India is often called the land of traditions and festivals. So much so that there are over 50 festivals celebrated by people across various states, religions and cultures. Each festival holds a pious heritage in the hearts of the people of India. All the customs or norms followed on the day of the festivals are followed very strictly.
Now Navratri is one such festival that people have been celebrating for centuries. The customs and traditions of the important festival have been carried on from generation to generation.
Significance of Navratri
Navratri is celebrated twice a year to pay respect to the 9 forms of goddess Maa Durga and to the tale in which she defeated the demon Mahishasura. The festival is celebrated during transitioning of seasons meaning from Winter to summer and summer to winter. This festival is mainly observed by Hindus. During Navratri, followers observe a 9 day fast where they can eat only some kind of food and also must abstain from consuming meat, alcohol and outside food.
During these nine nights, the nine forms of the Devi are worshipped each day with two Pujas happening in the morning and evening. Following are the nine forms of Goddess Durga Maa Shailaputri "Daughter of Mountain", Brahmacharini "Mother of devotion and penance", Chandraghanta "Destroyer of demons", Kushmanda "Goddess of The Cosmic Egg", Skandamata "Goddess of motherhood and children", Katyayani "Goddess of Power", Kalaratri "Goddess of Auspiciousness and Courage", Mahagauri "Goddess of Beauty and Women" and Siddhidharti "Goddess of Supernatural Powers or Siddhis"
Foods that shouldn’t be consumed during Navratri:-
- Any form of meat like chicken,fish, red meat and eggs.
- Any form of alcohol like beer, whiskey, rum, gin.
- Regular grains like wheat and rice are avoided.
- Spices and flavouring agents like salt, ginger and garlic paste are also not consumed.
- Outside food from hotels, restaurants and bakeries is also not eaten.
Foods that can be consumed during Navratri:-
- Instead of using Salt people can use black salt or rock salt.
- Dairy products like Milk, curd, and paneer khoya can be consumed. Meats can be switched with paneer to fulfil your protein requirements.
- Vegetables like potatoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, bottle gourd, and spinach can be consumed.
- There is no restriction on aunty type of fruits, most people are dependant on fruits and milk during these days.
Fasting is said to be good for your health as it helps the digestive recover for better functioning. Now while fasting we cannot have certain types of food, that is not good for our body from a nutritional standpoint. No matter what day it is there are certain nutritional demands that need to be fulfilled in order for our body to function properly.
There are some foods and ingredients that can be enjoyed without hurting the customs. They can be used in your day to day life to boost our overall immunity and health during these times these ingredients can be used to get energised when you are fasting.
6 energy-boosting ingredients to try this Navratri
- Cumin: Cumin powder can be used as a marinade in place of ginger garlic and it can also be used as a replacement for salt. It can be added to fruits and vegetables as garnish. Cumin is loaded with Vitamin A, Iron and Calcium also there is a decent amount of carbohydrates in a teaspoon to give your body energy to work
- Green Cardamom: Packed with nutrients to help you breathe, and lower cholesterol and anxiety levels. Its slightly sweet and intense flavour can be used to make desserts, kheer and laddos.
- Akhrot or Walnut: It’s great as a snack, used while making pakoras or aloo tikkis or served with sweet entrants like ladoos, kheer and thandai. Walnuts help in weight loss and have healthy fats that prevent fatigue and inflammation.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps in skin repair and can be used as spice as a garnish for salads, fruits and sweets as well. Its earthy woody flavour with a hint of sweetness can elevate your dishes to a whole new galaxy.
- Pistachios: They are a great addition to snacks, salads, chaat and dessert. They reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and are rich in Omega-three fatty acids.
- Raisins: They can be eaten daily and the serving suggestions are endless as a snack, chaat, in sweets. Raisins keep the heart healthy by regulating blood sugar and blood levels.
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