Foods For A Healthy Navratri Fasting Routine
Medikoe Food n Health Expert
80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru Oct 20, 2020
Navratri is a time for celebrations as well as fasting. Many populations across India refrain from including onion, garlic, non-vegetarian food or alcohol in their meal, during this time, and some of them limit their diet even more rigorously during these days devoted to Goddess Durga.
The devotees will follow a 9-day fast to gratify Goddess Durga and her nine manifestations. Although a lot of people fast for religious sanctification at this time, there’s a shred of scientific evidence to it as well. Navratri concurs with the changing seasons, a time when the immunity of the body is low, and people are more expected to fall ill. Avoiding oily and spicy foods and detoxing with ingredients that are light, easy-to-digest and nutritious such as protein and fibre is the most reliable way to prepare your body for the season shift.
If you are also planning to fast for nine days, then you should plan a suitable diet chart to avoid weakness and nausea. Be sure to include proteins and nutrients-based foods to your diet. It is suggested that you adhere to protein-rich fruits, low-fat dairy and nuts. What’s more impressive is that nature has performed most of the work for us. The seasonal fruits during the season of Navratri are the healthiest choices that you have to pick from.
Here is a list of foods to eat if you’re fasting for Navratri
Sabudana is an outstanding source of carbohydrates which provides a much-needed power boost during your fasts. It also renders a cooling result on the body and is easy to digest.
It can be used with other ingredients, such as milk and nuts, for preparing payasam, kheer, gruel or vegetables and peanuts for preparing sabudana khichdi. Regulate the fat, and it can be a healthy choice.
Kuttu atta (buckwheat flour) is loaded with high fibre that benefits in detoxification of the body. It is also high in proteins, B-complex vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese.
The fatty acids in buckwheat retain blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol in check. Traditionally, Kuttu flour is being used to make puris. You can't and make rotis from the same to give it a healthy twist. You can also add boiled and mashed sweet potato for binding.
Makhana is a very popular ingredient during fasting. It is packed with antioxidants and works as an anti-ageing food by inhibiting white hair, wrinkles and early ageing. Its high-fibre content prevents constipation, assists the body to flush out the waste and limits the buildup of toxins.
Fruits and Vegetables
A bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables presents you with sumptuousness and yet abides by your fasting regime. Root vegetables, if taken in a boiled form instead of frying, can be a good source of energy required during fasts.
Vegetables like bottle gourd, pumpkin, potato, yam, sweet potato, cucumber, tomato, carrot, raw papaya, colocasia, raw plantain and spinach are vegetables commonly consumed during Navratri.
Legumes and Pulses
Pulses are a good source of protein and fibre, as well as build a significant source of vitamins and minerals. During Navratri, pulses such as Bengal gram, green gram, red gram dal, green gram dal etc. are taken to make sundals along with coconut.
Dry fruits are tiny nuggets loaded with tons of benefits. Almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts and kishmish are eaten during fasts to garnish sweets. You can eat a handful of nuts as a snack or for breakfast to have sustained energy throughout the day.
Dairy products are regarded to be holy for any propitious occasion. Low-fat dairy can be drunk at any time of the day to provide the protein required for sustained energy. Milk protein demands a long time to digest and therefore holds the sugar levels stable. Consume plain milk or buttermilk, sugar-free fruit shakes, or prepare some paneer tikka to keep hunger at bay.
Samak chawal can be an ideal replacement for rice as it tastes relatively similar to broken brown rice when cooked. It is, therefore, called Sanwa rice. It gives energy, includes a high amount of fibre, B-complex vitamins and vital minerals like iron and magnesium.
It is also supposed to be rich in phytochemicals which aid in lowering cholesterol. Have you ever tried pairing it with peanut kadhi and Dahi? It is a perfect meal taking carrots or cucumber on the side.
Also known as water chestnut flour, singhara atta is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. Singhara ka Atta is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. It is rich in potassium and vitamin B. It also includes numerous antioxidants. The best way to use singhara atta is to make rotis from it. You may even cook dhoklas from singhara atta.
Amaranth, or rajgira, the grain is high in manganese, iron, protein and phosphorus. It is either used as a flour or in puffed form during fast. Rajgira chikki is very popular and a great choice to fulfil sweet cravings. Try preparing roti with rajgira flour or puffed amaranth porridge adding nuts as a filling breakfast.
Try out some healthy Navratri Recipes
With fasting already in full flow, it is better to have the foods mentioned above in your diet. You could also try these tasty recipes given below in order to enjoy a happy and healthy Navratri.
Fruits and Makhana Kheer
You can avoid sugar or Sugar-Free as fruits itself work as the sweetener in this nutritious kheer recipe – prepared with makhana (lotus seeds or fox nuts).
½ cup makhana
500 ml low-fat milk
¼ teaspoon of cardamom or elaichi powder
1 cup chopped fruits such as apple, pear, pomegranate, banana
- Dry roast the makhanas and grind them to a powder.
- Boil the milk for 5 mins. Pour the makhana powder, and stir. Boil for another 5 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool down and add cardamom powder and fruits.
- Serve hot or cold.
This sabudana khichdi is extremely simple and easy to prepare and yet so flavourful.
1 cup sabudana 180 grams
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon oil use oil of choice
1-2 green chilli chopped, adjust to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons raw peanuts
1 cup small-diced potato
6-7 curry leaves
Sendha namak or salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon cilantro or dhania chopped
- Soak the sabudana overnight., keeping a 1:1 ratio of sabudana and water. So for 1 cup of sabudana, use 1 cup of water to soak it.
- Rinse sabudana underwater until the water turns clear and let it soaked up all the moisture. Set it aside.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, chillies, raw peanuts and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add diced potatoes and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the drained sabudana to the pan along with salt and sugar.
- Mix well until well combined and cook for a few minutes until most of the sabudana pearls become translucent, stirring once or twice.
- Add lemon juice and cilantro and toss to combine.
- Serve hot with chilled yoghurt.
Pumpkin and Apple Soup
This is a delicious, satisfying and nutritious dinner replacement during the fasting season.
1 cup chopped red pumpkin or kaddu
1 cup chopped apple
A 1-inch cinnamon stick or dalchini
1 cup low-fat milk
½ cup of water
A pinch of rock salt
Pepper to taste
- Pressure-cook the pumpkin or kaddu, apple and cinnamon stick in a cup of water. Let it cool and blend the mixture.
- Heat a pan and Transfer it on the stove. Now, add the seasonings.
- Switch off the gas. Then, add a cup of milk and stir.
- Serve hot.
Navratri Diet Tips
1. If you are fasting for nine days, it is essential to consume small meals at regular intervals. This will retain your metabolism in the best shape.
2. Have a lot of water between meals.
3. Keep drinking water, lemonade(without sugar), coconut water, herbal teas.
4. Avoid fried foods and add more yoghurt, lassi, smoothies and fruits, which will not only keep you full but keep the optimum fluids in the body.
5. Restrict your potato intake (which is the main food ingredient during Navratri) to around twice a week.
6. Cook for idli and dosa from the samak ke chawal.
7. Try adding fresh fruits in your diet in different forms of salads, raitas and smoothies to keep up with your nutrition.
8. Rather than puri or pakoras (both fried) prepared from Kuttu atta, try Kuttu ki roti, substitute fried aloo-chat with boiled aloo-chat and kheer made with mixed-fruit curd or flavoured curd. You can also use rajgira flour (lighter and low in calories) instead of using kuttu ka atta.
9. Rather than having pakoras and namkeens as snacks have a handful of roasted makhanas or a few nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios.
10. Use skimmed milk or double toned milk for preparing dishes which need milk for cooking.
11. Try veggies like pumpkin and ghia in varied forms like soups and curries to load you up with lesser calories.
12. Go for some innovative Navratri recipes such as Thalipeeth and cheelas, kadhi, makhane, yoghurt dip or sabudana kheer. These dishes require minimal oil and are tasty too.
13. Reduce your cravings by including curd, lassi, milk in your diet. Add cucumber, tomato or lauki to your yoghurt to make it more filling.
14. Vegetable juices made out of tomato, bottle gourd, apple and a little bit of ginger, give mega shots of vitamins A, B and C, working as antioxidants.
15. Keep your servings under control.
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