Shardiya Navratri 2022 is less than a week away and Goddess Durga devotees who observe fast during this period are busy making preparations for the upcoming nine-day festival. Shradiya Navratri is celebrated in the month of Ashwin as per the Hindu calendar and this time, it is set to begin from September 26, 2022 and end with Dussehra or Vijayadashami celebration October 5, 2022. During the two main Navratris – Chaitra Navratri and Shardiya Navratri, devotees worship nine avatars of Maa Durga on each day from Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri to Siddhidatri. (Also read: Navratri 2022 special recipes: Vrat-friendly delicious raita recipes)
A satvik diet is followed by people during Navratri and certain vegetables like onion, garlic, okra, brinjal, mushrooms, are avoided during the time irrespective of whether you are observing a fast or not. People who observe a fast during Navratri can choose from a variety of vrat-friendly flours, vegetables, fruits, spices, etc while avoiding wheat, rice, semolina, maida, corn flour, legumes and pulses among others. Samvat ke chawal (banyard millet), kuttu ke aata (buckwheat flour), sabudana or sago, rajgira, singhare ka aata (water chestnut flour), potatoes, sweet potato, bottle gourd (lauki), arbi, pumpkin, spinach, bottle gourd, cucumber and carrots are some of the foods people eat while they are fasting. While some devotees fast on all nine days, others observe vrats in jodas – keeping the first two and the last two fasts. One must plan their meals carefully and try to include various nutrients during Navratri to avoid dehydration or other health issues.
Here is a list of foods to eat and avoid during your fast.
FOODS TO EAT DURING SHARDIYA NAVRATRI 2022 FAST
1. Milk and dairy products: Milk can be consumed as it is or turned into a variety of shakes and smoothies. If you have diabetes, one can use natural sugar alternatives like jaggery, honey, dates or stevia. One should try to include curd, yoghurt, chaach (buttermilk) or raitas in their meals as they are excellent probiotics and will prevent digestive troubles while fasting and also keep your energy levels high. Ghee helps to keep you full and a few drops of it is a must during your fast. For protein intake, one must include paneer in their diet for satiety and keeping those hunger pangs away.
2. Vegetables and fruits: Potatoes, sweet potato, bottle gourd (lauki), arbi, pumpkin, spinach, bottle gourd, cucumber, carrots and all kinds of fruits from banana, apple, watermelon, papaya, grapes among others must be included in your diet for your mandatory dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This will ensure good health and immunity as you fast and also keep you well hydrated.
3. Flours and rice: Samvat ke chawal (banyard millet), kuttu ke aata (buckwheat flour), sabudana or sago, rajgira, singhare ka aata (water chestnut flour) can be turned into rotis, pooris, pakodis, cheelas and your favourite dishes when you are fasting.
4. Salts and spices: One can consume sendha namak or rock salt during navratri fasting and also include spices like cumin, clove, cinnamon among others. Spices play an important role on controlling cholesterol and blood sugar levels. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, control appetite and keep mood swings at bay.
5. Nuts and dry fruits: A storehouse of proteins, vitamins and minerals, nuts and dry fruits are an important part of your Navratri diet. Include a handful of walnuts, almonds, dates, pistachios and raisins while you are fasting to pack a nutritional punch.
FOODS TO AVOID
1. Onions and garlic: They are considered as tamasic foods and must be excluded in your Navratri diet. Mushrooms, leeks, shallots should also be avoided.
2. Wheat, rice: Your regular flours like wheat, rice, refined flour, suji, corn flour, and all kinds of legumes and pulses should be avoided when you are fasting.
3. Salt: One should not eat regular salt, haldi, curry powder, dhaniya, sarso, rai while observing a Navratri fast.
4. Alcohol, eggs, meat, are all prohibited.