Shardiya Navratri is a nine-day Hindu festival that celebrates the nine forms of the goddess Durga. During this time, many Hindus observe a fast by abstaining from certain foods. The foods that are allowed and prohibited during Navratri fasting are based on the principles of a sattvic diet.
A sattvic diet is a vegetarian diet that emphasises the consumption of pure and wholesome foods. Sattvic foods are believed to promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Foods to eat during Navratri fasting:
- Fruits and vegetables:
All fruits and vegetables are allowed during Navratri fasting. Some popular Navratri-friendly fruits and vegetables include apples, bananas, mangoes, oranges, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
- Whole grains:
Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat are allowed during Navratri fasting. Whole grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fibre, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Legumes such as lentils, beans, and peas are allowed during Navratri fasting. Legumes are a good source of protein, fibre, and iron.
- Dairy products:
Dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, and cheese are allowed during Navratri fasting. Dairy products are a good source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients.
- Nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are allowed during Navratri fasting. Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fibre.
Foods to avoid during Navratri fasting:
- Meat: All meat, including chicken, fish, and eggs, is prohibited during Navratri fasting.
- Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic are considered to be tamasic foods, which are believed to promote negative emotions and thoughts. Therefore, they are prohibited during Navratri fasting.
- Wheat: Wheat is also prohibited during Navratri fasting. Some people also avoid barley and rye.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is prohibited during Navratri fasting.
Here is a sample Navratri fasting meal plan:
- Oatmeal with fruits and nuts
- Yoghurt with fruits and granola
- Smoothie made with fruits, vegetables, and milk
- Khichdi (a dish made with rice, lentils, and spices)
- Sabudana khichdi (a dish made with tapioca pearls, potatoes, and spices)
- Kitcheri (a dish made with rice, lentils, and vegetables)
- Aloo sabzi (a dish made with potatoes and spices)
- Paneer tikka masala (a dish made with grilled paneer cheese and a creamy tomato sauce)
- Vegetable pulao (a dish made with rice, vegetables, and spices)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Hard-boiled eggs (if not fasting)
Tips for Navratri fasting:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids throughout the day.
- Eat small, frequent meals to avoid feeling hungry and tired.
- Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.
- If you are feeling lightheaded or dizzy, break your fast and eat something.
- Listen to your body and rest when you need to.