Style & ShowbizHealth

Healthy St. Paddy's Day party ideas

Healthy St. Paddy's Day party ideas

It's that time of year when everyone seems to reveal they have "a bit of Irish in them" - any excuse to get on board with St. Paddy's Day! But with all that Guinness flowing and delicious food on offer, how can you join in the fun without piling on the pounds?

Well, for a start, there may be a little bit of truth in that Guinness advert that claims the beer is good for you. A University of Wisconsin study found that antioxidants in the dark drink are similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables. They could even bring health benefits in the form of slowing down the deposit of cholesterol on artery walls.

In addition to this, there are claims Guinness can help you with strong bones, weight management and memory. Bonus: it's much lower in carba and has fewer calories than many other beers out there.

Of course we're not suggesting you go and get absolutely sloshed tonight, but if you have one pint there's no need to feel guilty!

Putting on a traditional Irish spread for friends and family this evening? Luckily there are ways you can keep it from becoming too calorific.

A Ploughman's lunch platter is a pub favourite and when you're making one up at home, you have full control over the ingredients used. Go easy on the cheese, using a low-fat alternative where possible, and opt for lean chicken over the traditional cooked, processed meats. Serve with a large helping of lettuce and a small side of chutney and use crackerbread rather than other, heavier options.

If you fancy a carby side, opt for traditional Irish soda bread. Make it using whole-wheat flower, wheat germ and steel-cut oats for a healthier, yet still filling, take on the classic.

Need something to serve with your homemade soda bread? Smoked salmon with horseradish is a great option for a full taste with health benefits. The fish is a great source of Omega 3, just don't overdo it due to the salt content. Meanwhile horseradish has even been praised for its cancer-protecting properties. So tuck in!

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