Detox healthily during Navratri; an exhaustive guide of foods to eat and avoid

Navratri, Diwali, Dandiya, nine days fasting, detox, healthy eating, lifestyle, India
Tired of over eating? Here's a diet plan that helps detox during festivals

After a winter full of festivities, it’s that time of the year again, when we invoke the mercy of God to shower her blessings on us. People across India, especially North India, celebrate ‘Navratri’. This year the 9-day period of Navratri will be celebrated from 18th March 2018 to 25th March 2018. It symbolises the victory of positivity over negativity. Navratri literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit; Nav – Nine and Ratri – nights. During this period, the three forms of the goddess -Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi – are invoked.

But for an average Indian celebrating this festival, it is also the Indian detox time! Nine days of fasting and eating limited food types, is akin to a diet plan which otherwise doesn’t get fulfilled easily.

Navratri fasting is a healthy way of fasting. As it’s a religious method, care needs to be taken about the kinds that can be consumed and the ones that cannot. Here’s an exhaustive list of do’s and don’ts this Navratri.

Foods we should NOT consume during Navratri:

1.Grains: Wheat, rice, semolina, gram flour, corn flour, millet, ragi are strongly prohibited during the course of these nine days.

2.Salt: Indian cuisine is high on sodium content due to the presence of salt. Sendha namak or rock salt is used during this time. It also has low sodium content.

3.Vegetables: Consumption of vegetables differs from household to household. While many continue to consume veggies like tomatoes, spinach, potatoes and bottle gourd, some give them up completely. Garlic and onions are strongly prohibited.

4.Spices: Turmeric, coriander, cumin are not to be used during these nine days. Chilli powder can be used.

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5.Alcohol, eggs, non-vegetarian: These are prohibited. This is also a good way to detox your body with alkaline foods which do not produce any form of heat or toxins in your body.

If you have been considering detox for a long time then Navratri is your call.

Foods which you CAN consume during Navratri are the following:

Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, cashews, raisins, walnuts, pine nuts and peanuts can be consumed. Nuts will help you stay fuller for a longer time. You can consume nuts in combination with fruits as well. You can add them to sabudana khichdi to enhance its taste.

Dairy products: Milk, paneer, cheese, yoghurt, butter, malai, cream can be consumed. You can try variations with milk or yoghurt and fruits.

Flour: Since regular flour like wheat is not allowed, flours like amaranth, buckwheat, water chestnut can be used. There is an array of recipes available online which will direct you as to how you can turn these flours into filling rotis or pooris.

Oils: Since mustard seeds are not used in the preparation of food during these days, one can use clarified butter (ghee), peanut oil or vegetable oil to make food.

Fruits: All kinds of fruits can be consumed during this time. Fruits are rich in antioxidants.

Sugar: The normal processed sugar can be consumed during Navratri. However, if you are aiming to lose weight, include honey or brown sugar.

Vegetables: There is a very limited variety you can consume during this time. Arbi, jimikand, sweet potatoes, raw bananas, bottle gourd and pumpkin are the vegetables which are allowed during Navratri.

Other items: Consume coconut water, coconut pieces, makhaane, almond milk and cashew milk.

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