Navratri is here, and many people are observing fasts 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 help detoxify the human body from various toxins. 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 fit and disease-free, at least to a certain extent.
Thus, while fasting is a good move to rid the body of harmful substances, keeping a balance between spirituality and health should be given equal importance during this time.
Following are some snack ideas, suggested by the experts from Salebhai, that are both nutritional and easy on the digestive system to help you enjoy your festive fasting without compromising on your well-being:
– Chiwda mixtures: Chiwda is a healthy gluten-free 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 & delicious 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 & folate.
– 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 & muscles. People observing fasts have lesser protein-rich options, which makes sabudana a fantastic option to keep you energetic. Sabudana tikki, kheer, and papad are tasty recipes to try.
– 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 days-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 laddoos: Those with a sweet tooth can gorge on dried fruit laddoos while fasting, without any guilt. As the name suggests, being loaded with dry fruits makes these round sweets both delicious and healthy. These sweet delights are loaded in essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamins E & 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 as the sweet course after meals.
– Dried fruits: Dried fruits like kiwi fruit, prunes, apricots, figs, black currants, raisins, blueberries, and dates – especially those imported from the Middle East – are the essential power packs to grab this Navratri. One needs to take extra care to maintain blood pressure levels during fasts and these small munchies do the job perfectly. Dried fruits are also packed with fiber and antioxidants, which help keep you feeling full for long durations. Simply 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. Consuming this biscuit almost gives the feeling of having the tasty, flavourful, and protein-rich nut, but in a more delicious form. The biscuits are made with sugar, peanuts, and milk, and can be had as it 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.
– Green tea: Rich in antioxidants, green tea is an excellent beverage that reduces free radicals in the body. The drink takes just two minutes to prepare and is also known to boost immunity. It not only refreshes you but improves physical performance as well. For variety, try green tea with different flavors like honey & lemon, and tulsi.
– Cold-pressed juices: Cold-pressed juices are tasteful and save time. They are full of fiber and vitamins and make 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 fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and polyphenols, sea-buckthorn is rich in omega fatty acids and other essential nutrients.