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Navratri 2019: Foods To Eat And Avoid If You Are Looking Forward To A Gastronomic Feast

| Reviewed By Dr. Karthika Thirugnanam

Navratri 2019 has already begun and this is the time when people fast and feast during the nine-day long festival. Those who choose to fast usually follow a certain diet plan and abstain from certain food items. And there are another section of people who choose to feast on delectable foods items.

Navratri also called Durga Puja in the North-eastern states is also when people observe fasting. During this nine-day auspicious festival, here are some do's and don'ts that you need to follow if you are planning to gorge on to some delectable food items during Navratri.

What To Eat During Navratri

1. Eat healthy snacks

Feeling hungry at odd times during fasting is common and during this time you should avoid turning to unhealthy snacks this behavior can result in undesired weight gain. Go for healthy snacks instead. Try adding makhanas (Foxnuts), roasted nuts or sabudana to your diet as they are rich in vitamins and minerals and will provide you with the much-needed energy during the festival [1] , [2] .

2. Consume vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits are packed with fibre and consuming them will keep your stomach satiated during fasting. The effect of dietary fibre on satiety is not only caused by the length of time the food is in the stomach, but also the speed at which it is consumed. It is surprising how taste can also have an effect on the feeling of fullness. Include pumpkin, tomato, cucumber, carrots, cauliflower, chickpeas, spinach, orange, and raw papaya in your diet.

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3. Drink plenty of water

During periods of fasting, people often forget to drink sufficient amounts of fluids as well. Thus, it is especially important to keep your body hydrated during this season as dehydration can alter your normal body functioning and make you feel drained out. Plain water, fruit-infused water, coconut water, fresh fruit juices can all serve as excellent rehydration solutions.

4. Salads

Eating salads during Navratri fasting is another way to keep your body feeling fuller for longer period of time. You can make healthy salad recipes like sabudana salad, beetroot salad or fruit salad. Consuming it can provide you with a much needed micronutrient boost needed during fasting.

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5. Soup

Soups can be an excellent source of nutrients and can help replenish some of the electrolytes lost during fasting periods [3] . Have vegetable stock soup, pumpkin soup, spinach soup, and carrot soup.

6. Dairy products

Dairy products such as curd, paneer, butter, ghee, milk, khoya and condensed milk can be used for making recipes like sabudana kheer, singhara ka halwa, coconut laddoo, etc. These foods can also aid in digestion.

What Not To Eat During Navratri

1. Foods with high sugar content

Reduce the consumption of processed sugar it destabilises blood glucose and increases cravings. Instead, opt for foods containing natural sugars such as beetroot, sweet potato and fruits as these foods can satisfy your sugar craving without having negative effects on your metabolic health [4] .

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2. Junk foods

If you are one of those people who aren't fasting during Navratri and thinking of gorging on junk food. Think again! Junk foods like pizza, burger, and pastries tend to be calorie-dense and not nutrient-dense. This can cause weight gain.

3. Fried foods

Avoid eating too much fried foods during Navratri as it may cause indigestion and stomach upset. Fried foods like potato chips, fries, pakoda and samosa should be avoided. They can be replaced with easy snacks such as dry-roasted and salted nuts or beans.

View Article References
  1. [1] Toyoda, Y. (2018). Life and Livelihood in Sago-Growing Areas. In Sago Palm (pp. 31-42). Springer, Singapore.
  2. [2] Jana, B. R., Srivastava, A., & Idris, M. (2019). New Makhana (Euryale ferox Salisb.) Processed Products for Health Benefit. J Food Process Technol, 10(789), 2.
  3. [3] Zhu, Y., & Hollis, J. H. (2014). Soup consumption is associated with a lower dietary energy density and a better diet quality in US adults. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(8), 1474-1480.
  4. [4] Khan, T. A., & Sievenpiper, J. L. (2016). Controversies about sugars: results from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on obesity, cardiometabolic disease and diabetes. European journal of nutrition, 55(Suppl 2), 25–43.
Karthika ThirugnanamClinical Nutritionist and Dietitian
MS, RDN (USA)
Karthika Thirugnanam

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