The 10 healthiest foods (plus 1 beverage) for a holiday party
If you don’t want to overeat at a holiday party, just put these healthy dishes on your table. They are delicious and low in calories – just a perfect decision.
These little Italian snacks are one of the simplest party foods to make. All you need is small slices of an Italian bread topped with a delicious mixture of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Olive oil if full of healthy fats, plus, oil helps your body absorb some of the nutrients in the tomatoes. Of course, you’re free to improvise with your toppings, it’s not necessary to be the above mentioned ingredients.
2. Smoked salmon on toasts
Salmon is packed with essential Omega-3s fatty acids. Omega-3s help reduce blood pressure, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, stave off heart disease, make your skin healthy and give it that dewy glow. Specialists recommend eating an Omega-3 source twice a week. Make these delicious toasts for your party, and help yourself and your family or friends get a dose of that healthy nutrient.
If you’re planning to have some dips on your holiday table, salsa should be your number 1 choice. Main ingredients of salsa sauce are tomatoes, peppers, and lime, which are loaded with vitamins A and C, fiber, and they are super low-calorie.
Another healthy dip is guacamole, where avocado plays the starring role. Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy fats and valuable nutrients such as beta-sitosterol, a natural plant sterol which can decrease your levels of bad cholesterol. And you better make your own guacamole instead of buying one: some store-bought guacamole can be made with cream cheese, the saturated fat content of which can outweigh the unsaturated fats in the avocado.
5. Shrimp cocktail
Shrimps are one of the best party appetizers. They are rich in protein and skimpy on fat and calories. Because protein keeps you satisfied for longer period of time, you’re less likely to eat more unhealthy food on the table. Shrimps also contain zinc, a mineral, which helps strengthenan immune system. As for the cocktail sauce, make sure you don’t overdo it. Bottled sauces often contain unhealthy amounts of sugar. Try dipping shrimps in salsa instead.
6. Vegetables and dip
A bunch of different fresh vegetables and some dip is always an ultra-safe strategy for party munching. There is no need to say that all veggies are rich with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Just instead of some creamy ranch dip, use salsa, guacamole or humus.By the way, studies show that adding a little bit of fat to your veggies helps the body absorb the nutrients in them.
7. Chicken kebabs
Chicken meat contained in this delicious Asian appetizer is usually skinless and grilled, and therefore contains few calories or fat. Just one ounce of chicken cooked this way will give you almost 9 grams of protein, keeping you satisfied muchlonger, so you won’t overdo on unhealthy dishes or snacks.
White rice, which is the base of sushi, will keep you satisfied. The pieces with salmon, tuna or other fish inside deliver essential Omega-3s. Vegetarian varieties contain veggies loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.Nori, the seaweed that hugs the rice, is also packed with nutrients, as it contains minerals from the sea. Just make sure your pieces don’t contain cream cheese or are not tempura kind (which means fried).
9. Mixed nuts
A bowl with mixed nuts is always great to have, especially at parties. A few small scoops of plain nuts can give you a nice dose of vitamins, fiber, and protein to keep you full. If you add some sunflower or pumpkin seeds in there, even better, as they’re high in vitamin E, which is great for circulation, skin, and even helps during PMS.Just make sure the nut mix is not honey-roasted (read: coated in sugar), fried or salted.
10. Fruit and cheese
Cheese platter is a great and elegant decision for any party. Cheese provides you with calcium (one or two good-size cheddar cheese chunks will give you roughly 120mg) and protein. But don’t forget that cheese is high in fat and calories, so don’t overdo it. Hard cheeses like cheddar contain more calcium, and more calories, than soft cheeses like brie or goat. Pair your cheese with some fruits or berries, like apples, pears, strawberries, pineapples, or kiwis for an extra vitamin C intake and an immunity boost.
11. Red wine
Red wine is loaded with polyphenol, a compound found in the skin of red grapes that helps circulation, lowers blood pressure, and promotes overall heart health. Sweeter wines will have a few more calories than the dry varieties, as will those with higher alcohol content (around 14 to 15%). You can cut your calories in half by ordering a spritzer — half wine, half seltzer.