The nine days of Navratri fasting not only help you connect with the divine, but also offer an opportunity to detox the body and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Fasting aids in rest and rejuvenation of your digestive system that often works overtime to digest the food that’s consumed at regular intervals. Navratri fasting if done right can have potential benefits like weight loss, improved blood sugar, heart health and cognitive function. However, many of us may be tempted to indulge in deep fried, sugary and high calorie vrat-friendly eatables that may provide instant energy but lead to dip later in the day. One may also end up consuming more calories than a normal day with pooris, halwa, fried aloo tikki, chips etc. (See pics: Navratri fruits: Papaya to kiwi, best fruits to eat while fasting)
Experts say that foods like Rajgira, pearl millet, Vari, Samak rice, little millet, fruits, nuts and seeds must be incorporated in the diet while fasting for sustained energy levels, feeling of fullness and getting the right nutrients. Nuts and seeds are an excellent way to recharge yourself when you have limited eating options.
“Fasting during Navratri can help detoxify the body by giving the digestive system a break. It allows your body to eliminate accumulated toxins and waste products. This detoxification process may contribute to a feeling of rejuvenation and improved overall well-being. Consuming lighter and easily digestible foods during Navratri, such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, can be gentler on the stomach. Additionally, the inclusion of spices like cumin and ginger in fasting recipes can aid digestion. Improved digestion and detoxification indirectly benefit the skin by reducing inflammation and promoting a healthier gut, which may lead to a clearer complexion. If you plan to observe Navratri fasting, it’s essential to ensure you’re getting adequate nutrition and staying hydrated,” says Nutritionist Kiran Kukreja.
“Including nuts and dry fruits into one’s diet during the fasting period adds another layer of significance to this practice. These wholesome snacks not only provide necessary energy to navigate through the day but also contribute to a more complete and well-rounded balanced diet. Nuts and dry fruits are not just sustenance; they symbolize the strength and endurance of faith, enriching the spiritual journey of those who partake in these revered rituals. They serve as a reminder that fasting isn’t just about abstaining from food but also about fortifying the spirit and nurturing the body during this period of devotion,” says Bola Rahul Kamath, Director, Bolas Agro Pvt. Ltd.
Here are the nuts you can consume during Navratri fasting, as suggested by Kamath.
Almonds are highly nutritious, rich in essential nutrients and beneficial fats. They are a storehouse of protein and fibre and provide sustained energy during fasting periods. Almonds stand out as one of the most favoured and well-regarded options; they boast of an impressive array of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are widely recognised for their favourable impact on overall well-being. Additionally, almonds also promote skin health as they are high in vitamin E and antioxidants. Almonds are both nutrient-packed and calorie-dense, making them an excellent choice to add during the fasting period.
During Navratri fasting, incorporating walnuts into your diet can be a wise choice. Their rich omega-3 fatty acids support brain health, while the satisfying crunch and nutty flavour make them a delightful addition to the diet. These nutrient-dense nuts provide satiety, sustained energy, essential vitamins, minerals, and digestive aid, ensuring a balanced fasting diet. Walnuts help to reduce inflammation and are good for overall health. They also add versatility, complementing various dishes, and can be used in sweets and desserts, enhancing both nutrition and flavour.
Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and carbohydrates they provide a filling and nutritious option to sustain during fasting periods. The satiating properties of cashews make them an excellent choice to stave off hunger, helping one maintain energy levels and keep cravings at bay throughout the fasting period.
Pistachios are a delightful and healthful choice for Navratri fast. These green gems are low in calories and rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to your fasting diet. They provide essential nutrients while helping you feel full and satisfied. Their saltiness and crunch also make them a popular and flavourful snack option, adding a delightful dimension to your Navratri celebrations.
Peanuts are a protein-packed and heart-healthy option for your Navratri fasting. They contain valuable monounsaturated fats that promote cardiovascular well-being. Peanuts help in maintaining muscle mass during fasting because they are protein rich. They are versatile and can be enjoyed in various forms, whether roasted or boiled, making them a satisfying and convenient snack choice during the fasting period. Their combination of protein and healthy fats can help keep one’s energy levels stable and maintain satiety throughout your fasts.
Hazelnuts, with their rich and subtly sweet flavour, offer a delightful addition to your Navratri fasting. Beyond their taste, they’re a valuable source of antioxidants and healthy fats. These antioxidants can provide extra protection for your cells during fasting, while the healthy fats offer a steady source of energy. Including hazelnuts into your fasting dishes will not only boost flavour but also provide nutrition during this special time.
Macadamia nuts are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. They not only help in weight loss and improved gut health, but also protection against conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Macadamia nuts can be a good option for Navratri fasting. You can easily incorporate these delightful nuts into your dishes or enjoy them as a quick and nutritious snack, enhancing the satisfaction of your fasting menu.
8. Brazil Nuts
During Navratri fasting, opting for Brazil Nuts as part of your diet can be a smart and nutritious choice. Brazil nuts are nutritional powerhouses, providing healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They’re particularly high in selenium, a mineral with potent antioxidant properties. Eating Brazil nuts may reduce inflammation, support brain function, and improve your thyroid function and heart health.
Pecans are a decadent addition to your Navratri dishes. Known for their rich and healthy fats, they lend a buttery and subtly sweet flavour. Their natural sweetness makes them an ideal choice for desserts and as a topping for various fasting-friendly Navratri recipes. Whether you’re looking to enhance the taste of sweets or add a delightful crunch to your dishes, pecans can be a delectable and nutritious inclusion in your fasting menu.