INDIA, 09 January 2023: Harvest festival is celebrated across the globe and occurs around the main harvest period of different regions. India, with its diversity, celebrates this festival in various ways. However, the essence of it remains the same.It is called Maghi and is preceded by Lohri in North India, Magh Bihu in North-east, Uttarayan in the West, Pongal in the South and Makar Sankranti in the South and East. Celebrating this festival is a way of thanking for the successful harvests and feasting with one’s family and friends, with foods that are drawn from the crops.
During these occasions, as tradition dictates, we tend to indulge in a lot of sweets and savories. However, it is possible to modify them a little and make these celebrations a healthier one. For instance, instead of gifting a box of sweets to your friends and family, you can share a box of assorted almonds. Moreover, almonds are a “gift of good health” which can make for a healthy gifting substitute for these occasions. Almonds are known to be a source of nutrients like magnesium, copper and dietary fiber, and are rich in proteinsalong with immunity-enhancingantioxidant vitamin E. Almonds are also high in unsaturated fats which are good for one’s health. Research supports multiple benefits of eating almonds, including heart health, type 2 diabetesmanagement and enhancing satiety.
According to well-knownFitness Expert and Celebrity Master Instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala,” Festivities are a time for feasting and celebrations, and it is natural to indulge in them.My mantra in life is to balance things, which is why I enjoy these festivities fully but ensure to add a healthy twist to them. I would suggest the same for you given thathealth is a precious thing. So, while exchanging giftswithyour loved ones, I would recommend you swap the calorie-laden sweet boxes with a healthy substitute like almonds. These healthy nuts are also known to be a gift of good health and are a perfect gifting option for such occasions. Including almonds as a part of your daily diet can go a long way in ensuring good health and may keep several health concerns at bay. Almonds also contain satiating properties which may also help you to manage your weight!”
Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultantsaid, “Festivals are a great time to bond with your loved ones and express feelings of love, affection and care, but they are also a time when we throw caution to the wind and overindulge in festivefoods. To counter this, we can make mindful changes to the usual celebrations by substituting the traditional sweets and savories with a healthier option. One such option is almonds. Almonds are easily adaptable in many traditional Indian recipes and are also a good choice for snacking between meals. The best part about almonds is that they are easy and quick to flavour and go with just about any masala/spices making them a tasty and yet healthy addition to your festival food. Research suggests that almonds can help lower the blood sugar impact of carbohydrate foods that they are eaten with, which affects fasting insulin levels. Eating almonds as part of a healthy diet has also been shown to help lower total and LDL cholesterol and reduce levels of heart damaging inflammation.”
Talking about the various benefits of almonds, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head –Dietetics, Max Healthcare –Delhisaid,”During Sankranti, a lot of us give way to our temptations, and tend to indulge in sweets and other deep fried snacks. A good way to control this, is by switching to gifting healthier items like dried fruits or nuts like almonds, which also make for good snacking. Replacing ultra-processed snacks, with dry, roasted or salted variants of almonds will not only help in keeping you satiated through the festivities, but also aid in your overall health. Research also suggests that regular consumption of almonds may reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels and help maintain protective HDL cholesterol when included in a healthy diet. It may also help reduce levels of heart damaging inflammation for individuals with type-2 diabetes.”
Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach, Neha Ranglani mentioned,”While it is natural to indulge in some traditional delicacies during festivals, it is always wise to know when to draw a line. Sweets and savories, although gratifying in the short-term, have a far-reaching negative impact on our health in the long term. This makes it imperative to eatas healthilyas possible. This harvest festival, I would urge you to start your new year right by making some mindful changes to the traditional snacking. It can be simply substituting the traditional sweets with a handful of almonds.Almonds are a healthy addition to your diet as they have a host of essential nutrients such as vitamin e, iron, magnesium, zinc among others. Research suggests that consuming almonds daily may help control the progression of conditions such as pre-diabetes, and keep your heart healthy.”
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond growers and processors in California, many of which are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.almonds.in