During Navratri, it is advised to avoid the Rajasic ( राजसिक ) and Taamasic ( तामसिक ) foods as they symbolize worldly desires and only satvik food is allowed. Here are some foods that you must avoid while fasting during Navratri:


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The land of many festivals and as many traditions, India would be celebrating Sharad Navratri 2017. Dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, the 9-day fasting period starts on 21st September 2017 (Pratipada) and ends on 29th November (Navami).

According to Hindu belief, there are a total of four Navratris in a year, out of which only Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri are celebrated widely. Navratri is one of the most significant festivals that lasts for nine days. During these period, devotees wake up early, bathe and pray to the nine forms of Goddess Durga to seek her divine blessings.

Many of them also observe the ritualistic Navratri fasts to please the beloved deity. The act of devotion also has a scientific backing to it. Sharad Navratri falls around October-November, which usually marks the transition period from autumn to winter. During this time of seasonal change, our immunity tends to dip and therefore, we’re recommended to stay away from greasy, heavy or unhealthy food. Fasting around this time helps to cleanse and detoxify your body.

While some devotees do the nirjala fast, wherein they don’t have even a drop of water or a morsel of food throughout the day, most devotees take one meal and limit intake of certain food items. In Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma), food has been categorised into three types – Raajasic (राजसिक) food, Taamasic (तामसिक) food and Saatvik (सात्विक) food. During Navratri, it is advised to avoid the Rajasic and Taamasic foods as they symbolize worldly desires and only satvik food is allowed.

Here are some foods that you must avoid while fasting during Navratri 2017:

  1. Non-vegetarian food: Chicken, mutton, fish, lamb, eggs and all animal products are strictly avoided during this time. These fall under the category of Rajasic foods. Devotees who aren’t fasting also try to refrain from having non-vegetarian food.
  2. Onion and Garlic: It is advised to prepare meals without the use of onion and garlic. According to Ayurveda, garlic and onion should be avoided during seasonal change as they are Tamaasic in nature and they tend to heat up your body from within.
  3. Lentils and legumes: Devotees also avoid consuming legumes and lentils while fasting. Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, arbi, suran, carrots, cucumber and bottle gourd (lauki) are permissible.
  4. Table salt: You cannot to regular processed salt for preparing your meals and instead you can opt for pure rock salt (sendha namak).
  5. Spices: There are certain spices which are commonly avoided during the Navratri fasts. These include turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), mustard (sarson or rai), fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and garam masala. Cumin (jeera), green chillies, black pepper and ajwain can be used instead to flavour your food.
  6. Regular Flour: Several types of flours including cornflour, rice flour, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, gram flour and semolina are avoided during fasting. You can use buckwheat flour (kuttu) or water chestnut flour (singhare ka atta) instead.
  7. Regular Rice: You cannot have your regular rice during the Navratri fasts. You can use the special vrat ke chaawal, popularly known as Samak ke Chawal for your daily meals.
  8. Aerated beverages and alcohol: If you are fasting, you are also required to steer clear of aerated beverages and alcohol. Many devotees who aren’t fasting also keep away from drinking alcohol and smoking as a mark of devotion to the Goddess.