The auspicious nine days of Navratri and the festivities associated with it have begun. This will go on till 29th Sep, 2017. During these nine days, devotees worship the nine forms of Maa Durga, also called the NavDurga, and observe special fasts to seek the Goddess’ blessings.

It is believed that the Goddess blesses her devotees with strength, power and prosperity. During the nine days Navratri fasts, people follow a strict vegetarian diet and refrain from consuming foods like cereals, grains, non-vegetarian food, regular salt and alcohol. Devotees prepare their everyday meal using foods like kuttu ka aata, singhare ka aata, sabudana, fresh fruits, sendha namak and other Vrat ingredients.

For all those who observe these ritualistic Navratri fasts, it is a common practice to not include onions and garlic in the food – ‘Vrat ka Khana’. But, not much people know why you are not supposed to eat onions and garlic, even though they are categorised as vegetarian diet. Let’s reveal the mystery behind this.

According to Hindus, the food we consume is categorised into three forms, depending upon their nature and their effect on your body:

  • Raajasic food: derived from the word ‘rajas’, mostly includes non-vegetarian food, hot spices, cooked in more oil
  • Taamasic food: derived from the word ‘tamas’, includes meat, alcohol, tobacco, stale left over food, overripe food; the unhealthiest food of all
  • Saatvik food: derived from the word ‘sattva’, which means pure, natural and clean

When fasting for Navratri, you are supposed to opt for saatvik food. This has a scientific logic behind it too – Navratri falls around the months of October-November, which mark the transition period from autumn to winter. Due to seasonal change, your body’s immune system tends to get weak. Following light saatvik diet during this period does not burden your digestive system and cleanses your body of all impurities. Whereas, eating heavy, unhealthy food may affect your health adversely due to the toxins that might be present in it.

Onions and garlic are considered Taamasic in nature and are said to invoke carnal energies in the body. Onions also produce heat in the body. Eating such foods makes you lose grip over your instincts and makes it difficult to distinguish between your desires and priorities.

Enjoy light Saatvik food this Navratri!