March 17 has come around once again, and that means it’s time for the honored holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. The commemoration of the death of St. Patrick who was a patron saint of Ireland is an annual affair of donning green and decorating everything with shamrocks. It also means that as with many holidays, there is the traditional food and drinks that come along with it, albeit some aren’t as healthy as one would like. With that being said, let’s cover 4 ways to make your St. Patrick’s Day a healthy one!
Corned Beef Control
Hands down the most popular food item for the St. Patrick’s Day tradition is corned beef. It’s tasty, cost effective and has been a long-time St. Paddy’s day staple. However, the problem is that while a 3 oz serving size can pack 15g of protein, it also has 16g of fat and 964mg sodium…not exactly the picture of health. You can certainly enjoy some corned beef as part of your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, but do so in moderation and stick to one serving to keep your fat and sodium in check.
Be a Cabbage Patch Kid
While the staple of St. Patrick’s Day is corned beef, the accompanying side of cabbage is an underrated gem. It’s obvious that vegetables are a nutritious way of helping your overall health, and cabbage is one that packs a nice amount of nutrients and fiber. A half cup serving of cooked cabbage contains 1g of fiber, 150mg potassium and additional calcium magnesium and vitamin A. Along with the added nutrient value, cabbage is also calorie efficient containing less than 20 calories, less than 1g of fat.
Think When You Drink
Perhaps the biggest mainstay during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, is the alcohol. While you don’t have to abstain completely from alcohol, do be conscious of the pitfalls that alcohol can have on your calorie count and metabolism. Moderate amounts of alcohol can have their benefits but too much can lead to health problems in addition to unwanted weight gain. One drink is equal to 12 oz for beer, 5 oz of wine or 1.5oz of hard alcohol.
Go Green with Your Food
Going green doesn’t just mean benefiting the environment, but also benefiting your health! Just like the aforementioned cabbage, green foods tend to be nutrition powerhouses that pack a micronutrient punch. Things like broccoli, asparagus, spinach, kale, green beans, snap peas, brussel sprouts, etc. are all fantastic things to include in your diet. They pack vital nutrients such as Vitamin C, D, E, K along with calcium, magnesium and are a great way to get in your daily fiber for healthy digestion.
St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday for all, young and old. Use these tips to make it as healthy as possible and don’t forget to wear your green!