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Dr K K Aggarwal

Singhara flour – a favorite Navratre diet

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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During Navratra fasts, wheat flour should be omitted from diet and be substituted with water chestnut (Singhara) or buckwheat (kuttu) flour, said Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India & National Vice President Elect IMA. Singhara is not a cereal but a fruit and hence a good substitute for a Navratra fast where cereals are not to be eaten.

  • Singhara flour is prepared from Singhara or Water Chestnut.
  • Singharas are floating aquatic plants, growing in slow–moving water up to 5 meters deep. The plant bears ornately shaped fruits containing a single very large starchy seed.
  • The seeds or nuts are boiled and sold as snacks or eaten raw.
  • The flour is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. The nuts are boiled, peeled, dried then ground into flour. The flour is bright white fine powder; it is actually a starch rather than flour.
  • The flour is primarily used as a thickener.
  • The flour is used as food in Navratra and consumed as phalahar (fruit) diet.
  • It is an excellent source of energy and provides 115 kcals per 100g.
  • The glycemic index for chestnut is 60. Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70.
  • Chestnuts are relatively low in net carbs (total carbohydrate minus dietary fiber) and so are included in many low carb diets.
  • Being a gluten–free product, chestnut flour is a cooking option for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or allergies.
  • Chestnuts do not contain the fat that regular nuts have.
  • It contains less carbohydrate than white flour.
  • People with tree nut allergies should avoid chestnut flour as it may cause an allergic reaction.
  • Flour made from chestnuts is typically more difficult to locate in many areas as well as more expensive than white flour.
  • Avoid eating deep fried chestnut flour pooris or paranthas.
  • Do not use trans fats containing vegetables oils to cook bread from chestnut flour.
  • Buy only branded flour as flour left over from the previous year can lead to food poisoning.
  • As per Ayurveda, chestnut flour has cool and buckwheat flour has hot properties.
  • Both chestnut flour and buckwheat flours can be combined.
  • One should eat phalahar once a week and at least 80 days in a year.

Singhara flour – a favorite Navratre diet

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In Navratre fast one needs to omit wheat flour from the diet and substitute it with buckwheat flour (kuttu flour) or water chestnut (Singhara flour). Singhara is not a cereal but a fruit and hence a good substitute for a Navratre fast where cereals are not to be eaten.

1. Singhara flour is prepared from Singhara or Water Chestnut.

2. Singharas are floating annual aquatic plants, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 meters deep. The plant bears ornately shaped fruits containing a single very large starchy seed.

3. The seeds or nuts are boiled and sold as street side snack or eaten raw.

 4. The flour is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. The nuts are boiled, peeled, dried then ground into flour. The flour is bright white fine powder; it is actually a starch rather than flour.

 5. The flour is primarily used as a thickener.

 6. The flour is used as a food in Navratre and consumed as a phalahar (fruit) diet.

 7. It is an excellent source of energy and provides 115 kcals per 100g.

 8.The glycemic Index for chestnut is 60. Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70.

 9.Chestnuts are relatively low in net carbs (total carbohydrate minus dietary fiber). It is included in many low carb diets.

 10.A gluten free product, chestnut flour is a cooking option for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or allergies.

 11.Chestnuts do not contain the fat that regular nuts have.

 12.It contains less carbohydrate than white flour.

 13. People with tree nut allergies should take care to avoid chestnut flour. It may cause an allergic reaction.

 14. Flour made from chestnuts is typically more difficult to locate in many areas as well as more expensive than white flour.

 15.One should not eat deep fried chestnut flour pooris or paranthas.

 16. One should not use transfats vegetables oils to cook chestnut flour made bread.

 17. One should buy only branded flour as left over flour of last year can lead to food poisoning.

 18. As per Ayurveda chestnut flour has cool and buckwheat flour has hot properties.

 19. Both chestnut flour and buckwheat flours can be combined.

 20.  One should eat phalahar once a week and at least 80 days in a year.

Singhara Flour In Navratre

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In Navratre fast often one shifts from wheat flour to fruit based buckwheat flour (kuttu flour) or water chestnut (Singhara flour). They are used as phalahar (fruit) diet.

Singhara are floating annual aquatic plants, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 meters deep. The plant bear ornately shaped fruits containing a single very large starchy seed. The seeds or nuts are boiled and sold as street side snack or eaten raw or converted in flour.

The flour is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. The nuts are boiled, peeled, dried then ground into flour. The flour is bright white fine powder; it is actually a starch rather than flour. The flour is primarily used as a thickener.

It is an excellent source of energy and provides 115 kcals per 100g. The glycemic Index for chestnut is 60. Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70.

Chestnuts are relatively low in net carbs (total carbohydrate minus dietary fiber). It is included in many low carb diets.

A gluten free product, chestnut flour is a cooking option for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or allergies.

Chestnuts do not contain the fat that regular nuts have.

It contains less carbohydrate than white flour. One should not eat deep fried chestnut flour pooris of parantha. One should not use transfats vegetables oils to cook chestnut flour made bread. One should buy only branded flour as left over flour of last year can lead to food poisoning

As per Ayurveda chestnut flour has cool and buckwheat flour has hot properties. Both chestnut flour and buckwheat flours can be combined.

One should eat phalahar once a week and atleast 80 days in a year.

Singhara Flour – A Favorite Navratra Diet

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Wheat flour should not be used during Navratra fasts, it should instead be replaced by either water chestnut (Singhara flour) or buckwheat flour (kuttu flour) said Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal President Heart care Foundation of India and MTNL Perfect Health Mela.

Singhara is not a cereal but a fruit and hence is a good substitute for Navratra fasts where cereals are not to be eaten.

  • Singhara flour is made from Singhara or Water Chestnuts.
  • Water Chestnuts are floating annual aquatic plants, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 meters deep. The plant bear ornately shaped fruits containing a single very large starchy seed.
  • The seeds or nuts are boiled and sold as street side snack or eaten raw.
  • The flour is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. The nuts are boiled, peeled, dried then ground into flour. The flour is a bright white fine powder; it is actually a starch rather than flour.
  • The flour is primarily used as a thickener.
  • The flour is used as a food during Navratras and consumed as a phalahar (fruit) diet.
  • It is an excellent source of energy and provides 115 kcals per 100g.
  • The glycemic index for chestnut is 60. Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70.
  • Chestnuts are relatively low in net carbs (total carbohydrate minus dietary fiber). They are included in many low carb diets.
  • A gluten-free product, chestnut flour is a cooking option for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or allergies.
  • Chestnuts do not contain the fat that regular nuts have.
  • Chestnut flour contains less carbohydrate than white flour.
  • People with tree nut allergies should take care to avoid chestnut flour. It may cause an allergic reaction
  • Flour made from chestnuts is typically more difficult to locate in many areas; also it is more expensive than white flour
  • Avoid eating deep fried pooris or paranthas made from the chestnut flour.
  • Do not use transfats vegetables oils to cook bread made of chestnut flour.
  • Buy only branded flour as left over flour (from last year) can lead to food poisoning.
  • As per Ayurveda, chestnut flour has cooling and buckwheat flour has hot properties
  • Both chestnut flour and buckwheat flours can be combined.
  • One should eat phalahar once a week and for at least 80 days in a year.

Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. Body detoxification involves Navratri diet containing eating less devoid of cereals. In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu or Singhara flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice. Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga.
1. In mythology Mata Shailputri is a daughter of mountain king – Himalaya. She is the first among nine avatars of Durga and worshiped on the First day of Navratri.
2. In yogic language it represents the lowest chakra, Muladhara chakra. And the bija sound to chant is LAM in the sacral root area. In allopathic language it represents activation of sacral plexus.
3. The Mother Goddess has a half moon in her forehead & she is holding a trident (trishul) in her right hand & lotus flower in her left hand. She rides on mount Nandi a bull.
4. Bull in mythology represents ‘desires’. On the first day we must let go our desires.
5. Trishul in mythology represents balancing Tamas, Rajas and Satwa
6. Lotus in mythology indicates practicing detached attachment.
7. Moon in mythology means thinking with a cool mind.
8. Shailputri represents the shakti or power of the root chakra, who, upon awakening, begins Her journey upwards in search for the last crown chakra (Shiva).
9. In Navratri pooja on the first day Yogi keep their mind concentrated on Muladhara chakra as the starting point of spiritual discipline or Yoga Sadhna.

What to do on first day
1. Let go your desires
2. Keep the mind cool
3. Practice detached attachment
4. Balance Tamas and Rajas guna with Satwa. or to stay in balance.
5. Concentrate on Muladhara chakra (sacral root)
6. Chant LAM reducing the respiratory rate to 2-4 per minute.
7. In Ayurveda Muladhara chakra represents the earth element.
Gist: On the first day we control (riding), our desires (bull) by balancing (Trishul) the mind with cool thoughts (moon) and practicing detachment (lotus). This can be assisted by chanting LAM focusing on sacral chakra.