With the arrival of spring, people all over the country are gearing up for one of the most joyous celebrations of the year – the festival of colors, Holi! Holi is celebrated each year to honor the arrival of spring and mark the end of the winter season. This festival comes with a very sprightly vibe. It is a time to make merry and rejoice in the colorful nature of life, drenching each other in clouds of colored powder There are family get-togethers, exchanging of gifts, and of course, delectable food! We don’t just celebrate Holi with colors but also with colorful food on our plates. There is a plethora of lip-smacking delicacies that are prepared. However, on the flip side, it is easy to get carried away and one may end up overloading oneselves with unhealthy snacks and food, that in the long run can have a significant impact on one’s health.
This year, with the celebration of new beginnings, let’s plan for a healthier Holi. We can choose to be more mindful of what we consume during the festival and replace unwholesome snacks with almonds. Almonds are healthy and nutritious and can be easily incorporated in Holi festivities, be it the gifts we share with our friends and family, in traditional recipes, or the snacks we serve as a part of the celebrations. One can choose to gift an assortment of naturally flavored nuts like almonds. Almonds are known to be a gift of good health that are a natural source of 15 nutrients including vitamin E, protein, riboflavin, manganese, folate, etc. Years of scientific research have also shown that regular almond consumption can provide a variety of benefits across areas of heart health, skin health, diabetes, and weight management.
Commenting on the occasion, leading Bollywood actress, Soha Ali Khan said, “Festivals call for celebrations, during which we tend to indulge in eating sweets and savouries that may not be good for our health in the long run. For me personally, I ensure that my family and I snack on healthy food items that are rich in fiber and protein, and also provide essential nutrients, and hence almonds are my favorite go-tosnack. Almonds are rich in Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus, nutrients known for their role in energy release from food and other important functions. I also snack on a handful of almonds between meals to keep hunger at bay as they have satiating properties and promote a feeling of fullness. Holi is a great occasion to indulge in treats, so I make sure to treat my guests with the gift of health by serving them healthy and crunchy almonds.”
Ritika Samaddar, the Regional Head-Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi said, “We always tend to indulge in sweets and heavy fried foods during festivities. And many of us get carried away and lose sight of our health. Binge eating during this time means we are filling up our bodies with sugars and trans-fat that might later make us feel sick or lethargic. One piece of advice I always give is to eat mindfully during festivalsas people tend to make the most common diet mistakes during this season. Snacking on nuts like almonds instead of consuming unwholesome snacks, can make a healthy difference in our lives.Almonds are loaded with good fats and proteins and are considered a good fit with many weight-loss plans providingsatiety and a great nutrition bang. In fact, studies also suggest that consuming almonds daily as part of a healthy diet may help reduce dyslipidemia, one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. With almonds, you can always make a small yet impactful change in the overall health of your family and friends.”
Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach, Neha Ranglani said, “Staying healthy and eating mindfully is always the best way to take on the festivities. It’s time to adapt to small changes and look at this festive time as an opportunity to stay more active, and full of vigour. Simple diet and lifestyle changes can help you stay fit during the festive season and bond better with your loved ones while enjoying fun-frolic events. One of the easiest ways to do this is by snacking on almonds instead of fried/oily snacks. Almonds can help lower the blood sugar impact of carbohydrate foods that they are eaten with, which affects fasting insulin levels. The nutritional value of almonds, known to be low on the glycemic index and providing a powerful nutrient package including protein, dietary fiber, good fats, and important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium, combined with their versatility in many forms, makes them a smart snack for those with impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes. So when you think of imbibinghealthy habits, Almonds should be your go-to food to snack on.”
Speaking about the skin health benefits of almonds, Medical Director and Cosmetologist, Dr. Geetika Mittal Gupta said,“Holi can be a little tricky when you’ve managed to pin down a good skincare routine. The colors can take a toll on your skin;therefore, your routine requires a few small changes to make sure your skin stays healthy and glowing. You can always naturally take care of your skin by eating foods like almondsdaily. Almonds are known to be a source of vitamin E, copper, zinc, and polyphenols, which can help to improve skin health. According to published Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani texts, almonds can enhance skin glow. Additionally, Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, found in almonds helps prevent skin dryness.So, keep your skin healthy and nourished, this holi! To create a protective layer, you can also apply almond oil to your facebefore playing with colors.”
Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant said, “I believe in exchanging thoughtful gifts during festivals, and what better gift can one give than a gift of good health! As we all embrace more modern lifestyles it is important to modernize our gifting choices as well. Almonds make an auspicious gift during festivals and special occasions. Gifting almonds embodies the care and concern of the gift giver for their loved ones. Different studies from across the world have found that almonds are good for skin, and heart health and also support immunity. Adding to the benefits, a recent study has found that snacking on almonds may help your gut health too.This study shows that almonds help to increase the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that promotes gut health.This gut-friendly food also can be served in a variety of ways, in recipes, and can be enjoyed with family and friends.”
According to Well-known Fitness and Celebrity instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala, “For all the fun and frolic activities that this festival of colors entails, it is important to fuel yourself before you indulge in the celebrations. Snacking on a healthy source of energy is a must to keep yourself active and not miss out on any fun. Almonds are a rich source of protein which isknown to contribute to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. These crunchy and tasty nuts can be munched on at anytime, anywhere, and are known to provide energy from good fats and also keep you full for a longer period of time because they are high in fibre. Besides that, regular almond consumption is known to provide benefits across heart health, weight, and diabetes management as well as skin health. Moreover, a recent study found that daily consumption of almonds leads to a change in metabolism, lowering the level of inflammation and oxidative stress from exercise and enabling the body to recover faster. The study also highlighted that consuming almonds leads to increased leg-back strength during recovery, decreased muscle damage during recovery, and reduced fatigue and tension after an eccentric work-out session. So, for those who want to go all out this Holi, do not hold back and enjoy the festivities to the fullest.”
Speaking on adding the goodness of almonds to special Holi delicacies, Chef Saransh Goila said, “In India, every festivalhas its special delicacies to celebrate. Holi is one of my favorite festivals and for me, food plays an integral part in the celebrations. Almonds are a versatile ingredient that enhance the nutrient content in festive recipes. Along with numerous health benefits across skin, and heart health, they can also help you keep off junk food as they have satiating properties.Almonds’ delicate nutty flavor pairs well with fruits and various foods for you to enjoy in your daily diet as well.”
So, contribute to the journey of your loved ones to attain better health, this Holi!