Almond Board of California today hosted a virtual panel discussion around the topic ‘Challenges in ensuring optimal family health, amidst fast changing lifestyles in the post pandemic world’featuring eminent personalities from India and the USA. Stressing on the need to undertake serious dietary and lifestyle interventions, the panel featured prominent Bollywood actor and Author,Soha Ali Khan, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi, Ritika Samaddar, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy and Emily Fleischmann, VP – Global MarketDevelopment, Almond Board of California.The panel was moderated by RJ Shezzi.
As the world around us changes and rapidly evolves, and uncertainty for the future rages – the need to ensure proper family health has emerged as a key focus area for several Indians, as this is something which is under every individual’s control. The notion that a nutritious and well-balanced diet has the abilityto support good health has been discussedfor years. What to eat –and not to eat – regularly grabs headlines, as consumers in general and mothers in particular, try to balance scientific advice and trends with their own culinary beliefs, familial traditions and recipes and local food availability.
While several regions across the country continue to wade through the aftermath of the pandemic’ssecond wave, many Indians now need to restyle their lives to adjust to a post pandemic world. Addressing this, the discussion highlighted the various facets of the road to recovery, and the requirement to make every family member’s health a top concern. Duringthe discussion, panelists shared examples and experiences from their personal lives urging families across India to invest more in building the quality of their health and lifestyles.
Emphasizing on the need to ensure better nutrition to boost every family member’simmunityand lower the risks posed by lifestyle diseases which are on the rise, the panel stressed on the necessity to prioritize nutrition and include healthy foods like almonds to the diet. The panelists also spoke at length about the requirement tolook at health from a more holistic perspective and look at every function separately coming together to achieve a larger goal. To do so, the panelists discussed that there is a strong need to pairconsuming a wholesome diet with regular exercise and mindful snacking while also making a serious effort to control stress. In the long run, each of these elements combined will help in promoting better health for every family member.
Speaking during the discussion, popular Bollywood actressSoha Ali Khan said, “In today’s world, it isn’t easy to be a mom – there are so many things that concern and worry us – and many a times we also feel personally accountable. For me, as for any mother, making sure my family is healthy and safe is a constant stress. But if there is one thing I have learnt in the past year and a half, it is that – while a lot of things might not be under my control, my family’s well – being certainly is. As part of our family’s plan to ensure wellness, we eat a handful of almonds every day. Almonds make for a healthy and nutrient dense snack, which can be consumed raw or added to oats, smoothies, and shakes. Eating them regularly also helps strengthen my own and my family’s immunity as they are known to contain copper, zinc, iron and Vitamin E – each of which are nutrients whichcontribute to growth, development, maintenance and normal functioning of the immune system.”
Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi said, “Recently, many households in India have been exposed to the Covid19 virus in some way or the other. As people recover, it’s vital now more than ever, to focus on the family’s health. While immunity continues to be a focus, it’s equally important to consider the growing burden of lifestyle diseases like obesity, elevated blood sugars, high blood pressure or heart failure whichhave been recognized post virus complications. Therefore, families need to make sure they pay minute attention to their diet and include nutrient rich foods like almonds, fruits and green leafy vegetables. Almonds in particular are a great choice, as they are one of the easiest foods to eat every day. Family members could soak and eat a handful in the morning, divide them in small portions and eat them through the day, or make different recipes by spicing them with Indian flavours. The other advantage ofeating almonds regularly is that they can help in better managing a person’s blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is often highly elevated for many who are recovering from Covid19. While it is not known whether almonds help improve elevated blood sugar levels caused by Covid19, research indicatesthat daily consumption of almonds may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and improve cardiovascular markers in people with type 2 diabetes.”
Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy said, “When we look at the world around us now, a lot has changed, and along with this many of us have too. Having gone through this difficult time, it’s important to learn from the past, and enable the path to a good recovery by replacing old habits with new and improved ones. For this, my top suggestion to families is to do a thorough cleanse of the household pantry, and replace unhealthy and calorie high foods with nutritious options like almonds or fresh fruits. This change in snacking patterns, can aid in better heart health amongst family members. In fact, according to a study, participants who had been replacing typical snacks with almonds saw improved measures of Heart Rate Variability during mental stress, which is a key indicator of cardiac health and function.”
Emily Fleischman, VP – Global Marketing Development, Almond Board of California said, “In a post pandemic world, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is key. For several years now, and even during the pandemic, we have been committed to building better awareness amongst families across the world, and in India in particular, around the importance of eating nutritious and balanced meals, and regular exercise. ABC continues to encourage this by investing in scientific research to understandthe merits of including almonds in healthy dietary patterns. As we all continue to adapt and amend our lives to fit into this ever-altering world, it’s important to re-assess one’s own and the family’s diet and lifestyle and adopt changes that can enable a better future.”
It is paramount for families across India to make these small yet important dietary and lifestyle interventions to their lives, as the long-term benefits of these changes are innumerable. An easy way to do this is by including a handful of almonds to the diet. Whether it’s bolstering heart health, helping support healthy blood sugar levelsand a person’s weight, or positively impacting skin health – daily almond consumption is sure to impact overallfamily health in many a positive way. In fact, a healthy and sustainable lifestyle including a daily dose of almonds can also aid in building a strengthened immune system that can help in preventing other ailments in the future.