Many people are observing fasts on Navratri as a form of gratitude to Goddess Durga. Apart from its religious and/or spiritual significance, the ritual of fasting is also backed by science as a healthy approach that can detoxify the human body. However, it is important to maintain a healthy diet even during fasts.
As our immune system has a tendency to weaken during seasonal transitions, staying away from certain foods can help us stay fit and disease-free. Here are some snack ideas that are nutritional and easy on the digestive system to help you enjoy festive fasting without compromising on your well-being:
* Chiwda mixtures: Chiwda is a healthy snack that helps in preventing iron deficiency. This mixture is the lightest option for namkeen lovers to accompany their evening tea and is quite versatile. When mixed with roasted nuts, it becomes even more nutritious and is the perfect snack to munch on while fasting. Another healthy snack variation made with chiwda is poha, which offers all the goodness of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and folate.
* Cold-pressed juices:Cold-pressed juices are full of fibre and vitamins and make for perfect energy boosters to keep you going all day, especially when you are fasting. You can try kiwi and sea buckthorn alternatives. While the kiwi is an excellent source of fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, and polyphenols, sea buckthorn is rich in omega fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
* Makhana:Makhana or fox nut is usually consumed in roasted form, and is a rich source of carbohydrates. Its low-fat content makes it the perfect snack to boost one’s energy during day-long fasts. These nuts are also rich in several minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, that are necessary to sustain the human body. These nuts can be consumed either roasted over a tawa, or can be used to make the popular Navratri special sweet dish — makhane ki kheer.
Dry fruit ladoos: Those with a sweet tooth can gorge on dried fruit laddoos while fasting. Being loaded with dry fruits makes these sweets delicious and healthy. These sweet delights are loaded in essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamins E and B-6, calcium, iron, and magnesium, i.e. everything required to maintain your energy level throughout the day. You can either have these laddoos between meals or after the meal.
* Dried fruits: Dried fruits like kiwi, prunes, apricots, figs, black currants, raisins, blueberries, and dates — especially those imported from the Middle East — are essential power packs to grab this Navratri. One needs to take extra care to maintain blood pressure levels during fasts and these munchies do the job perfectly. Dried fruits are also packed with fibre and antioxidants, which keep you feeling full for long durations. Snack on these healthy delights to stay active and energetic while fasting.
* Farali biscuits: Farali biscuits are sweet and rich in flavour, and unlike most flour-based biscuits are primarily made with peanuts. The biscuits are made with sugar, peanuts, and milk and can be had as is, or as a delicious accompaniment to hot beverages like tea and coffee. The farali biscuits can also be used to make delicious chocolate spread sandwiches or with mangoes placed between two biscuits.
* Sabudana: Sabudana is a staple food ingredient consumed by most people while fasting. It is a rich source of protein and is important for building bones and muscles. People observing fasts have lesser protein-rich options, which makes sabudana a fantastic option to keep you energised. Sabudana tikki, kheer, and papad are tasty recipes to try.