Karwachauth is a very significant day for married, Indian women. Celebrated largely in the Northern part of India, this day is marked by a daylong Karwachauth fast that a married woman observes for the long and prosperous life of her husband.
Every year, the festival falls in the month of Karthik on the Krishna Paksha Chaturthi. This year, the festival will be observed on 8th October 2017.
Karwachauth finds married women waking up prior to dawn and getting ready in time for the ‘Sargi’ – a traditional meal prepared by the mother-in-law for their daughter-in-law.
Once everyone has had ‘Sargi’, the tough part of the day begins. Now, one is not supposed to eat or drink anything throughout the day, no food and no water, up until they see the moon at night. At dusk women get together to offer prayers to Lord Kartik, Goddess Parvati, and Lord Shiva wishing for the longevity and safety of their spouse. When the moon is spotted, they look at the moon, followed by the face of their husband through a sieve. Water is offered to the moon God and blessings are sought. The husbands now offer their wives the first sip of water, ending the Karwachauth fast.
While this festival involves lot of grit, extreme faith and a lot of love, for many women, it is not easy. It leads to significant fatigue and staying empty stomach through the day often causes issues like acidity, heartburn, dizziness, weakness, and bloating.
It is therefore, very important to plan ahead and know what to eat before the Karwachauth fast as well as after it. The right foods go a long way in dealing with these issues.
Here is a list of foods that are recommended for you before and after the fast.
What to eat before the Karwachauth fast
The sargi is the only thing that you will eat before you start your fast. So here are some foods that you can include in it to keep you feeling energetic and full all day:
1. Milk and its products
Milk is the best option before you start your fast. You can also consume milk products like paneer or curd. These foods are rich in protein and will keep your stomach satiated for longer. They also help to sooth the irritated stomach lining and prevent acidity and fatigue.
2. Dry fruits and fresh fruits
Fruits are light on the stomach and contain several vitamins and minerals. They will keep your energy levels up. The fiber in the fresh fruits will prevent any bloating or heartburn. With dry fruits like raisins, apricots and dates you get a good source of potassium. Dry fruits like pistachios and almonds are rich in proteins. They will make sure that the sugar levels in the body do not drop, preventing dizziness during the day.
3. Whole-wheat foods
Whole-wheat foods or foods made with any kind of grain are loaded with fiber. They are easily to digest by the body and release necessary amounts of glucose. They are slow digesting and will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
What to avoid before your Karwachauth fast
Avoid any food that is high in sugar content before the Karwachauth fast. Eating sugar in the beginning of the day makes you feel sluggish. Sugary foods make you feel full momentarily but ignite hunger pangs and cravings later.
What to eat after the Karwachauth fast
You have been empty stomach throughout the day and it is important that what you eat after the Karwachauth fast does not irritate your digestive tract any further causing heartburn or acidity.
Here are some foods that will ease the discomfort and provide instant energy:
Water is the best option after your Karwachauth fast to stay hydrated. You can also consume natural fruit juices and nutrients-rich coconut water for instant energy. This will prevent weakness due to dehydration.
2. Foods rich in proteins
Food like yoghurt are extremely soothing to the stomach. Proteins balance the pH level in your stomach and help ensure that you do not have any acidity. You can also have daals and paneer made in less spicy gravy. Keep your intake of chapatis limited but do have one at least for energy.
Have light veggies that are quick and easy to digest such as bottle guard, ladyfinger, potatoes etc.
What to avoid after Karwachauth fast
Do not drink coffee or tea as the acid levels in the stomach will spike up immediately causing heaviness and heartburn. Having tea and coffee on empty stomach further irritates it.
While you may crave for fried, oily food when you are hungry, they can cause a lot of digestive issues after such a tough fast. Not only are they are high in useless calories but also do not contain any nutrients that will help the body recover from a day’s fast.
Healthy, light and nutritious meals are the right choice post a Karwachauth fast. For more tips & diet plan, check out our website here.