The Hindu month of Sawan or Shravan has started on 17 July 2019 and will end on 15 August 2019 with the celebration of Raksha Bandhan, in North India, and will start on 1 August 2019 and end on 30 August 2019 in South India. The Shravan month is considered to be the most auspicious month of the Hindu calendar, which falls during the month of July-August.
During this month, the devotees of Shiva seek the Almighty's blessings for good health, better life and attain moksha (salvation). During this period, on all Mondays, many Hindus observe fasting, which is known as 'Shravan Somvar Vrat'. It is believed that those who observe fast during this time have their desires fulfilled and receive the blessings of Shiva.
In Shravan, some Hindus follow a strict vegetarian diet, some restrict to just one meal a day, some avoid foods containing salt, garlic, and onion, and some people fast. Fasting has several health benefits, which include controlling blood sugar levels, improving heart health, boosting brain function, helping in weight loss, and so on , , .
Here's a list of foods to eat during the Shravan month:
- In the morning, 1-2 glasses of warm water along with honey and a dash of lime juice. A glass of warm water with honey revs up your metabolism in the morning.
- For breakfast, a glass of apple or banana milkshake will work because it will keep your stomach feeling full and satisfied.
- For a mid-morning snack, you could have 5 almonds and 2 walnuts. Nuts are healthy, high in fat, protein, and fibre which would keep your stomach satiated till lunchtime.
- For lunch, you could have a bowl of salad or sabudana (sago) khichdi. Sabudana is a must-have food during fasting because it provides the body with energy and vigour.
- In the evening, you can opt for a cup of green tea and singhara flour chillas. Singhara flour is a very good source of carbohydrates and packed with energy-boosting nutrients like zinc, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.
- For dinnertime, you can have 2 chapatis with vegetables, a bowl of dal, a bowl of soup, and a bowl of curd.
- For bedtime, a glass of skimmed milk and one fruit would be best.
List of foods to avoid during the Shravan month:
- Brinjal should be avoided during this holy month. According to ancient scriptures, the vegetable is considered impure, so most people avoid eating it. Scientifically, brinjal is infested with a lot of insects which is why it isn't safe to eat.
- People who are fasting should avoid drinking milk. According to Ayurveda, during the monsoon season milk and milk products create an imbalance in all the doshas.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and eating non-vegetarian foods like fish, eggs, and meat during this month.
- Avoid eating green leafy vegetables as they contain insects, especially during the monsoon season. Consumption of leafy greens increases the secretion of excess bile in the body.
Tips To Keep In Mind During The Shravan Month
- Apart from restricting the consumption of beans and green leafy vegetables, also, avoid eating large quantities of fruits and vegetables.
- Drink at least 8 - 10 glasses of water during the day.
- Avoid consuming deep-fried, spicy food.