Mahashivratri 2024: The 6 Foods To Avoid While Fasting
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What Is Fasting? 

Fasting is when you don't eat for a while, which can start with a day and go on for a few days after. Some people keep a fast to get healthy. When you fast, you only drink water or calorie-free drinks. Fasting lets your body rest and get better. Other people fast for religious reasons, where it is believed that staying away from certain foods can help discipline and spiritually cleanse oneself and to attain oneness with God, which are part of their faith. Some fast to lose weight as your body can burn fat when you fast. People have been fasting for a long time all around the world. 

Fasting involves abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. By refraining from eating, individuals can dedicate more time to prayer, deep contemplation, and spiritual growth. During fasting, people typically consume only water, juice, or broth. This practice allows individuals to focus on important matters and contemplate life's significant questions. Additionally, fasting can contribute to the development of self-control. 

Foods to avoid while fasting for Mahashivratri 2024 

1. Wheat And Other Grains 

During fasting, foods like wheat and grains, including millets, are avoided because they slow down digestion. According to Ayurveda, these foods can attract and absorb negative energies, which is particularly important to be aware of during seasonal changes when the body's immunity tends to be lower, making it more susceptible to illness. Therefore, to maintain health during fasting periods, it's best to avoid these foods  

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2. Table Salt  

Table salt is avoided when fasting as it is a processed ingredient, it is believed to be less pure and unfit for clean eating. Rock salt, which is also called sendha namak, is used instead to flavour food as it is believed to be natural and pure. That's why it's good for fast-friendly recipes when you're fasting. Using rock salt helps people keep traditions of purity on holy days like Mahashivratri.  

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3. Onions and Garlic 

When people fast, they may not eat onions or garlic for spiritual reasons. While fasting cleans the body and mind, some people believe onions and garlic increase bad energies - impurity and ignorance. According to many cultural beliefs, avoiding them may help gain positive and clean energy, which can help attain oneness with God almighty and harbour a stronger will power. 

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4. Processed Foods

The Satvik diet means eating clean and simple foods that are easy to digest. So, people who follow this diet make meals at home instead of buying processed foods like cheese, ice creams, sauces, etc. from the store. Processed foods often have added preservatives, which help food stay fresh longer, but may not be good for health and are not part of the Satvik diet. They can eat pure, natural foods by making meals from scratch where you are aware of the ingredients that go into the preparation in place of pre-processed food that is fresh and probably made in a factory where you have no control over its preparation methods.  

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5. Vegetables 

There are some vegetables which are not consumed while fasting, especially night-shade veggies like eggplants, tomatoes, and onions. It is believed that these veggies make your body too warm, while it might be advisable to eat foods that are cooling for your body during the fast period.  

6. Lentils 

While fasting, lentils are usually avoided, as they are seen as tamasic in Ayurveda. A tamasic diet includes foods that are usually packed with spices, not fresh or fermented, which may make you feel lethargic and not help you stay focused, awake and full of energy. Also, lentils have a lot of protein, and some people find the protein hard to digest. So, it might be a good idea to go easy on lentils when you're fasting. People choose simpler foods instead, like fruits and veggies.