heart function (heartbeat) and ensures the proper function of the muscles and nerves.
  • B Vitamins
    • Riboflavin – required for the proper development of skin, lining of the digestive tract, blood cells, and brain function. It is also a key component of coenzymes involved with the growth of cells, energy production, and the breakdown of fats, steroids, and medications. 
    • Folate – required by the body to make DNA, red blood cells, and other genetic material, as well as allow the cells to divide. This is important also during periods of rapid growth, such as in pregnancy and fetal development.
    • Thiamine – plays a vital role in the growth and function of various cells. It also helps the body to generate energy from nutrients.
    • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – is an essential nutrient for synthesizing fatty acids.
    • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – helps keep the skin, nervous, and digestive systems healthy. It is also used and made by the body to turn food into energy. It also helps to convert nutrients into energy, create and repair DNA and has antioxidant properties as well.

Try Them in Your Holiday Menu:

Mushrooms can be included in your holiday menu as part of the main dish like creamy Pasta with Crispy Mushrooms, or as an appetizer like crispy baked parmesan garlic breaded mushrooms.


While not saying that this is basically a license to eat sashimi every day, it sort of is. Salmon contains several essential vitamins, minerals, and of course, omega-3. Did you know that 100 grams of salmon contain 41% of the body’s recommended protein intake, along with 20% of the recommended daily intake of several vitamins?

  • Protein – does the most work in cells and is required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. It is important in wound healing, protects bone health, and prevents muscle loss.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – helps keep the skin, nervous, and digestive systems healthy. It is also used and made by the body to turn food into energy.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – is necessary for making blood cells and plays a role in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for energy.
  • Vitamin B6 – assists more than 100 bodily functions such as the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It is also important for normal brain development and keeps the nervous and immune systems healthy.
  • Vitamin B12 – helps DNA production, red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, and nerve production.
  • Vitamin D – essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth while also helps regulate inflammation and immune function.
  • Vitamin E – finds and eliminates free radicals, enhances immune function, and prevents clots from forming in heart arteries, while also helping maintain healthy eyes and skin.
  • Selenium – boosts immune function, improves hair and nail health, and is great for supporting healthy thyroid.
  • Omega3 Fatty Acids – have various health benefits such as: preventing macular degeneration (which causes vision impairment and blindness); reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke; lowering blood pressure; reducing insulin resistance; fighting inflammation; helping prevent age-related mental decline, and; reducing the risk of some types of cancer.

Try Them in Your Holiday Menu:

Salmon can be included in a non-traditional holiday menu with main dishes such as spicy salmon sushi roll-ups or as a side dish like Indian spiced salmon. As a very common meat alternative, salmon can be used in any type of dish, from any type of cuisine.

Mozzarella Cheese

Yes. With most dishes commonly featuring mozzarella appearing extremely sinful, the cheese actually gives off good benefits to the body. Being the cheese with the least sodium and saturated fat content, mozzarella also has:

  • Protein – does the most work in cells and is required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.
  • Calcium – most often associated with healthy bones and teeth, the mineral also plays an important role in blood clotting, helping muscles to contract, and regulating heart rhythm and nerve functions. For women, studies have found that it may ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Phosphorus – builds and maintains bones and teeth, while regulating the body’s use of carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. The mineral is also responsible for the production of ATP, a molecule the body uses for storing energy. All of this, while also playing a key role in metabolism, muscle contraction, heart rhythm, and transmission of nerve signals.
  • Zinc – supports a healthy immune system, the healing of damaged tissues, the building of proteins, and cell growth.
  • Probiotics – live microorganisms that can be gained from the consumption of fermented food and supplements.
    • Lactobacillus fermentum – enhances the immunologic response and the body’s response against infections.  Studies have found that it can reduce the duration of respiratory infections and prevent gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections.
    • Lactobacillus casei – used to treat and prevent diarrhea.  It also has some effects on other digestive problems such as colic, constipation, Crohn’s disease, IBD, IBS, lactose intolerance, and ulcerative colitis.

Try Them in Your Holiday Menu:

Following the trend of the other recommendations, add unique dishes to your holiday starters such as pizza quesadillas and marinated mozzarella, or as a main dish like three cheese jumbo shells.

It always pays to be informed.  

If you want to learn more about what sort of ingredients you can use to fill your holiday menu or, if you simply want to take care of your body through nutrition, Medgate’s team of medical experts is only a ring away. 

Make your teleconsultations easier by chatting with us on Facebook Messenger or call us through the following numbers:

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Available 24/7 and on holiday, ready to give the gift that comforts.

2022 | Holiday | Lifestyle | Nutrition