Navratri has arrived- the nine-day celebration of Goddess Durga. Many people observe fasts during Navratri refrain from pulses, legumes, cereals, and rice.
Navratri coincides with two very important junctures of seasonal change; one during the beginning of the summer season and the other, when winters are about to start. During this period, the body’s immunity is low and people are more likely to fall ill.
In these nine days fasting and avoiding food like meat, grains, alcohol, onion, garlic, etc. detoxes the body and prepares it for the onset of a new season.
Food that is light, easy-to-digest, and full of nutrients such as protein and fiber is the best way to prepare your body for the transition.
Fasting is not an excuse to eat deep-fried or sugary food either opt for the fresh seasonal fruits during Navratri that will keep your energy level in check.
Here are some food items to eat if you’re fasting for Navratri:
During the fast, sabudana is a lifesaver; it is an excellent source of carbohydrates which gives you the much-needed energy boost while fasting
It is loaded with a good amount of potassium that helps to keep your BP in check. Sabudana is a great source of protein, which is required for the growth of muscles.
- Samak Chawal
Samak Chawal or rice is a perfect dish for fasting on Navratri days. Loaded with a high amount of fiber and essential minerals like iron and magnesium, it is a great source of energy. Samak Chawal is rich in fibers and protein. To balance its carbs pair it with carrots or cucumber on the side.
- Makhana (Fox Nuts)
Makhana, also known as fox nuts, is a very popular food during fasting. Makhana is low in saturated fats as well as sodium but high in magnesium and potassium which help in controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, palpitation, and insomnia.
The high-fiber content in makhana helps the body flush out the waste and avoids constipation.
- Rajgira Flour
Rajgir grain is high in protein, manganese, iron, and phosphorus and is the best substitute for wheat atta. It can be used to make Rotis. It is a good source of calcium, protein, and amino acids and is also rich in iron.
Rajgira is a powerhouse of nutrients, make delicious puri’s, paratha’s, and roti’s of Rajgira flour, or make tasty, healthy desserts like kheer to enjoy healthy and testy fasting.
- Kuttu (Buckwheat )
Kuttu atta with high fiber that helps in detoxification of the body and it also has the potential to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Kuttu or Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free, which makes it a great choice for people with celiac disease or grain sensitivities.
It is a good source of protein and fiber, as well as a variety of antioxidants and other nutrients, which leads many people to consider buckwheat a superfood.
- Dry Fruits
Dry Fruits contain a healthy serving of “good” fats along with some fiber to aid in digestion and are also a great source of protein to boost your energy.
Here is some expert advice
We talked to Nutritionist Ishi Khosla, founder, and director of Whole Foods to know what to avoid eating and the right way to eat to have a healthy fast.
Fasting helps in improving your metabolism rate to burn through calories effectively and it also strengthens your immune system but even though you fast, you should not starve yourself.
Make sure you do not overeat, specially packaged snack foods such as potato chips. One should limit the consumption of fried food items substitute it with healthier alternatives. By denying some food that you eat regularly, breaks the pattern you are following for months, it brings a sense of self-discipline, and channelizes your energy in a positive direction.