Thursday, November 30, 2023

Healthy twist to your diet with the goodness of almonds this Navratri

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Navratri, a festival of dance, devotion, and vibrant colours, marks one of the most auspicious times in the Indian calendar. It is not just a festival in India but a celebration of faith, community, and tradition. Spanning nine days, the festival is marked by vibrant dances, colourful dresses, and the collective reverence of Goddess Durga. Amid the joyous celebrations, fasting remains a distinct tradition.
During the Navratri celebration, some people choose to fast while others embrace the Sattvik, or pure vegetarian diet. In this landscape of dietary restraint, almonds stand out not just as a tasty inclusion but also as a nutritional powerhouse. One of the remarkable traits of almonds is their satiating properties, which ensure that those who consume them feel full and satisfied.
Almonds may look tiny, but they have a lot to offer in terms of nutritional value. Boasting a profile of 15 nutrients, including vitamin E, dietary fibre, protein, riboflavin, manganese, and folate, almonds offer more than just satiety. Several scientific studies have further illuminated the multifaceted benefits of regular almond consumption. From promoting heart health and aiding diabetes management to enhancing skin health and assisting in weight management, almonds have proven their mettle time and again.
Emphasising the importance of healthy snacking during fasting in Navratri, Bollywood celebrity and actress Soha Ali Khan said, “During the auspicious period of Navratri fasting, the importance of strategic snacking cannot be overstated. Smart snacking comes into play when there are longer gaps between meals, offering a multitude of benefits to your physical well-being. As I focus on mindful snacking, almonds offer a delightful and nutritious addition to the diet. Incorporating almonds into my meals is like adding a touch of love and health to every bite, reminding me to savour the moment and nourish my body and soul.”
Meanwhile, Sheela Krishnaswamy, a nutrition and wellness consultant, said that while the Navratri festival can promote balanced eating, it’s essential to avoid overindulging in fried or sugary foods that are sometimes consumed during this period. “Opt for healthier options like boiled sweet potatoes, steamed sprouts, fruits, and nuts. Incorporating almonds into your Navratri diet not only adds a delightful crunch but also provides essential nutrients, reminding us that nourishing our bodies is important during this auspicious time too.
Furthermore, studies have shown that almonds can aid in diabetes management, support weight control, and contribute to heart health. Research findings indicate that incorporating almonds into a balanced diet may lead to reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as a decrease in inflammation, which can otherwise be detrimental to heart health.”
Further commenting on the versatility of almonds, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head, Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi, said, “Staying hydrated and consuming a balanced diet within the fasting guidelines is essential for maintaining good health during this period. With their impressive combination of protein, healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, almonds offer a holistic snacking experience that caters to both flavour and nutrition.
Almonds are incredibly versatile, can be enjoyed in various ways in recipes, and can be enjoyed with family and friends during fasting. You can eat them raw, roasted, lightly salted, or use almond flour or almond butter in recipes to create a wide range of dishes.”
On the other hand, speaking about keeping your energy levels high during festivities, fitness expert and celebrity master instructor Yasmin Karachiwala said, “Sweets and snacks hold a special place during Navratri, much like any other festival.
It’s common for many of us to experience cravings and indulge in less healthy options. A wise strategy to navigate these temptations is to make a switch towards healthier alternatives, such as dried fruits or nuts like almonds.Opting for dry, roasted, or lightly salted almond variations not only satisfies our taste buds during the festive season but also promotes our well-being.These small wonders are bursting with essential nutrients, which can significantly enhance our overall health.”
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