India is a land of festival and celebrations. It brings along a bunch of family gatherings, new connections, beautiful gifts, and other countless joyful experiences. One thing that undoubtedly forms the underlying fabric of festive season is food. Food elevates our festive experience with our loved ones and unites us in ways that we cannot even imagine.
But, as they say, “There is no rose without a thorn,” festive food is mostly high caloric, high sugar, high fat, high sodium, with minimal dietary fiber, protein and other micro or macro nutrients. i.e junk food. Recent researchers commented on the notion of food as well-being, referring to ‘healthy food for happy life and longevity.’ They believe that the consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole cereals and pulses, and high biological value protein in different varieties and appropriate proportions, not only has a positive impact on physical health but possesses many health benefits in regard with mental health. Research reveals that an adult gains between five and eight pounds of weight in the festive season.
Traditional Indian food, however, is not only healthy, but is also incredibly tasty with a lot of health benefits. Indian food supports immunity, inflammation, brain function and several other functions in the human body. Here are a few healthy snack options by Dr. Mahak Sharma, Associate Professor and Nutritionist, Manav Rachna University, that can be added for house parties in the festive season with little twist.
Keeping this in mind, this festive season, opt for food items that have high nutrition value and can be presented beautifully
- Millets will be a great replacement and can be a star ingredient for curating various festive dishes and it can be promoted as it has multiple health benefits.
- One of the world’s healthiest grains is oats. They include significant amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants and are a gluten-free whole grain. Oats Laddos can be made with nuts, roasted oats powder and powdered jaggery.
- Bananas contain many essential nutrients and may benefit weight loss, digestion, and heart health. This sweet recipe is prepared with banana, ghee, and powdered milk. Mashed bananas are cooked in desi ghee with milk powder and nuts and then it is set in greased thalis.
- Some of the other recommendations are roasted vegetables in white sauce (prepared in milk), sautéed vegetables with sesame seed, flex seed, tofu and egg, baked peanut and cranberry tart, whole wheat avocado sandwich.
- Kala channa chat with lots of vegetables, kala channa samosa, wheat bun burger with baked chole tikki is a great option too.
- Ragi masala idli, paner ragi roll with green chutney, dry fruit chat with honey, hung-curd salad, avocado egg white katori, broccoli cheese baked quiche with egg whites, and vegetable mushroom taco with tofu filling can be party staples.
Dietary diversity, not only provides healthy food choices but also provide nutrients in sufficient amount. So do try healthy and nutritious snacks during this festive season and build happiness with a healthy gut.