The healthy route to Holi

The healthy route to Holi

Experts advise one to control the portions they eat and opt for healthy alternatives.

With Holi around the corner, people are busy preparing mouth-watering dishes for the festival.

Though Holi-favourites like Thandai will help in beating the sweltering heat, fried and sweet delicacies are bound to dampen the diet plans of many.

To make sure that the rich food doesn’t affect one’s health, Metrolife interacted with health experts to ask how Holi and health can go hand in hand.

‘Eat everything but in controlled portions’

Nutrition and wellness consultant Sheela Krishnaswamy’s mantra for the festival season is portion control, healthy alternatives and exercise.

“One may eat everything, but keep the quantity in check,” she suggests.

Sheela adds that one should restrict oily food and opt for healthier options. “Instead of high-fat, high-sugar sweets, one can prepare ‘Almond Laddoos’, made of Almonds and jaggery. Similarly, ‘Gajar Halwa’ can be prepared with skimmed milk, jaggery, cardamom and saffron,” she explains.

Nothing beats physical exercise, she adds. “You don’t have to go to a gym; running and playing during Holi counts as physical activity,” Sheela says.

‘Hydration is a must’

Summers and Holi are a great combination; splashing water and having cold drinks keep us cool. However, most people forget to hydrate themselves during all the fun, says Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, chief clinical dietician, Apollo Hospitals.

“Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water will keep you energetic, keep ailments at bay and stave off heat exhaustion. Bring a cooler to store things like infused water, juices and fresh fruit. 

Stock up on your favourite juices before you head out, and raw coconut water, apples, grapes, watermelon and hummus,” she says.

‘Detoxifying brings you back on track’  

For those who let their guard down, Preety Tyagi, lead health coach and founder of My22BMI, a digital healthcare startup, shares some after-festivities tips to get back on track.

“During Holi everyone indulges in fried food which makes detox inevitable. Drink a glass of lemon detox water or cinnamon or ginger water first thing in the morning, followed by clean and healthy food,” she says.

“Consume vegetable juices and citrus fruits, berries, beetroot juice, cruciferous vegetables, which are good for the functioning of our liver,” she adds.

Preety gives tips for ‘external detoxification’. “Use organic cosmetics and oils for body and hair. Go makeup-free for a few days,” she says. 

Alternatives for Holi food: 

Low-Calorie Thandai: Mix soya milk, powdered jaggery with crushed nuts in toned-milk for a refreshing thandai. 

Healthy pakoras: Mix your favourite vegetables in besan batter and make small balls from it. Steam it to reduce the stickiness and put it in the oven at a high temperature (for a short period ) till they are golden brown. Top these pakoras with powdered spices, chilled yoghurt and the traditional green and sweet chutneys. 

Wholesome ‘Gujias’: Bake them instead of deep frying. Use 50% whole wheat flour rather than refined wheat flour and use nuts in the stuffing rather than too much khoya. Use dates pieces and serve with pista toppings. 

Mouth-watering ‘Malpua’: Cut down on the calories by replacing the base of the ‘Malpua’ with ragi flour, oats, and whole wheat. Add a bit of honey or melted jaggery for the sweet taste.