Healthy Ways To Do Navratri Fasting:
Navaratri, a 9-day festival that celebrates the Supreme Goddess, Shakti, in her various forms, is celebrated by Hindus in India and abroad. Many devotees observe vrat or fast on this auspicious occasion. Apart from religious reasons, people also fast to detoxify their bodies and lose weight. Navaratri is celebrated twice in a year- March-April and September-October. During these times, our immune systems are weak and make us susceptible to diseases. Hence, it is advisable to consume ‘Sattvik’ food items that are easily digestible.
For those who will be fasting during Navaratri, we present some healthy ways to do so.
Avoid Fried Foods and Snacks:
Some people tend to binge on fried snacks when they are fasting. But this can be very harmful to your health. They can increase your cholesterol levels and lead to obesity, cardiac problems, or hypertension. Consume such things only in moderation and stay away from readymade fried foods.
Remember to stay hydrated when you fast. Drink lots of water, healthy fruit and vegetable juices, and low-fat milk to stay hydrated. This will help maintain the level of body fluids and salt. Vegetables and fruits like bottle gourds, tomatoes, and apples can be used to make healthy and cold-pressed juices. These contain Vitamin A, B, and C, which boost immunity.
While some people eat a lot of snacks and fruits during a fast, others choose to starve. One should avoid fasting for too long. Eating fresh fruits or nuts now and then helps to detoxify. Fasting for too long a period can cause problems like anemia, weakness, headaches, and fatigue
Take Fiber-Rich Foods:
Make sure to include fiber-rich foods during the Navaratri fast. These could be in the form of green vegetables like raw banana, sweet potato, pumpkin, and bottle gourd. This will help you stay full, thereby keeping hunger at bay. The reason is fibers take a lot of time to digest, thereby keeping your full for a long period of time, and thereby curbs your hunger. Fibrous foods also help control blood sugar levels.
Use a Variety of Flours:
Many people use buckwheat flour during Navratri. But other kinds of flour like Samo Rice (Samak Chawal) can also be used to make chapatis or porridge. Vegetables can be added to make them healthy and filling. These are easily digestible and contain sufficient proteins, carbohydrates, and other vital nutrients.
Maintain your Energy Levels:
You may feel tired and listless if you are fasting. Energy levels can be maintained by eating right. Foods that have carbs and proteins are good for boosting energy.
Plan your Meals:
Sudden changes in diet can affect your body and mind adversely. So it is important to plan your meals. The main meal should be eaten before sunset, and it should be made with alternate grains and very little oil. This will help maintain energy levels and preserve health.
Avoid too much Sugar:
People eat a lot of sweets during Navaratris. But too much sugar is very harmful to health. Refined sugar has no nutritive value. So avoid refined sugar, take jaggery or honey.
By taking a balanced diet during a fast, one can improve digestion, boost energy, and avoid diseases. It’s okay to have a hearty lunch, but dinner should be light. For dinner, healthy options like milk or cold-pressed juices are best.