Everyone is aware of dry fruits’ benefits for health, however,…
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The season of Indian festivals is just around the corner, and we all want to indulge in the festivities of Indian celebrations without compromising our weight loss goals. Isn’t it? Fasting during these joyful occasions doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of delicious food. In fact, plenty of healthy fasting foods can aid in your weight loss journey while still allowing you to savor the flavors and traditions of these special celebrations.
So, if you’re curious about which fasting meals to include in your diet during Indian festivals, keep reading! We’ll guide you through some mouthwatering options that will leave both your taste buds and waistline happy. Get ready for a guilt-free feast while fasting like no other!
Indian Fasting Foods To Have During Fast
‘vrat ka khana’ consumed during various festivals in India, like Navratri, Karwa Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami, Ekadashi, and others, are designed to provide sustenance while adhering to religious and cultural customs. These foods are often nutrient-dense and can support weight management due to their unique properties. Read further to know what you can eat!
Here is a list of some common Navratri foods and an explanation of their health benefits:
1. Samvat Rice
Samvat rice, a barnyard millet or vrat ke chawal, is another popular fasting food in India. It is a type of millet that resembles rice but is gluten-free and low in calories. Samvat rice can be cooked like rice and made into dishes like samvat rice pulao, samvat rice kheer, samvat rice dosa, etc.
- Samvat rice is high in fiber, which can help you regulate your digestion and prevent constipation.
- It also contains protein, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
- It can also help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as it contains soluble fiber that can bind to bile acids and excrete them from the body.
However, samvat rice is also a source of carbohydrates, so it should be eaten in moderation and with other foods that can balance its effects.
Sabudana, a tapioca pearl or sago, is made from the starch extracted from the roots of the cassava plant. Sabudana for weight loss can be cooked in various ways, such as sabudana khichdi, sabudana vada, sabudana kheer, sabudana thalipeeth, etc.
- Sabudana is rich in carbohydrates, which can provide you with energy and keep you full during your fast.
- It also contains some protein, calcium, iron, and potassium.
It is high in carbs and has a high glycemic index, so it can raise your blood sugar levels quickly. Therefore, it is advisable to eat sabudana with other foods high in fiber or protein, such as vegetables, nuts, or yogurt. This can help slow down the digestion and absorption of sabudana and prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
3. Kuttu Flour
Kuttu, also known as buckwheat or vrat ka atta, is one of the foods in India from which we can make various types of bread and pancakes. Buckwheat is not a grain but a plant seed related to rhubarb. With Kuttu ka atta you can make dishes like kuttu paratha, kuttu puri, kuttu dosa, kuttu pakora, etc.
- Kuttu is a good source of protein, which can help you maintain your muscle mass and metabolism.
- It also contains fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
- It can also help reduce your appetite and increase your satiety, as it contains fiber and antioxidants.
However, Kuttu flour is also high in calories and fat, so it one should eat it in small portions and cook with minimal oil or ghee.
Also known as amaranth or ramdana, Rajgira is a Navratri fasting food used to make flour, puffs, or flakes. Rajgira is an ancient seed that the Aztecs and the Incas cultivated. With Rajgira you canprepare many dishes like rajgira paratha, rajgira puri, rajgira ladoo, rajgira chikki, Rajgira kheer etc.
- Rajgira is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids your body cannot produce.
- It can also help boost your health and immunity, containing fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin C.
However, Rajgira is also high in calories and carbohydrates, so it try to consume it in moderation and combine it with other foods that are low in calories or high in fiber.
5. Singhara Flour
Singhara, also known as water chestnut or water caltrop, is a fasting food used to make flour, puffs, or chips. It is an aquatic plant that produces edible fruits that resemble chestnuts. You can make singhara paratha, singhara halwa, singhara chaat, etc. with this flour.
- Singhara is low in calories but high in water, which can help you stay hydrated and prevent overeating.
- It can also help lower your blood pressure and improve your kidney function, as it contains potassium, vitamin B6, and antioxidants.
However, singhara is also high in carbohydrates and has a low glycemic index, which means it can cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is advisable to eat singhara with foods that are high in protein or fiber, such as yogurt, nuts, or fruits.
Makhana, also known as fox nuts or lotus seeds, is a fasting food from which we can prepare tasty snacks, desserts, or curries. Fox nut is the seed of the lotus plant that grows in ponds and lakes. It can be roasted, fried, or cooked in milk and sugar. Try this yummy makhana chaat recipe from Fitelo’s kitchen for your fast.
- Makhana can help you curb your hunger and provide you with energy and brain power, as it is a good source of protein, calcium, iron, and phosphorus.
- It can also help you fight inflammation, aging, and diabetes, as it has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-diabetic properties.
However, makhana is also high in calories and fat, so we should eat it moderately and roasted or fried with minimal oil or ghee.
Fruits are a common fasting food in India that you can eat raw or consume as juice. These fruits are nature’s candy that can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Fruits can also help you detoxify your body and boost your immunity. Some fruits you can include are apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, pomegranates, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, etc.
- Fruits can help you detoxify your body and boost your immunity, as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Fruits can also help satisfy your sweet tooth and provide natural sugars.
However, fruits are also high in fructose, a type of sugar that can convert to fat if consumed in excess. Therefore, it is advisable to eat fruits in moderation and avoid fruits that are high in fructose, such as grapes, mangoes, bananas, etc.
8. Dry fruits and Nuts
Dry fruits and nuts you can eat, and you can munch them as snacks or add them to other dishes. These nuts are high in calories and nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Some of the dry fruits and nuts that you can eat during your Navratri diet for weight loss are almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, raisins, dates, figs, apricots, etc.
- Dry fruits and nuts can also help you improve your mood and memory, as they contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can regulate your emotions and cognition.
- Dry fruits and nuts can help you curb your hunger and provide you with energy and brain power.
- Dry fruits and nuts can help you regulate your blood sugar levels and lower your cholesterol levels.
However, dry fruits and nuts are also high in calories and fat, so consume them in small portions. You can also soak them in water overnight to make them easier to digest and absorb.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato, also known as shakarkandi or ratalu, is a fasting food and you can enjoy it in many ways. You can boil sweet potatoes and add masala or bake them as well, roast them, or mash them to make halwa. Sweet potato is rich in carbohydrates, fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.
- Sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential vitamins like vitamin A. They are filling and can help control appetite during fasting.
- It can also help you improve your vision, skin health, and blood sugar levels.
However, sweet potato is also high in calories and has a medium glycemic index, which means it can cause a moderate rise in blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is advisable to eat sweet potato with foods that are high in protein or fat, such as yogurt, nuts, or paneer.
Vegetables are an essential part of fasting diets in India, and we eat them in various forms to provide essential nutrients, fiber, and flavor. Spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, pumpkin, capsicum, etc. are low in calories but high in nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Vegetables can help you detoxify your body and boost your immunity. Also, you can consume them in larger quantities without compromising the fast.
- They can also help you prevent or manage various diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc.
Including various vegetables can help you maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. Additionally, their low-calorie content and high fiber content can help weight loss in fast by promoting fullness and preventing overindulgence.
Low-fat yogurt and milk are good sources of protein and calcium. They can support muscle maintenance and promote a feeling of fullness. Yogurt is one of the best foods to eat, and you can eat it plain or with fruits, nuts, or honey. Many people prefer eating ‘dahi ke aloo’ with rock salt and cumin powder during fasts.
- Yogurt is a fermented dairy product that contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can improve your gut health and immunity.
- Yogurt can also help you lose weight by increasing your protein intake, reducing your appetite, and enhancing your metabolism.
However, yogurt is also high in lactose, which is a type of sugar that can cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea in some people. Therefore, it is advisable to choose low-fat or fat-free yogurt and avoid flavored or sweetened yogurt that may contain added sugars or artificial ingredients.
Now you know what to eat! However, the effectiveness of these for weight loss depends on the process of preparation and consumption. Portion control, avoiding excessive use of oil and ghee, and choosing healthier cooking methods are essential practices during fasting to maximize the weight management benefits of these foods.
Benefits Of Consuming Fasting Foods
Fasting during Indian festivals can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. While the primary purpose of fasting is to cleanse the body and soul, it also offers several benefits for weight loss. Consuming these during religious and cultural fasting periods can offer various benefits, both in terms of spirituality and overall health.
1. Improved Digestion: Many foods are light and easily digestible. They can provide a break to your digestive system, allowing it to rest and recover. This can be particularly beneficial if you typically consume heavy or rich foods.
2. Weight Management: They are often low in calories and rich in fiber, which can promote a feeling of fullness and prevent overeating. This can support weight management and potentially lead to weight loss when practiced mindfully. Also, check out these various types of diets for weight loss that can help you achieve your goals!
3. Balanced Blood Sugar: Some foods during fast, like amaranth and barnyard millet, have a low glycemic index, which means they release glucose slowly into the bloodstream. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels and reduces cravings for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods.
4. Nutrient Intake: These often include a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This can help meet your nutritional needs even while fasting.
5. Improved Skin and Hair: The nutrient-rich nature can contribute to healthier skin and hair, as they provide essential vitamins and minerals necessary for their maintenance.
Recipes Of Fasting Foods For Indian Festivals
Here, we share some delectable recipes from Fitelo’s kitchen that you can make and eat while fasting.
A highlight of Navratri celebrations is the Navratri Thali, a platter of delectable dishes prepared with ingredients that adhere to dietary restrictions observed during this period.
Buckwheat Dhokla For Festival Fasting
This flavourful Buckwheat dhokla will help you shed some extra kilos you gained in this festive season. This dhokla is healthy and yummy at the same time.
The Masala Makhana Recipe is an easy, quick, healthy snack made with lotus seeds and dry spices.
Fasting during Indian festivals can be a great way to connect with your spiritual side and reap weight loss benefits. During Navratras or any other fasting period, choosing nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains is important. These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber necessary for overall health. They also help keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.
Remember that while fasting is beneficial for weight loss when done correctly, consult with a health specialist or our Fitelo experts if you have any underlying health conditions before taking up any dietary changes. Our dieticians can guide you with customized diet plans for your fasting periods.
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Sharan, a homemaker from San Francisco, USA, successfully lost 15 kg and experienced dramatic inch loss within just 90 days through Fitelo’s online weight loss program. Despite being conscious about her diet and trying various diets for two years, she found effective results and a transformative journey with Fitelo. Here is Sharan’s inspiring story:
Generally, we replace our traditional grains during Navratri with non-grain Attas. One such popular atta is Kuttu or Buckwheat, which has more protein and fiber than wholewheat flour. Also, buckwheat is gluten-free! So, use buckwheat flour and lose weight this Navratri!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Fasting Foods In India?
In India common foods had during fast are sabudana, singhara flour, fruits, nuts, Samvat rice, and yogurt. These foods are suitable for their dietary restrictions imposed during fasting periods.
What Are The Sweets For Upvas?
During upvas, people often enjoy sweets made from permissible ingredients, such as sabudana kheer, sweet potato halwa, makhana kheer, Basundi, and coconut ladoos made with coconut and jaggery. These sweets adhere to fasting restrictions in India and are consumed as dessert options.
Is Idli Allowed In Fast?
Idli is not typically allowed during fasts in India because it is made from fermented rice and urad dal batter, which is considered non-compliant with fasting dietary restrictions in many traditions.
Can I Drink Tea Or Coffee During Fasting?
In many fasting traditions, plain tea and coffee without milk or sweeteners are allowed. However, it is essential to check specific fasting guidelines, as some traditions may restrict even these beverages. Herbal teas and black coffee are generally safer choices.
How Can I Ensure I Am Getting Enough Nutrients During Fasting?
To ensure you receive essential nutrients during fasting, focus on various permissible foods like fruits, nuts, dairy, and specific grains. Planning balanced meals, staying hydrated, and consulting a dietician can also help create a nutritious fasting plan.
Contact Us Today
Get in touch with our expert team at Fitelo to kick-start your transformative journey! Let us guide you toward your weight loss goals and help you cultivate sustainable and healthy eating habits. So, contact us today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you with Fitelo!
This blog was written to help you make healthy and better food choices. So, be aware and take care. The vital thing to consider is your health before starting a restrictive diet. Therefore, before starting, always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian if you have any concerns.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long, happy life.