Navratri is one of the most celebrated festivals in India and the ways of celebrating it are different in each part. In North and Western India, 9 days of fasting is kept. In Southern India, fasting is not strictly followed but food is made omitting onion and garlic. In Bengal and other parts of Eastern India, along with fasting, Durga Puja is celebrated on a large scale. Also, the much awaited Gujarati special Dandiya and Garba is celebrated during Navratri. Navratri fasting rules vary in all the communities. Also, this year’s Navratri is quite different thanks to the ongoing pandemic. So, along with fasting rules, we must keep a watch on our immunity as well!
Foods For Immunity During Navratri Fasting
Below is a list of foods which can be consumed during Navratri and will help in boosting immunity at the same time.
- Water chestnut flour (Singhare ka atta): Singhara is very beneficial because it has refreshing properties. It is rich in protein, iron and magnesium. It has antioxidant properties, treats urine infection, cures indigestion and nausea, relieves cough, helps to combat hypertension, improves the blood and is beneficial for the skin and hair.
- Special rice for fasting made with Millets (Sama ke chawal): It is high in calcium, potassium, digestible fiber, phosphorus and amino acids. Sama Rice is gluten free and has less calories and sugar. Hence, it can be consumed by a diabetic person. It is also a rich source of minerals and vitamins, providing essential ingredients.
- Buckwheat flour (Kuttu ka atta): It is a rich source of B Vitamins which improve the skin health and overall functioning of organs. It is immensely rich in fiber – which is extremely important for cleansing the digestive tract. Rich in essential fatty acids, kuttu helps maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels. To avoid any side effects because of its warm potency, add curd to its flour.
- Amaranth Flour (Rajgira ka atta): It is the only grain which contains Vitamin C. It is full of antioxidants, Vit E, Protein, Iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Has twice the amount of calcium as milk, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis. It is good for Diabetes and improves Cholesterol levels.
- Sago (Sabudana): contains an abundance of calcium and vitamin K in it. These two contents make it the perfect food for maintaining bone health and building muscle. It helps in treating anemia and controlling High blood pressure. It is a great source of energy, that is why most of the people opt for it during fasting.
- Lotus seeds (Makhana): are low in calories and high in fiber. That’s why it is recommended for diabetic patients too. It regulates appetite, controls untimely cravings, improves gut health, and has an anti-ageing effect.
- Colocasia (Arbi): It is rich in Fiber, has anti-cancer properties and reduces risk of heart health. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and promote eye health. Helps in delaying the aging process, improves the skin and reduces fatigue.
- Nuts and seeds: are an amazing source of many nutrients. Loaded with antioxidants, contain good fats and are rich in fiber. Just a handful of them provide a punch of vitamins, minerals and fats, all of which work together to improve overall health. Include flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, cashews, etc. but avoid salted or masala variants and do not consume them if you have allergies to nuts.
- Milk, curd and yoghurt: Low fat dairy products cut calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, while protein, calcium, and most other vitamins and minerals remain high in them. It is a good source of Vitamin D. It improves both Dental and Bone health. A glass of plain milk is equivalent to one small meal.
- Seasonal fruits: are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. Neither of them have cholesterol. They are packed with fiber and micronutrients. They are a good source of antioxidants and Vitamin C – which means better immunity!
- Coconut water and fresh lime water: are the best way to prevent dehydration and are nutrient dense at the same time. They are low in calories, high in Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium. They are energy boosters and a great source of Vitamin C.
- Sendha namak ( Rock Salt) f and Arrowroot flour: Rock salt provides all the essential trace minerals and greatly improves the body’s immune system. It helps in stabilizing blood pressure because of low sodium content. Arrowroot is a gluten free, powerhouse of B Vitamins and it improves digestive health.
- Spices and herbs: vary in all the households. Black pepper powder, coriander leaves, green chillies, shredded coconut flakes can be used to maintain good health!
Before trying the above food, remember that portion control is a must. Too much of anything can have a negative impact even if that food is good for you. Don’t indulge and overeat. Avoid deep frying completely. Shallow frying or pan frying is still permissible. The best method of preparing these foods is steaming, roasting, sauteing and grilling!
We hope this article on Navratri fasting foods helps you make smarter choices and eat healthy! For more special Navratri articles and recipes, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to LIVE sessions by experts on GOQii Play.