How to Have a Healthy Navratri: Nutritional Tips For FastingOctober 27, 2023
Navratri is an important Hindu festival that Hindus celebrate over 9 days and nights. During this time, many devotees observe a fast and avoid consuming regular meals. Fasting is done to purify the body and mind in order to focus on the divine. When fasting, it is very important to make sure that your body receives sufficient nutrients for sustenance and energy. This article is all about the nutritional tips you should follow when you observe the Navratri fast. This can help you ensure good health, energy, and vitality during the festival.
Before starting your Navratri fast, you need to understand the fasting rules. Navratri fasting usually involves abstaining from grains, non-vegetarian food, onions, garlic, and alcohol. But there are many foods that you can enjoy during this time, and you can incorporate these foods for a healthy Navratri diet.
Drink Sufficient Water
Hydration is key during fasting. Drink sufficient water, coconut water, herbal teas, etc., to ensure that you stay hydrated. Do not consume sugary beverages or excessive caffeine, as they can cause dehydration.
Consume Dairy Products
You need protein for energy, and dairy products like milk, yogurt, and buttermilk are good sources of protein and calcium. They will also protect the good bacteria in your gut. Lactose intolerant or vegan people can choose dairy-free alternatives like almond or coconut milk.
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews have lots of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They will give you energy and keep hunger at bay. Eat them as a snack or include them in your fasting recipes. Eat a few unsalted nuts during the day, like walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. To open your fast before breakfast, add one or two teaspoons of ghee/cold-pressed coconut oil. You can also eat unsweetened dry fruits like dates/figs/raisins. Dry fruits soaked overnight are good for the gut.
Consume Gluten-Free Grains
During Navratri fasting, ensure that you consume gluten-free grains. They include amaranth (rajgira), buckwheat (kuttu), water chestnut flour (singhare ka atta), and barnyard millet (sama rice). These grains are also multipurpose, and you can make rotis, puris, dosas, etc., with them.
Legumes like green gram (moong), chickpeas (channa), and black gram (urad) are rich in proteins. Make dishes like sabudana khichdi with peanuts, channa chaat, and moong dal chilla, as they can make you feel energetic.
Vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Consume a variety of colorful vegetables to ensure that you get all nutrients. You can eat pumpkins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens.
Use Rock salt/Sendha Namak
People do not use the regular table salt during Navratri fasting. You can use rock salt/sendha namak, which is pure and suitable for fasting. It adds flavor to the dishes, too.
Use Less Oil and Ghee
Don’t use ghee or oil in excess while cooking. This will also add flavor to your dishes and also provide essential fats. Ghee, in particular, has many health benefits.
Spices and herbs can be part of Navratri fasting. Use cumin seeds, green chilies, coriander, and ginger for seasoning. They enhance flavor and aid the digestive process.
Drink cold milk
Nine days of fasting helps to detoxify the body, but dietary changes while fasting can cause acidity or constipation. To avoid this, you can drink cold milk. You can drink it at 4 pm or at night. You can also have some curd or lemonade for this problem.
While fasting, many people eat more snacks. But try to eat healthy snacks like fruits. Fruits can keep you hydrated, and they also provide fiber, which is good for bowel movement. Consume fruits like apple, papaya, banana, and citrus fruits like orange. Drinking lemon juice throughout the day is also a good idea, as it helps to absorb iron from foods.
Take sugar in moderation
A bowl or a serving of a sweet dish once in a while can satisfy your taste buds and also boost your energy, which may be low due to dipping sugar levels. It will take away the feeling of deprivation. Take a small bowl of makhana kheer or sabudana kheer.
Drink coconut water
Drink coconut water or have a banana sometime during the day.
Fasting during Navratri is auspicious, and it is also a great way to detoxify your body as it can remove harmful toxins. However, due to the dietary changes, fasting can make you feel tired and dull. It is important to maintain your energy levels during fasting. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy the festival. So, follow the points given above and enjoy your Navratri celebrations!