Wish you all a very Happy Navratri. For those of my friends outside India, Navratri is a combination of Nav (Nine) and Ratri (Nights). It signifies nine nights of self-introspection. It is a time for traveling inwards to connect with your divine energy (called the soul). Navratri is celebrated with devotion and fervor across India.
Chaitra Navratri marks the New Year of the lunar calendar. As per the lunar calendar, every month is divided into two sections based on whether the moon is in a growing phase (Shukla Paksha) or when it is in the waning phase (Krishna Paksha). Coming back to the point, Navratri is a time to eat right and give a breather to our digestive system by fasting, having a non-grain diet, and focusing on fruits and liquid to cleanse the system.
Fasting during Navratri also has a scientific significance. It occurs at the times of the year when the seasons are changing. At such times, the viruses and harmful bacteria thrive. Fasting helps the gut stay healthy.
While growing up, we associated food that can be consumed during the fasts with high starch content such as Sago (Sabudana) and Potato. As people have become more and more health conscious, there was a search for healthy foods that could have during the fasts. I researched a lot in order to eat healthy while keeping my routine of fasting all nine days. Today, I am sharing four healthy grains that have a low GI and are packed with nutrients.
Buckwheat is loaded with nutrients. It is rich in calcium and is also gut-friendly. It is highly beneficial to maintain blood sugar levels. It is high in fibre and therefore aids in weight loss. You can view the benefits of buckwheat here.
Water Chestnut (Singhara)
Singhara is rich in Potassium and low on Sodium. It helps in water retention. It also aids in weight loss. It is low in calorie and high in nutrients like fibre and Manganese. It is highly beneficial for people who suffer from high blood pressure. You can view more benefits of water chestnut here.
Quinoa is nutrient-dense food. It is not a grain, but a seed. It is also referred to as a pseudo cereal. Therefore, it can be consumed during Navratri fasts. It is one of the vegan sources of protein. In fact, it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is also rich in fibre and phosphorus. It is also a good source of vitamin E. You can read about benefits of Quinoa here.
This is another pseudo cereal loaded with nutrients. It is high in protein content, more than any other cereals. It also contains an amino acid called Lysine making it a complete protein source. It also helps in lowering blood cholesterol levels. It is a rich source of Calcium and Iron. You can read about more benefits of Amaranth here.
I hope this article has given some healthier options while enjoying the festivities and Divinity of Navratri. I had written a verse on the significance of the first Navratri. You can read it here. Wishing all of you a blissful and healthy Navratri. God bless you.