Most people fast and pray to cleanse the body and soul during the nine nights of Navrati Festival. Navrati is the best time to give the body time to rest and rejuvenate; however, the festival is also a celebration where people usually indulge themselves with high fat, sugary and high calorie foods. In order to ensure that food served during the holiday is healthy and wholesome, traditional ingredients are used.
The purpose of Navrati Festival is to celebrate the change of seasons and to prepare the body and fortify it for the changing season. Traditional ingredients used must have the essential nutrients and compounds to protect the body against diseases. Kuttu, samai, singhara and amaranth are good sources of fiber, protein and antioxidant polyphenol. Dry fruits and nuts boost the nutritional values of the foods served while fresh fruits and vegetables become the source of vitamins and minerals for energy.
To ensure that the Navrati Festival becomes a perfect time to detox and rejuvenate the body, healthy food must be cooked properly to taste good. For example, Makhanas can be roasted instead of fried or used as a kheer to satisfy the craving for sweet food. For detox, healthier alternatives must be used when cooking food. Instead of processed sugar, a better option is jiggery or honey. Spices make food taste better but they aid in digestion as well.
During Navrati, people tend to go out and enjoy the festival. Restaurants offer all types of food but they are mostly fried which do not help if your goal is to detox. Choose the low fat versions of food like fruits and vegetable salads including baked potato. Since most follow the one meal a day during Navrati, it is important to eat a healthy and light breakfast with some fruits and nuts and fresh coconut water to replenish fluids and electrolytes.
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