Navratri is a major Hindu festival celebrated through most of India and marks the arrival of the Goddess Durga, through different avataars in our homes. Durga, who is also known as Kali and Shakti represents female power and emancipation. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to an incarnation of Goddess Durga; therefore, in these nine days nine forms of Durga are worshipped.
This year Navratri is being celebrated from 10th October to 18th October. Dussehra, or Vijay Dashmi, would be celebrated on 19th October 2018.
During these nine days, devotees observe fast to seek blessings from the deity. During the fasting period, while there are certain things that you are allowed to eat, some edibles are prohibited.
Navratri 2018: List Of Foods You Can Have And Avoid During Navratri Fasting (Navratri Vrat)
What You Can Have:
Fruits, nuts and milk: Start your day with a bowl of fruits as they are full of nutrients. Snack on dry fruits and nuts, like dates, apricots, walnuts, almonds and pistachios, when your energy levels dip as these are an instant source of energy and good fats. Skip dairy and switch to almond milk, coconut milk or cashew milk as they have lesser calories and more nutrients.
Vegetables: Since you are fasting, you can opt for sweet potato, yam, pumpkin, bottle gourd, raw banana and raw papaya, since these are abundant in minerals and energy.To preserve their nutrients, cook them by steaming.
Herbs and spices: You can add flavour to your food with herbs like ginger, lemon, coriander and green chillies. Have rock salt in place of table salt, cumin, black pepper and cardamom powder to enhance the taste.
Liquids: It is best to have electrolyte-rich liquids like lemon water, coconut water, sugarcane juice and fresh fruits juices. One can keep sipping on these liquids to prevent dehydration. Also drink plenty of regular water throughout the day.
Ranglani recommends eating every two-three hours to avoid hunger pangs and loss of energy.
Grains: Swap wheatfor rajgira (amaranth), kuttu (buckwheat), sabudana (sago), singhara (water chestnut) as these are not acidic for the body and are very nourishing as well.
Natural sweeteners: Avoid refined sugar and use organic jaggery or honey to sweeten your dishes.
What To Avoid:
* All the fast-related food needs to be prepared without onion or garlic since they produce heat and are tamasicin nature.
* If you are fasting, you have to keep away from legumes and lentils.
* Rice flour, cornflour, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and semolina (rava) are also not permissible.
* Non-vegetarian food, eggs, alcohol, smoking and aerated drinks are also avoided during Navratri fasting.
* Spices like turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), mustard (sarson or rai), fenugreek seeds (methi dana), garam masala and dhania powder (coriander powder) are avoided, as they are known to produce generate heat in the body.
* It must be understood that many households have many varied sets of beliefs. What may be restricted in one house could be permitted in another. Therefore, it is advised that you consult with your family and extended family before you start preparing your food.