Tu Bishvat is coming, so be careful of choking and excessive calories

The holiday arrives next week.

January 23, 2018 19:30
1 minute read.
sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) eats fruits and nuts as he marks Tu Bishvat.

sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) eats fruits and nuts as he marks Tu Bishvat, the Jewish Arbor Day, during the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem January 24, 2016.. (photo credit: ABIR SULTAN / REUTERS)

Supermarkets and shops are already offering a cornucopia of nuts, dry fruits and other goodies to mark Tu Bishvat, the upcoming festival of trees, next week. While it can be a source of great pleasure for children and the elderly, the holiday can also pose dangers.

Prof. Yehezkel Weissman, director of the emergency medicine department at Petah Tikva’s Schneider Children’s Center, notes that children under the age of five should not be given nuts, peanuts, seeds, cashews, almonds and other hard foods. One must also be careful not to leave such foods around within young children’s reach. In addition, cut dried fruits and the like into long and thin pieces rather than round slices that could block their tracheas and cause choking. Seeds should also be removed from fruits given to toddlers.

Michal Gillon, a dietitian from Schneider’s nutrition and dietitian unit, recommends that adults who want to celebrate the holiday eat only a moderate amount of dried fruits, almonds and other nuts. Prefer fresh fruits, as dried fruits contain much more sugar than fresh fruit when compared by weight, A dried fig, a large date or two small dates, two prunes, three dried apricots, a tablespoon of raisins, four slices of dried apple or a dried pineapple slice are each equal to 50 calories.

If you eat dried fruits, prefer those with no added sugar or coloring. If you are about to carry out intensive exercise, you can eat dried fruit because they are rich in fiber and are rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Almonds and nuts are high in calories and fat, but they have many health benefits, as they are rich in monounsaturated fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

All these improve lipid profiles (lower cholesterol levels) and help prevent diabetes and heart disease. Four walnut halves, seven almond, eight cashews or peanuts equal about 54 calories. It is recommended to eat the nuts and almonds in their natural form without roasting, without the addition of salt.

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