5 Foods To Eat During Navratras

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5 Foods To Eat During Navratras

Navratras or the 9 day fast to honour and worship Goddess Durga comes twice a year. These are one of the most auspicious days of the year where people buy new things, start businesses or hold ceremonies. Though it is a time to fast, the food eaten during this time is no less than deemed for a festival. Navratras is a time to inculcate discipline and give the digestive system rest by eating non-grain food, curd, milk, and light vegetables. However, in the lieu of fasting, we are feasting by eating fried foods, sweets, kheer, etc. So how do we bring the flavor of this festival in our lives, the way it should be? Include these 5 foods to enjoy the fast flavours.

Buckwheat or Kuttu– Buckwheat is a gluten-free pseudocereal with no relation to wheat at all, even though the name suggests otherwise. This a fruit seed and is high in nutrients like phosphorous, B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, copper, and manganese. This grain is a complete protein, which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids that humans do not produce naturally and must consume through food. Being low in glycemic index keeps you full for longer and keeps cravings at bay. Make cheelas, dosa, chappati, or even bread.

Amaranth or Chaulai– An ancient grain, Amaranth is a powerhouse of nutrients and a complete protein. It is a good source of nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, and vitamin B. Being gluten-free, it is a great grain alternative for those suffering from Celiac Disease. Try making kheer, khichdi, or pancakes and see how flavourful your fast becomes.

Water Chestnut or Singhara – Water chestnut or singhara is an amazing snack or an option for flour during Navratri. Rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of Vitamin B and potassium. When dried, it can be grounded and used as flour which can be added to gravies or soups as a thickening agent and tastes amazing.

Barnyard Millet or Samak– This is a wild seed that is a great substitute for rice. The reason why most people love this grain is due to its similar texture as rice and its neutralizing taste. It is a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. Being gluten-free, it is ideal for those with gluten intolerance. Try rice, dosas, idli, or cheelas with this little white seed and see how light you feel.

Foxnut – Lotus seeds, Foxnut, or Phool Makhana are a great snack during this time. They are gluten-free and contain a flavonoid called kaempferol, which is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Being high in magnesium, they are good for the heart and regulation of levels of calcium, potassium, and sodium in the blood. Grind foxnut and add to your chappatis or soups for a nutty flavor.

Though these food items are healthy and have a high satiety value, be mindful of how you cook them. Enjoy your puris, paranthas, and sweets in moderation during this time. Include these varied grain-free options and cook them lightly for a true Navratri experience.

My name is Richa Bhatnagar and I am a dietician by profession. I have my own practice in India. I consult all those eager to get healthy and fit. The Chinese call it Zen, the soul, where you belong. I would say for me it's helping others to get healthy. Dedication and knowledge are the two tools I go by. I hope my blog clears out doubts, raises questions, and gives out helpful information.

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