Navratri is almost here and is a period of fasting for many individuals, whether it is taken up for appeasing the Goddess or for cleansing the body. 

It is said that the seasonal change during this festival weakens your digestive system and lowers your immunity. Fasting at such a time rekindles your digestive fire and helps in building immunity.

The rules of Navratri fasting may differ from state to state and region to region in India. However, the food traditionally eaten during Navratri fasting is usually heavy and indulgent, such as fried potatoes, sabudana (tapioca pearls) papads or vadas, kuttu (buckwheat) puris, and sweets.

Most of these food items are high in starch and need a lot of oil to be cooked, which may lead to constipation since your body is not used to so much starch on a regular basis. 

Fried and oil-heavy food is also heavier on the body to digest and generally unhealthy for your body. 

However, it is possible to make fasting during Navratri fun and healthy by making some intelligent food choices. 

Tips to Make Fasting Healthier

 For your three meals during the nine days of Navratri, 

  • Combine carbohydrate-high foods like potatoes and sabudana with fibre-rich vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, capsicum, and bottle gourd to ease bowel movements and counteract constipation. 

  • Make rajgira (amaranth) porridge with milk or cook it as savoury dalia with lots of vegetables. It is a good source of fibre, protein, and micronutrients such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. 

  • Prepare kuttu chapatis instead of frying puris. Kuttu is rich in protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates and also easy on your digestive system. 

  • Curb your sugar cravings by eating fruits such as apple, banana, and pomegranate, and dry fruits such as dates. Limit your intake of sweets and drinks with added sugar. 

  • Do not binge on fried snacks such as namkeen sold in the market, as they are high in salt and fat content and low on nutrients. 

  • Opt for snacks such as roasted makhanas (fox nuts or lotus seeds), nuts mixture, baked chips, and peanuts. 

  • Drink plenty of water. Remain hydrated throughout the day with water, soups, coconut water, buttermilk, lemon water, and fruit juices. 

  • Eat small amounts of food at regular intervals instead of big meals at mealtimes. 

  • Do not go without eating for long periods as prolonged fasting can lead to weakness, anaemia, and headaches.

  • If you have health issues, consult your doctor before you begin fasting, and do not fast if you are feeling unwell or uncomfortable.

All-Day Diet Plan For Navratri

Here are some options for each meal during the nine days of Navratri:

  • Breakfast: 

    • Fruits with a glass of milk

    • Fruit milkshake with 5 to 6 soaked almonds and walnuts

    • Kuttu cheela with curd

    • Rajgira dosa with mint chutney

  • Mid-morning snack: 

    • Lemon water with fruit

    • Coconut water with fruit

    • A bowl of roasted makhanas

    • Mint chaas

  • Lunch: 

    • Grilled sabudana vadas with mint chutney 

    • Kuttu chapati with bottle gourd raita  

    • Sabudana khichdi with curd 

    • Samak (barnyard millet) rice with curd

  • Evening snack: 

    • Milk tea or green tea without sugar  

    • Fruit salad

    • Tea or coffee with roasted peanuts

    • Makhana kheer

  • Dinner:

    • A glass of milk with dry fruits

    • Pumpkin or bottle gourd soup

    • Paneer tikka with vegetable salad

    • Baked sweet potato cutlets with hung curd dip

Remember to rest, get proper sleep, and meditate to keep your mind and body calm during the nine days of Navratri. 

“And why fasting is combined with prayer all over the world and in all religions, is because when you are fasting, you are detoxified and your prayer becomes authentic and deep. Your meditation happens best when your stomach is empty.”

- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.