Navratri Fasting: What To Eat & What To Avoid

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:

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
  • Yogurt
  • 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.

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