INDIA: With the festive season at its peak and Diwali just around the corner, your list of to-dos would be just as busy as your social commitments. From decorating the house and preparing festive food, to searching for the most special Puja ki thaali or finding the perfect gifts for your family and friends, there’s a lot that demands your attention. While the celebrations might not be as grand this year due to the ongoing pandemic, Diwali is still an important moment for sharing happiness and love with the family.
With the focus on well-being and safety this year, Diwali can also be an opportunity for you to look out for the health of your loved ones by sharing gifts that will add to their wellness during these unprecedented times. Instead of regular options look at more thoughtful and mindful gifts like handmade diyas or candles, decorative items or clothes made of recycled products, or healthy and nutritious foods like Almonds. Almonds are known to be the gift of good health, as they provide a variety of benefits across heart health, diabetes, and weight management. In addition, almonds provide copper, zinc, folate, iron, and vitamin E – all known to support the immune system – making them a great food to keep around the house, especially when supporting immunity is a family priority.
So this year, celebrate a safe and healthy Diwali inclusive of all the regular festivities while spending time with the family. Be sure to avoid crackers, hang some fairy lights, decorate diyas, make rangoli to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into your heart and home, but do this while focusing on healthy eating and maintaining social distancing.
Speaking about the importance of looking out for your loved ones this festive season, leading Bollywood actress, Soha Ali Khan, said, “With the festivities abuzz, it’s easy for many of us to get carried away and lose sight of our health. So, this Diwali I’m going to be more mindful of what I gift my near and dear ones. The first item on my list of gifts is almonds as they contain a variety of nutrients including vitamin B2, phosphorus, magnesium, protein, etc. which are important to lead a healthy life. What many don’t know is that they also provide several nutrients recognized for supporting immunity – yet another reason to feel good about giving the gift of almonds.
According to Well-known Fitness and Celebrity Master Instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala, “With indulgent food items all-around during the festive season, it’s easy to lose count of our calorie intake. Festivals are also the time when weight gain is most common. Counter this, by making sure you don’t skip your daily 30-minute exercise routine – despite everything happening around you. Besides this, make adjustments to the food you eat and serve during the festivities. Almonds are a great food to keep handy during the festive season as they have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness in-between meals and might help guests make more mindful eating choices during the festive season. This also makes them a great gift to share with friends and loved ones.”
Madhuri Ruia, Pilates Expert, and Diet & Nutrition Consultant said, “The festive season is synonymous with celebration, ceremonies, shopping, and of course overconsumption of snacks and sweets. While preparations are in full swing for the good times ahead, evaluate and re-think through the gifts you’ll be exchanging. Instead of sweets or fried treats, share almonds with your friends and family, as they make for a thoughtful gift, which in the long run may add to their health. Besides this, almonds are a rich source of vitamin B2, a vitamin is known for its role in energy production and reducing tiredness and fatigue, making them handy.”
Ritika Samaddar, the Regional Head-Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi, “During Diwali sharing sweets as gifts is a common tradition across Indian households. However, these aren’t best-suited for people who are suffering from medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases which are quite common in the country. My suggestion is – instead of sharing sweets which are high in calorie content, and sugar, share almonds instead. Owning to their nutritional value, and diversity of benefits, almonds make for an excellent gift during Diwali. This is all the more true for people who are suffering from Type II diabetes, as research shows that daily consumption of almonds may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and improve cardiovascular markers in people with type 2 diabetes.”
Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, said, “Due to the ongoing pandemic, for most families across India, Diwali celebrations are likely to be quite different from previous years. While we prepare to adapt to this new way of celebrating Diwali, the tradition of sharing gifts – virtually or in person is something that will continue. I recommend sharing gifts like almonds, which showcase thoughtfulness and care on the part of the giver, as in the long run, they can add positively to the receiver’s health. This is especially true for people prioritizing heart health. According to a recent review conducted by researchers in India, regular consumption of almonds can help reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels, both known risk factors for heart disease. . So be sure to gift almonds this Diwali, to support long term health.”
So, this Diwali, instead of picking up ghee-laden and sugary treats to gift, opt for healthy alternatives, like almonds, which are tasty, crunchy and also promise good health.
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