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It’s a chilly winter night and if you are in north India looking to warm yourself up, you don’t have to look further. It is Lohri time! There will be bonfire and warmth emitting from all your loved ones. Add the warmth of delicious food to the list, and you will be all set to enjoy the cold winter night. You should enjoy such festivals to the fullest, but it is better not to neglect your health, especially if you are on a weight loss journey. Here is how you can make your Lohri thali healthy and enjoy it without feeling guilty.
Lohri thali is nothing, but all the traditional foods associated with the festival in a single plate. This thali usually includes a lot of sugary desserts and food made with loads of ghee. But we have some suggestions. Include these in your Lohri thali to make it a lot healthier while still keeping it traditional.
In parts of north India, Winter festivals are incomplete without sarson da saag and makki ki roti. It is a vegetarian dish prepared with mustard greens and bread made with maize flour which are both absolutely delicious and at the same time healthy! Saag is rich in iron, folate and other vitamins and minerals. People usually end up eating way too much ghee with this dish, so just try to minimise that and try to use homemade ghee or butter.
Chikki is easy to make and is a great option to include in your Lohri thali. “The presence of unsaturated fatty acids makes chikki beneficial for your heart. A blend of jaggery in chikki helps to bring down the levels of bad cholesterol levels,” says dietician and nutritionist Avni Kaul. She further explains that chikki has anti-inflammatory properties and hence, it keeps skin problems at bay. It is also high in Vitamin E and magnesium which means, it promotes healthy blood flow and purifies the blood.
Rewri is made of sesame seeds or til. They are known to provide warmth to your body during the winter season and so, are enjoyed beside the fire during Lohri. “They are a rich source of calcium, fiber, Vitamin B and E, zinc and iron. Rewri contains sesame seeds, which have several nutrients as mentioned, besides they also have magnesium and selenium,” says Kaul. All of them help to keep cardiovascular health in check. The expert also mentioned that rewri has dietary protein and amino acids which are useful in bolstering the development of bones.
Popcorn might be one of the most delicious snacks that we can eat without any guilt. They are low in calories and high in fibre. Kaul says popcorn may help in improving digestive health as including corn fiber in the diet also lowers abdominal discomfort. Popcorn also help in metabolism and provide energy, as they are rich in Vitamin B such as B3 and B6, folate, and pantothenic acid. Vitamin B is important for regulating bodily functions. Popcorn also reduces cravings for food, thus it might help in managing weight.
Instead of including gajar halwa in your Lohri thali, try replacing it with til or sesame laddu. “It is a good source of fiber which is helpful in keeping your heart disease and obesity at bay. It does not spike your blood sugar levels and hence can be enjoyed by diabetics too. It has plenty of plant-based protein too,” says Kaul.
So, include these healthy delicacies in your Lohri thali and enjoy the festival to the fullest!
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