Navratri Special: How to Stay Healthy during 9 Days of Navratri Fasting
It’s that time of the year when you will see people soaked in ritualistic prayers, chanting mantras and dancing to the tunes of Garbas. While for some it is only about playing Garba, others go on a 9 Day fast to please the Goddesses. It is important to stay healthy and maintain a diet that helps you get through the 9 days of continuous fasting.
This year, Navratri begins from today, i.e. 02nd April, 2022. During this nine-day-long festival, people worship nine forms of Goddesses: Durga, Kali, Amba, Gauri, Sheetal, Bhairavi, Chandi, Lalita, Bhavani, and Tara.
Navratri is celebrated twice a year, during the spring season and fall. Keeping in mind the scientific facts, these are the exact times when our bodies become more vulnerable to diseases and changes. To keep up to the seasonal changes, a good and balanced diet is essential. It is here, where the special Navratri diet comes into the picture.
Navratri diet is a mixture of scientific and religious rituals. It helps to cleanse your system and prepares you for the seasonal changes.
Below are the 10 essential tips to fast the healthy way this Navratri. This quick guide will help you to stay away from lack of energy, acidity, indigestion, and drowsiness during the Navratri fasting.
- Keep Yourself Hydrated Always
As there are restrictions on the consumption of many solid foodstuffs, it becomes important to have an adequate inflow of nutrients. Water, low-fat milk, coconut water, buttermilk, vegetable and fruit juices prove to be of great help to keep you nourished and hydrated throughout the day. Moreover, they add more variety and taste to a rather simple meal.
To keep the flow of Vitamins (A, B & C) intact, you can also prepare some healthy cold Pressed juices using vegetables and fruits like bottle gourd, tomatoes, and apples.
Make sure you avoid drinking too much tea or coffee as it may leave you dehydrated and increase thirst.
- Avoid Indulging in Fried Snacks / Processed Food
Many people during their fasts indulge in oily snacks to keep their tummy filled. If you gorge on oodles of processed and fried snacks, you're doing more harm than good to your body. As fried snacks are high in salt, depending too much on these snacks negate your purpose of fasting. Indulge in these foods in moderation and avoid readymade fried foods.
Avoid chips, fries, and all other foods snacks are high in salt and are loaded with unhealthy fats or excess sodium.
While fasting for Navratri you're allowed to consume potatoes, most of these packaged products are often fried in sub-standard oil. Such foodstuffs may lead to a surge or fall in blood sugar levels after consumption, resulting in hunger and overeating.
So, if you are too much dependent on such food items, you are more or less negating the sole purpose of fasting.
- Follow a Fiber-rich Diet
Make sure your Navratri menu is filled with fiber-rich foods. Have a balanced intake of leafy greens and vegetables like potato, arbi, sweet potato, raw banana, pumpkin and bottle gourd that not only satiate your hunger but give your body a boost. Fiber takes a long time to digest, thus keeping you full and avoiding frequent hunger-pangs. Fibrous food helps to maintain the stability of blood sugar levels.
- Maintain a Balanced Diet
While some binge on snacks and fruits during Navratri fasts, others starve themselves to death. But, fasting doesn't mean starving and depriving yourself of essential nutrients. The rule of thumb is to avoid fasting for a longer period. If you are planning to detoxify, have a good intake of fresh fruits or nuts at regular intervals.
Follow a balanced diet. Though you have limited options, there are many healthier options that you can experiment with. Sabudana, kuttu, makhana, palak and others fasting staples that are loaded with essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Eat, don't starve, because prolonged fasting may cause problems like anemia, fatigue, and headaches.
- Say ‘No’ to Too Much Sugar
Yes, Navratri fasts don't put any restrictions on your sugar intake. But, excess of any food can prove to be detrimental to your health and overall well-being. Refined sugar is believed to contain no nutritive value and merely gets accumulated in your body as empty calories.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can always switch to alternatives like jaggery or honey.
- Savor Seasonal Fruits
Having sudden hunger pangs, but don't know what to eat?
Load yourself with fresh seasonal fruits that aren't only nutritious but also tasty. Fruits offer a smooth and steady supply of vitamins and minerals that keep you energized throughout the day. There is no stopping to munching fruits. Eat as much as you want, it will only keep your body hale and hearty.
- Make Use of Flour Variety to Prepare Meals
Using buckwheat flour is common practice in Navratri. But you can also use Samo Rice (Samak Chawal) to make chapattis or porridge.
Just add vegetables to add up to their health factor. Not only are they easily digestible, but rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and other vital nutrients.
- Maintain your Energy Levels
Does fasting make you feel low on energy? Well, it is common. Since you're empty-stomach for quite some time, you might experience some dizziness and lack of enthusiasm. The key to keeping yourself high on energy is to eat right, drink enough water, and indulge in light workouts or yoga.
Make sure whatever you eat is rich in protein, carbs, and vitamins to maintain your energy levels.
- Plan your Meals
If you suddenly change your diet, it will have an impact on your body and mind. Thus, it is important to properly plan out your meals. Make sure you have a major meal before sunset that is made with varied grains and minimum oil. Appropriate meal planning and snacking healthy will help to keep your energy levels up and you will stay healthy.
- Take Ample of Rest
Today, you will find many people who work and fast. Though it isn't advisable to take leave from office, you shouldn't overwork. Avoid stress and take proper rest.
Also, don't stay hungry for long hours when at work. Keep munching something or drink juices to keep the energy levels in check. Sleep well, because an incomplete sleep cycle will only lead you toward lower energy levels.
Apeksha Sandesh wishes you a very Happy and Healthy Navratri 2022!