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 that health is a precious thing. So, while exchanging gifts with your
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 Consultant said, “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 festive foods. 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 1 . 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 2 .”