Shardiya Navratri fasting will begin tomorrow. While Durga Maa devotees observe fasting to seek her blessings, it can also be turned into a healthy diet for detoxification and weight loss. Eating millets during Navratri is a healthy choice as this little superfood is not only full of essential minerals and vitamins but is also rich in fiber besides being gluten-free. Millets are a low GI food and are helpful in reducing cholesterol and balancing blood sugar levels. Millets are also a storehouse of tannins, phytates and phenols that can help protect against oxidative damage and prevent diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. (Also read: Should people with diabetes fast from Navratri? Dos and don’ts)
Millets have soluble fiber that can keep fat in your intestines and thus help reduce cholesterol levels. Finger millet has essential B vitamins that help promote healthy brain function and cell division. Millets are ideal for fasting because they are rich in starch as well as protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
“As the vibrant festival of Shardiya Navratri approaches, millions of devotees across India prepare to celebrate the victory of good over evil through fasting, prayers and rituals. Navratri is not just a time of spiritual significance but also a period of dietary discipline. Many people observe fasts during Navratri, abstaining from grains and certain ingredients. To meet their nutritional needs during Navratri while keeping fasting in mind, millets, known for their exceptional health benefits, have gained popularity,” says Dietitian Vidhi Chawla, Fisico Dietetics and Aesthetics Clinic in. an interview with HT Digital.
Let’s explore the benefits of 6 millets that can be consumed during Shardiya Navratri 2023:
1. Barnyard millet (Samak rice)
Barnyard millet, also known as samak rice, is a staple dish during the fasting period of Navratri. It is gluten-free and a source of essential nutrients, including carbohydrates, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. Samak rice is extremely versatile and can be used to make khichdi, pulao or even desserts like kheer. It provides sustained energy and helps you feel full throughout the day, making it an ideal choice for fasting.
2. Amaranth (Rajgira)
Amaranth, commonly known as rajgira, is another favorite during the fasting period of Navratri. These tiny seeds are packed with protein, essential amino acids, and important minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. They can be used to make rajgira ladoos, chikkis or even chapatis. Rajgira is not only nutritious but also aids digestion, making it a great choice for those who are fasting.
3. Foxtail millet (Kangni)
Foxtail millet, or Kangni as it is known in Hindi, is a nutrient-dense grain that is low in calories and high in fiber. It provides a steady release of energy and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. During the festival of Navratri, you can use foxtail millet to prepare delicious dosas, idlis, upma or even pulao. Kangni not only satisfies your taste buds but also provides essential nutrients to maintain your energy levels during fasting periods.
Vari millet also known as Barnyard millet is similar to Samak rice and is another great alternative to wheat and rice during the Navratri fast. It is gluten-free, low in calories and a good source of fiber and carbohydrates. You can use vari to prepare dishes like khichdi, pulao or even upma. It’s a healthy and filling option for those who want to maintain energy levels without compromising on taste.
5. Pearl millet (Bajra)
Pearl millet, or Bajra, is a gluten-free and highly nutritious millet that can be consumed during Navratri. It is rich in fiber, protein and essential minerals such as magnesium and iron. Bajra can be used to prepare rotis, parathas or even porridge. Bajra’s versatility and nutritional content make it a great choice for those looking to maintain nutrition during fasting periods.
Small millet, also known as Kutki, is a type of small millet that is gluten-free and packed with nutrients. It’s a good source of protein, fiber and many vitamins and minerals. Kutki can be used to prepare dishes like upma, pulao or even idlis. This millet not only adds variety to your vegetarian menu but also provides essential nutrition.
How to add millets to your Navratri diet
Incorporating millets into your Navratri diet is a nutritious and enjoyable way to maintain your energy levels while following fasting traditions.
Nutritionist Vidhi shares some simple yet satisfying ways to enjoy millets during this auspicious period:
1. Millet flour: You can replace wheat flour with millet flour to prepare chapatis or parathas. Millet flour is available at most grocery stores.
2. Porridge: Millet seeds can be used to cook delicious and filling porridge. Add some milk and optional sweetener for a nutritious breakfast.
3. Pilao (Pulao): Millets are the perfect choice to prepare flavorful pulao with your favorite vegetables and spices.
4. Sweets: You can make millet-based sweets like laddoos, chikkis or kheer to satisfy your sweet cravings.
5. Snacks: Millets can be used to make crunchy snacks like dosas, idlis or even grilled snacks.
6. Side dishes: Combine millet with vegetables and herbs of your choice to create delicious side dishes.
“Millets are a healthy and versatile choice for those fasting during Shardiya Navratri. They provide essential nutrients and can be used in a variety of dishes, making it easy to maintain your diet.” Balanced and nutritious diet during this auspicious period. Incorporate these millets into your meals Navratri Menu and experience the joy of enjoying the feast while observing spiritual traditions and your diet,” Vidhi concludes.
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