The transition from autumn to winters is punctuated with religious fervour under the blessings of Goddess Durga, adorned in celebrations with the festival called “Navratri”. The festival is celebrated for nine days where everyone seeks to please Goddess Durga with his/her devotion and piety. Observing fasts is a sort of compulsory practice in the tradition that is rigorously followed when comes to keep up the spirituality spirit erect.
And taking care that fasts don’t cost your health is difficult. So here I am, listing ‘the seven must-have foods’ during this Navratri.
- Fruits: You can have all fruits (this includes dry fruits) during these fasts. This is the best time to enjoy seasonal fruits like apples, pomegranate, guava, banana etc. They are laden with all vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A quick Fruit Chaat or having them with a bowl of yogurt is fantastic. Decorate your plate with colours of fruits.
- Spices and Herbs: The spices to add tastes to your meals during the fast, depends largely on your beliefs and traditions at home. But Sendha namal (rock salt) has to be a compulsory substitution of your table salt. You can use cumin, black pepper, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ajwain, tamarind, nutmeg and fresh green coriander leaves while cooking the meals for the fast.
- Vegetables: On fast means “Strict no to Non-vegetarian meals.” Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potato, arbi, kachalu, suran or yam, lemons, raw or semi-ripe pumpkin, tomatoes, bottle gourd, cucumber and carrots are the all-time hit preferences during fast. Besides taking note of your religious sanctity, vegetables also puts your nutritional chart on good numbers.
- Milk Products: You can have milk and dairy products during fasting, like curd (which is also highly recommended as it keeps you cool and your gut healthy), paneer or cottage cheese, white butter, malai, and food items prepared with milk and khoya. Buttermilk can be a great drink to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
- Cooking Oil: To cook anything that deals with fast needs cooking oil, which has to be the one that maintains the purity, and nothing fits best in this role except desi ghee. Ghee boosts your intake of vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K which are fat soluble and improves digestion and reduces inflammation.
- Nuts: They are loaded with proteins and have a great potency to fulfil your protein requirements, especially when you are on fast. You can have makhanas (they make up for a great snack), cashews, almonds and walnuts. One should bring in some nuts in their daily diets, be it on fast or other days because they have immense nutritional built ups.
- Green Chilies: It is a well-known Indian food component rich in vitamin B6, vitamin A, iron, copper and potassium. Replace the red chillies powder in your meals with the green chillies. It also keeps your taste buds alive and aids in digestion. You may like to munch it raw.
Over to You:
One can take a call on fasts without food but not without water. So don’t forget to keep your body’s water requirements on the count. Enjoyment of the festival largely hinges around your health. So stay healthy and enjoy. Happy Navratri!!