October 21st, 2019: It’s time to brighten up your home, celebrate the victory of good over evil and welcome goddess Lakshmi in all spirit. Marked by earthen diyas, colourful rangolis, twinkling fairy lights, scrumptious sweets, and a host of family get-togethers, Diwali, for many Indians is one of the most awaited festivals of the year.
Another important aspect of Diwali is tradition of exchanging gifts which embodies the essence of the festival. Though there’s nothing sweeter than spending Diwali with your loved ones, a thoughtful gift like almonds will bring a sweet smile to their faces, and will also help take care of their health in the longer run. If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift for your friends and family this Diwali, here are 4 reasons why almonds should be on the top of your list –
Almonds showcase thoughtfulness and care
Traditionally, almonds have featured in Indian gifting patterns for thousands of years now, owing to their reverence as an auspicious gift and also their delectable taste and crunchiness. Additionally, almonds are also a good gift that can showcase the giver’s thoughtfulness and intent to secure the good health of the receiver. They are a rich source of 15 essential nutrients including vitamin E, dietary fibre, protein, riboflavin, manganese, folate amongst others, making them a nutritious choice of gift.
Beyond this, years of global research and a large body of scientific evidence suggests that almonds can be beneficial in helping to manage heart disease risk factors. A recent study also highlighted that the inclusion of 45 gms of almonds as part of a healthy diet may help in reducing dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia is a condition marked by high LDL-cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins) or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins) or ‘good’ cholesterol levels, which is also known to be one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among Indians.
Almonds are a good snacking choice!
Diwali for many of us means a host of family get togethers, lunches and dinners and the much loved taash parties, but this also means binge eating on fried or unhealthy snacks which can have a larger impact on our health in the longer term. By sharing almonds with your friends and family, you will be giving them the gift of good health and offer them a healthier snacking option. They could include them in traditional festive snacks, keep a handful nearby when hunger strikes at work or munch on some while travelling or watching a movie – almonds are convenient to carry and can be eaten anytime, making them a good snack. Added to that, they have satiating properties that may promote feelings of fullness, and help avoid gorging on unhealthy snacks.
Speaking about snacking, leading Bollywood actress, Soha Ali Khan said, “Festivals are a great time to bond with the loved ones and express feelings of love, affection and care, but they are also a time when we give caution to the wind, and overindulge in food. To counter this, I remember as a kid, my mother would opt for healthier festive recipes, or hand us a boxful of nuts like almonds during snack time. She made sure we didn’t lose sight of our health while enjoying the festivities, and now as a wife and mother myself, I understand how important this was and try to do the same with my own family.”
Agreeing with Soha Ali Khan, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head-Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi mentioned, “During the Diwali festivities, a lot of us give way to our gut, and tend to indulge in sweets and other deep fried snacks. A good way to control this, is by switching to gifting healthier items like dried fruits or nuts like almonds, which also make for good snacking food. Replacing over processed snacks, with dry, roasted or salted variants of almonds will not only help in keeping you satiated through the festivities, but also aid in your overall health.”
Almonds are versatile
Nutritional benefits aside, almonds are a crunchy nut which can be paired with almost any food item. Whether you use them as an ingredient in a traditional festive recipe like matar chaat, or as a dinner party entrée or serve them as an evening snack – almonds are a healthy and tasty alternative that can easily be added to any recipe preparation. So by gifting your friends and loved ones a box or tray or even snack pack of almonds, you help in keeping a versatile ingredient around the house – that is not just crunchy and tasty, but also healthy.
Commenting on the versatility of almonds, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy said, “Almonds are easily adaptable in many traditional Indian recipes and are also a good choice for mid-meal snacking. The best part about almonds is that they are easy and quick to flavour and go with just about any or masala/spices making they a tasty and yet health addition to your festive food.”
Add a bout of energy to the festivities, with Almonds
With festivities abuzz and many get togethers to be planned – one has to keep their energy levels up through the Diwali celebrations. Almonds are a rich source of vitamin B2, a vitamin known for its role in reducing tiredness and fatigue and can be a good food to keep handy during the festivities.
Madhuri Ruia, Pilates Expert and Diet & Nutrition Consultant, said “Diwali celebrations mean a lot of preparation, planning and a host of parties, all of which require us to keep our energy levels at their optimal best. My suggestion is – keep a handful of almonds nearby and make sure you snack on them when hunger strikes, to keep yourself energized to take on the prep.”
So, combine the best of tradition with good health and include almonds in your Diwali traditions and gifting this year!
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond growers and processors in California, many of which are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.almonds.in
Kalita S, Khandewal S, Madan J, Pandya H, Sesikeran B, Krishnaswamy K. Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review. Nutrients. 2018; 10:468. Doi:10.3390/nu10040468.