Niha Zubair, Arivale Clinical Research Scientist, PhD
It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday, which means millions of Americans are gearing up to spend four hours sitting, eating, maybe yelling, and socializing with friends.
Throughout the game, the announcers will surely hypothesize about what’s going on inside the minds and bodies of the players on the field. But for now, let’s take a quick second to break down what’s likely happening in your body as you watch football this Sunday.
The Viewing Experience
Sitting for any extended period of time has a number of effects on the body, including slower digestion and decreased energy expenditure.
Within an arm’s reach, there will likely be lots of snacks, many of which are packed with excess sodium, sugar, and fat. The extra sodium can lead to water retention and that sluggish bloated feeling. Adding alcohol into the equation can also lead to dehydration.
Besides trying to work some movement into the game-watching experience (who’s in for push ups during commercial breaks?), you can easily lead the charge to bring tasty and nutritious appetizers to your Super Bowl party this year.
Optimize the Menu
You may not be able to control what others bring, but you can always bring your own healthy appetizer to enjoy and share with your friends.
Our tip? Swap out traditional game day snacks with healthier alternatives.
Here are a few healthy Super Bowl recipes suggested by the Registered Dietitians on the Arivale Coaching team.
Get the taste of buffalo wings while skipping out on a lot of the fat. These shredded buffalo chicken wraps are easy to make and packed with lean protein. To cut down the fat even further, try serving these wraps with a Greek yogurt-based blue cheese dressing.
Homemade guacamole is both nutritious and delicious, but it should still be eaten in moderation due to the high-fat content. This recipe keeps the healthy fats of the avocado, but balances them out with fiber-rich black beans and a boost of phytonutrients from the extra veggies. Try using it as a dip with red peppers or maybe just enjoy a bowl of this salsa all by itself. Nobody’s judging.
Get the cruciferous party started with this fun twice baked potato alternative. Cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage, help boost your body’s detoxification system (perhaps extra beneficial on a day of indulgence?). We recommend using turkey bacon or skipping the bacon all together.
Swap out chicken for cauliflower with this buffalo wing alternative. Again, cauliflower is a detox powerhouse, and its mild taste lends it well to absorbing different flavors.
Sweet potatoes are fiber-rich and packed with nutrients, and the bite-size quality of this recipe can help keep you from overindulging. You may even want to try topping these with your black bean avocado salsa!
6. Fresh cut veggies
No recipe needed. Bring a tray of fresh cut vegetables, like bell peppers, celery, carrots, and cucumbers to use as your main dip vehicle. This is a great way to enjoy tasty dips while skipping out on potato or tortilla chips’ empty calories—with a bonus of getting plenty of vitamins and filling fiber.
Staying hydrated will help you counteract any alcohol consumption and contribute to feelings of fullness. But why not spice up your water a bit? Making infused water is easy, and it’s a great healthy drink alternative at any party. There’s no shortage of tasty combinations, so experiment with your favorite flavors!
There’s no reason you can’t enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday without sacrificing your personal wellness goals. Get creative in the kitchen and start some new Super Bowl traditions.
Do you have any favorite healthy appetizers? Share with us in the comments!