Immunity Boosters: Alluring Almonds

Courtesy of Nutritionist Aakriti Arora

When it comes to fighting infections, cold, cough and flu, one of the antioxidants which is often overlooked is Vitamin E. This powerful vitamin enhances our immunity multifold and needs the presence of fat which is available in almonds.

Good Fats

Adults only need about 15g of vitamin E per day as per the National Institute of Health. A half-cup serving of the organic variety provides around 100 per cent of the recommended daily amount making them a complete powerhouse of this Vitamin in our lives. “Apart from enhancing our immunity, vitamin E also helps to stop the development of plaque in one’s arteries which can narrow them and cause heart attack. People who have a history of heart problems, should up their intake of almonds, especially during this pandemic.

almonds
Nutritionist Aakriti Arora

Almonds are also rich in Iron, which is essential for one’s red blood cells and calcium, which supports bone health,” says Nutritionist Aakriti Arora. Consuming nuts boosts one zinc intake and helps to improve one’s immune function. Zinc affects multiple aspects of our immune system, from the barrier of our skin to gene regulation within our lymphocytes. “Almonds are nutritious and help in bone building. Packed with goodness of magnesium, and potassium, it helps oxygen flow freely in the blood. Almonds are low in carbs and high in protein and fiber,” adds Chef Aditi Chatterjee, ITC Grand Central.

Usage Rights

So how do you consume almonds? The first option is just to simply soak a handful of them overnight and consume them the next day. Soaking almonds overnight simply improves their digestibility and increases the absorption of nutrients it carries. You can chop them up and sprinkle on your smoothie bowls, add them to your breakfast cereal or simply have them as a morning snack to have stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.

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Vindhya Karwa

The second option is to consume sugarless almond butter. Two tablespoons of almonds help to lower LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and increase HDL (Good Cholesterol), as it’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Thirdly, switch to Almond Flour for your cakes, brownies and flatbreads to add a healthy and nutritious touch. Vindhya Karwa, Culinarian and Food stylist from Vinsplate says, “you can blanch your almonds, remove the skin, dry and grind into a powder. You can also use almond milk as a substitute for normal cow’s milk. They are great as mid-meal snacks as well. Have soaked and peeled almonds first thing in the morning for general good health. I often use roasted almonds to make my salads crunchy.”

Here are a couple of recipes for you to try.

Spaghetti in almond broccoli sauce (courtesy Vindhya Karwa, Culinarian and Food stylist from Vinsplate)

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Spaghetti in almond broccoli sauce by Vinsplate

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2–4 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4–6 cups broccoli florets
  • 4–6 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cup almond milk
  • 3 – 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups of boiled spaghetti
  • Fresh arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • Chunks of burrata cheese

Method

  • Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, potatoes and celery. Sauté for 10 minutes.
  • Add broccoli, vegetable broth, and almond milk. Simmer until bubbly and broccoli is bright green.
  • Blend the broccoli potato mix to a super creamy consistency. Return to the pot, add the salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Add the spaghetti. Give it a stir. Before serving, add the fresh arugula leaves and top the spaghetti with toasted almonds and burrata cheese

Kesar Badam Ki Kheer (Courtesy Chef Aditi Chatterjee, ITC Grand Central)

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Kesar Badam Kheer by by Chef Aditi Chatterjee, ITC Grand Central, Mumbai

Ingredients

  • Milk 400 grams
  • Barley, cracked 40 grams
  • Blanched and flaked almonds 40 grams
  • Sugar 30 grams
  • Toasted almond flakes 5 grams
  • Saffron 0.01 gram

Method

  • Boil the Barley in excess water till 80% cooked. Heat the milk and add in the cooked barley. Add in sugar and cook over low flame.
  • Once the milk has reduced to half, add in almonds. Soak the Saffron strands in some warm milk until it releases color. Once cooked add in the saffron milk and mix well.
  • Chill in the fridge. Serve garnished with toasted almond flakes.

Check out the last post in our immunity boosting series, Tripping Over Dark Chocolate