hopefully at the end of a long dark tunnel. With the rollout of the Covid-19
vaccines, the whole world is breathing a collective sigh of relief. For the
majority, life at home was both exhilarating and frustrating: the
much-hoped-for companionship with dear ones making it enjoyable, even as work
invaded homes turning them out into arenas of tense existence.
last 9 months have also been a time of gourmet delights, many of us taking a
lot many snacks to see the day through and sit through one film after the
other. Some might already be paying the price for such food adventures. Perhaps
it is time to remind oneself that foods which entertain one’s taste buds well
may not satisfy one’s nutrition requirements.
to Ayurveda, one's health depends on the amount and quality of food eaten. One
can stay healthy simply by keeping unwholesome food beyond one’s reach. In each
day's diet, we combine wholesome and unwholesome food, knowingly or
unknowingly. This happens mostly because the habit of snacking.
we have many mouth-watering choices for a snack: fried, spicy, frozen, and
sweet - to name a few. These foods are liked much due to the tastes they offer.
And we forget the fact that they contain relatively high amount of calories and
unhealthy fat. Is there a substitute? Nuts and dry fruits which offer more
quality in less quantity are the best substitutes for common spicy snacks of
example, an ounce of cashew nut has 5 grams of protein in it. It is cholesterol-free,
and has heart friendly fatty acids. Cashews help diabetics to reduce their
triglyceride levels with its monounsaturated fats. Many varieties of nuts and
dry fruits are available in markets today. Cashew nuts, dates, almonds,
raisins, pistachio, apricot, walnuts and fig are the most popular items.
How can we know their quality?
or fruit might be better than another because of its taste, size, shape or
colour, which solely depends on their places of origin. For example, raisins
coming from Afghanistan are considered to be of superior quality. So when you
buy it keenly watch its size, colour, freshness and check whether it is packed
How to eat?
can be used after soaking in water overnight. Dates can be taken directly or
with water or milk. Cashew nuts can be taken with milk or directly.
one ounce (6-10 numbers) of cashew nuts is enough for a day for a healthy one.
Pistachios and almonds also can be used directly or with milk. Peanuts are
available in butter form which can be used with bread, etc. Dry fruits and nuts
can be used as salad toppings. They can be added in a variety of dishes like
oat meal, cereals, curries and cakes.
diabetics can have nuts and dry fruits in their menu, excluding some items like
dates and raisins. The amount and timings should be chosen carefully according
to the person's condition. A diabetic should seek advice from a
dietician/physician before adding these into daily menu.
is the key
and dry fruits are high calorie foods. Due to great taste, there may be a
tendency to consume them in unhealthy quantities, which should be avoided. A
handful a day is enough for a healthy person. You can eat them straight. For
ensuring proper nutrition, mix more than two of them in a day's menu. And say ‘no’
to fried and salted nuts.
so easy to carry some dry fruits or nuts to your office; and you can also enjoy
them while travelling. At office, have a few cashew nuts or peanuts or dates at
your teatime instead of any fried food. You can ensure limited consumption by
eating them when you are not so hungry.
should be stored in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. It is
better to buy them in moderate quantities. Limit the usage by considering your
quality from less quantity (a handful a day is enough)
friendly – Nuts mostly contain high density lipoproteins or HDL, which is known
as good cholesterol
Presence of fats that lower cholesterol (Poly unsaturated and mono unsaturated
fats - omega 3 fatty acids)
source of carbohydrates, dietary fibre, Potassium and Iron
source of calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins and magnesium