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Celebrate the onset of harvest festival with goodness of almonds
Wednesday, 12 January, 2022, 12 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Celebrated with much fervour, Makar Sankranti marks the end of winter and the beginning of a new harvest season. This vibrant harvest festival of India is known by different names in different parts of the country, although the essence of it remains the same.
As with all festivals and celebrations, people across the country indulge in a variety of foods, traditional sweets and savouries during this time. But this occasion can also be an opportunity to start being more mindful of your eating habits. While family gatherings during such festivals would entail some guilty indulgences, swapping the regular sweet delicacies with an assortment of raw, flavoured or salted nuts like almonds can be beneficial for health in the long run. Therefore, start this season on the right foot by cutting down on unhealthy fried foods and sweets, and snack on a handful of raw, flavoured or salted almonds instead.

Almonds are a gift of good health which you can give yourself as well as send across to family and friends. Nuts like almonds are known to be rich in nutrients like magnesium, copper and dietary fibre along with immunity-enhancing antioxidant vitamin E. Research supports multiple benefits to eating almonds, including supporting heart health, helping moderate blood sugar and enhancing satiety.
Soha Ali Khan, Bollywood actress, said, “For me, festivals like Makar Sankranti are a great time to reunite with friends and family. It gives us an excuse to indulge our sweet tooth in treats. However, I never lose sight of my healthy eating choices. To ensure I stay on track and keep junk food off the table, I always keep a bowl of almonds handy and sip on water through the day. We also tweak the festive recipes to make it healthier and more nutritious by adding ingredients like almonds and jaggery to them.”

 Yasmin Karachiwala, fitness expert and celebrity master instructor, said, “Binge eating and overindulgence during festivals are common in India. However, it’s important to hit pause and reflect on our lifestyle choices and the foods or snacks that we consume. I always recommend giving the festive snacks a healthy twist by adding nutritious ingredients to the mix. Snacking on a handful of almonds instead of munching on processed, oily or sweet foods is in itself a great choice. Almonds are a good source of energy and can help us stay full between meals.”
Sheela Krishnaswamy, nutrition and wellness consultant, said, “Many people often tend to take a break from their healthy eating habits during festivals. It’s common for most of us to indulge in food items that result in unwanted weight gain. So, if you are with your family and friends, and feel like munching on something, have a handful of almonds instead. Munching on almonds is a great way to keep hunger pangs at bay as they have satiating properties. This healthy and nutritious snack will surely give you more nutrients. Additionally, almonds are high in copper and a good source of zinc, which can strengthen the immune system.”
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