10 Foods to Avoid During Navratri 
Navratri is one of India’s most important festivals. It is observed with great zeal and devotion. Devotees of Maa Durga worship her and her nine avatars throughout the nine nights and ten days of Navratri. Various rituals are performed, and nutritious food is consumed as a hallmark of Navratri celebrations.
Fasting is an important component that many observe to cleanse their bodies and minds. It is important to follow the food restrictions set forth by customs and beliefs when fasting. To preserve the holiness and purity of the celebration, we will look at ten foods to stay away from during Navratri 2023.
Grains and Cereals
It is usual to refrain from eating grains and cereals like rice, wheat, and their derivatives during Navratri. This custom is firmly based on the idea that abstaining from grains and cereals cleanses the body and mind. It allows worshippers to approach God with purity. For preparing foods like puris, parathas, and dosas, people instead use alternative flour such as chestnut flour, singhara flour, or buckwheat flour.
Onions and Garlic
As per Ayurveda, onions and garlic are “tamasic” in nature. They should be avoided during the Navratri fast by all means. These components are thought to increase pollutants in the body and impede the cleansing process. As an alternative, meals are prepared with various flavorful herbs and spices, including cumin, ginger, and green chilies.
The celebration of Navratri honors Goddess Durga and is frequently connected to vegetarianism. Therefore, it is important to refrain from eating non-vegetarian meals like meat, poultry, and shellfish at this time. Non-vegetarian foods can make your body warmer than usual and should thus be avoided. As a sign of devotion to the Goddess and to preserve the purity of their bodies, devotees refrain from consuming animal products.
Since regular table salt contains contaminants like iodine, it should be avoided during Navratri. Instead, rock salt, sometimes referred to as Himalayan Pink Salt or Sendha Namak is used. While salt is not consumed directly, you can keep a note of it while adding it to other dishes. Sendha namak is considered purer and more appropriate for consumption during the fasting period. It only adds flavor to the dishes and maintains its purity.
Processed and Packaged Foods
It is advised to stay away from packaged and processed foods during Navratri because they frequently contain additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors. It is important to eat freshly created food that was made from scratch with allowed ingredients. Processed foods could have undetectable components that violate the fasting regulations.
Baking Soda and Yeast
During the Navratri fast, foods made with Yeast and baking soda should be avoided. These leavening ingredients are seen as impure, and using them goes against the festival’s purifying ritual. Recipes for fasting are modified to make sure that food rises naturally without the use of such additives. It is best to avoid foods needing yeast totally.
While deep-fried meals are common during festivals, Navratri is the perfect time to stay away from them. During this time, it’s customary to make fried snacks like samosas, pakoras, and other similar foods using off-limits grains and cereals. Instead of consuming them, you can choose to make healthier substitutes through baking or shallow frying. If you’re a patient with illnesses such as hypertension, you should make it a point to avoid deep-fried foods during Navratri.
While it is common to offer and eat sweets during festivals, it is crucial to limit your intake of sweets during Navratri. Traditional Indian desserts contain elements like ordinary wheat, sugar, and artificial flavorings that are not allowed during a fast. As a result, it is advised to select sweets produced with healthy ingredients like milk, almonds, and fruit.
During Navratri, some people refrain from consuming dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese. This custom has its roots in the idea that dairy products can be tainted by the processing they go through. However, not everyone abstains from dairy during Navratri, so this may differ from person to person based on their own beliefs and familial customs. Those who do not like to consume milk directly or powders often add flavors to the natural ones. It is still advised to avoid dairy to relieve excess pressure off your digestive system during fasting.
Aerated Drinks and Alcohol
While observing fast during Navratri, it is completely forbidden to consume alcohol and aerated beverages. These drinks are regarded as impure and go against the festival’s ideals of austerity and cleanliness. Instead, followers should frequently choose simple, pure drinks like water, herbal teas, and fresh fruit juices.
Stay Pure this Navratri With Your Food Choices
The holy month of Navratri is a time for introspection, devotion, and piety. It is important to adhere to dietary recommendations and stay away from items that are regarded as impure during the festival to properly experience its spirit. It is possible to purify the body and the soul by avoiding grains, cereals, onions, garlic, and more. Devotees can preserve the sanctity of Navratri and fully appreciate the spiritual significance of the event by abiding by certain restrictions.
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Satvic wishes you and your family a Shubh Navratri 2023.