INDIA: Every year, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 to commemorate feelings of love, affection and friendship. This day, dedicated to St. Valentine is celebrated across the world with people showing their loved ones how much they are cherished with grand gestures and several gifts.
This year, due to the pandemic, let’s choose to share thoughtful gifts like Almonds with our loved ones, which will not only bring a smile to their faces but will add to their health, immunity, and well-being in the longer run. Almonds are a source of 15 nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, zinc, etc., and offer a host of benefits to support heart health, skin health, and weight management in addition to helping manage blood sugar.
Leading Bollywood actress, Soha Ali Khan said, “Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to showcase affection, concern, and care and the best way to do that is by sharing thoughtful gifts. This year, I plan on sharing almonds as they are known to be the gift of good health. They contain several nutrients like Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus that help in leading a healthy life. Besides this, almonds are known to have immunity supporting nutrients like copper, zinc, folate, iron, and vitamin E, which makes them the perfect gift which adds to the receivers’ overall health.”
Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant said, “Exchanging gifts is customary on Valentine’s Day, but these are traditionally restricted to chocolates and other sugary treats, which aren’t the best for our health. My suggestion is, while choosing a gift for your loved one, look at foods that are tasty yet offer a diversity of health benefits. For this, one of my top suggestions is almonds. Almonds can aid in better managing lifestyle diseases like diabetes, which is becoming increasingly common in India, by helping lower the blood sugar impact of carbohydrate foods that they are eaten with, which affects fasting insulin levels.”
According to Well-known Fitness and Celebrity instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala, “Valentine’s Day is a good time to celebrate your loved ones and show them the care they deserve. I feel there are many ways to do this – and this needn’t necessarily be by planning a fancy dinner, or taking an expensive holiday. It could simply be investing more in your partner or loved one’s health by buying them a gym membership, enrolling them in an online Pilates class or pushing them to take better care of themselves and working out with them regularly. Along with a regular fitness routine, be sure to share almonds with them, as they make for the perfect pre or post-workout food, as they are known to provide energy and also contain satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, which will aid them in their journey to fitness. Committing to your loved one’s fitness is one the best gifts you could offer them this Valentine’s Day, as this aid in making them healthier over time.”
Ritika Samaddar, the Regional Head-Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi said, “Gifting is at the very heart of Valentine’s day, and with several options available around it’s easy to get confused. I always recommend sharing gifts that contribute positively to the receiver’s good health and almonds are my top suggestion. Almonds make for a tasty and healthy snack, and they are also known to aid in better heart health. A recent study in UK adults showed that almond snacking reduced adjusted relative risk of cardiovascular disease by about 30%, and improved endothelial function and cardiac autonomic function.”
Madhuri Ruia, Pilates Expert, and Diet & Nutrition Consultant said, “During Valentine’s Day, a lot of people over-indulge in calorie-high foods. You can counter this by skipping dinner at a restaurant and instead of preparing a home-cooked meal for your partner. Within this, incorporate healthy ingredients like almonds, as they are easy and quick to flavor and go with almost all Indian spices and herbs. You can also mix almonds with your partner’s favorite desserts to create healthy, and delicious items.”
This Valentine’s Day, let’s share a common vow with our loved ones- to stay healthy with almonds! Here’s an almond recipe that make Valentine’s Day for your special ones a lovely experience.
Caramelized Sesame Smoked Almonds
In a pan, dry roast almonds and keep it to cool down so that it becomes crunchy. In a separate pan, take sugar and let it caramelize then add roasted almonds in it. When almonds are coated with syrup, add the chili powder which will give glaze and binding.
Remove on a clean tray and coat it with white sesame seeds and rock salt (crushed). Take charcoal, burn it on fire and keep it in a bowl, add some rosemary and smoke the almonds which are coated with sesame. Store it in an airtight container.
Tip: You could flavor the smoke with any spice, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, etc. it will go really well
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