• Dr. Jaydeep Palep

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Navratri Fasting Do’s and Don’ts


Through the nine days of the festival, it is important to include foods that are nutritious and also meet your fasting rituals.

Fasting is a state of detox where our body requires natural and high nutritive foods like fruits, low-fat dairy products and dry fruits. But to continue losing weight, it is essential to use your protein foods wisely throughout the day.

Here are some healthy foods that not only go with your fasting rituals but also help to keep you hale and hearty to enjoy the festival to the fullest.

1. Kuttu Atta (buckwheat flour)

Kuttu atta or buckwheat flour is packed with high fibre. These fibres help to keep hunger pangs at bay thereby, making us crave less while fasting. E.g instead of oil dripping puris, make Kuttu roti with coriander and spices or vegetable pancakes.

2. Sabudana (sago/tapioca pearls)

Sabudana is high in carbs. It is better to use other options. But if used, combined with other ingredients, such as milk and dals, for making kheer, payasam and peanuts for making sabu dana khichdi. Adding these will boost the protein content. Use as little oil or ghee as possible. Ghee is preferable to oil. Avoid deep fried items like sabudana wada.

3. Sama Chawal (barnyard millet/samo/samak/sanwa rice)

Being rich in fibre, samo rice gives you a feeling of a full tummy. It in an healthy alternative to go with, it helps you remain active and provides energy too. It is also preferred by diabetics because of low sugar content.

4. Rajgira

Amaranth or rajgira means “everlasting” in Greek because it contains more than the average amount of calcium and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium. It is rich in lysine, the one essential amino acid that is hard to find in vegetable protein sources.

Avoid making items that require frying like puri and paratha. Make oil free roti. If making sheera, halwa, laddoo, add little jaggery instead of sugar. Add variants like cardamom and kesar to boost taste.

5. Makhana

Makhana is a very popular food during the fasting. It is high-fibre and protein. Use these for in between snacking.

6. Legumes and pulses

Pulses such as green gram, bengal gram, red gram dhal, green gram dal etc. are an excellent source of protein and fibre, as well as forms a significant source of vitamins and minerals.

7. Dry fruits

Dry fruits are a good option to snack. Almonds and pista can be eaten during fasts along with roasted Peanuts. Nuts and seeds are also a good alternative to in between meals.

8. Fruits and vegetables

A bowl of fresh fruit and boiled vegetables provide you with sumptuousness. Make sure to include these as part of your meals.

Vegetables like bottle gourd, pumpkin, yam, sweet potato, cucumber, tomato, carrot, raw papaya and spinach can be used. Fruits like guava, pear, apple, pomegranate can be had with seeds like flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, etc

9. Low fat Dairy products

They are rich in calcium and protein. Consume skim milk, dahi, paneer, buttermilk. Greek yogurt is a good high protein alternative.

10. Herbs and spices

Salt is not consumed in fasts. Instead, sendha namak (rock salt) is used. A tiny amount of roasted peanuts, tamarind, cumin seeds, green cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut, coriander leaves, curry leaves, ginger and green chilli can add flavour to your food. Also, avoid using sugar. Use a little jaggery instead.

11. Water

Ensure a good hydration level. Consume water, coconut water, unsweetened lemon water, herbal tea, green tea, buttermilk, unsweetened lassi.


  • Drink a lot of liquids, eat light food that is easily digestible, eat your portions sensibly as less quantity of food at regular intervals will boost your metabolism.
  • Consume protein sources as the first option. It will be wise to add proteins to the diet as it is mainly carbohydrates.
  • Avoid whole milk/condensed milk as it is loaded with saturated fats and calories.
  • Avoid fried foods. Use healthier ways of cooking to keep calories low.
  • Avoid sugar and use jaggery and honey in minimal amounts if needed.
  • Space your meals well to avoid over-consumption. Keep portion sizes small.
  • Continue exercising as recommended. Do a few breathing exercises.
  • Continue taking all your supplements as recommended.
  • Remember, not all fasting foods are healthy.


  • Soup can be made of vegetables and dal
  • Grilled paneer
  • Fruit milkshake made of skim milk
  • Fruit lassi – unsweetened
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Add nuts and seeds, roasted peanuts
  • Buttermilk / unsweetened lassi
  • Kuttu chilla with paneer stuffing
  • Cinnamon skim milk
  • Dry fruit milk



Rajgira and makhana porridge or
Kuttu chilla with lauki filling or
Yogurt with nuts and seeds or
Baked sabudana cutlet or
Grilled arbi / suran / yam cutlets / chaat

Mid morning

Green tea or lemon juice or fruit milkshake
Guava or papaya or apple or
Cinnamon milk with fruit


Samo vegetable pulao and raita with anar/apple/mint or
Rajgira roti and lauki sabzi and dahi

Evening snack

Grilled paneer with mint coriander chutney or
Mixed fruit with greek yogurt or hung dahi or
Badaam kesar pista milk or

Dinner (small portion) (avoid usage of sugar)

Paneer kheer or
Rajgira kheer or
Lauki kheer