Navratri fasting tips: How to plan healthy meals to stay energised, lose weight | Health

Navratri Fasting Tips 2022: The Shardiya Navratri Fast begins tomorrow (September 26) and ends with Kanya Pujan on Navami (October 4). During the Hindu festival, many Durga devotees fast all nine days of the festival, while some choose to fast on the first two and last two days. There are no set rules for celebrating Navratri and the rituals vary slightly in different states. In North India people mostly fast during Navratri, while in Gujarat Navratri is synonymous with Dandiya Ras and Garba; In West Bengal, the festival is all about the great Durga Puja Pandals, Dhunuchi Naach and Sindor Khela. In South India, Navratri is celebrated as Bommai Golu where people display beautiful Golu dolls in their house for nine days. (Also read: Navratri 2022 Prasad List: Know Different Bhogs to Offer to Maa Durga and Her Nine Avatars During the Nine Days)

Coming back to the Navratri Fast: People who observe it follow a “falahaari” diet which includes samvat ke chawal (banyard millet), kuttu ke aata (buckwheat flour), sabudana or sago, rajgira, singhare ka aata (water chestnut flour), Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Gourd (Lauki), Arbi, Squash, Spinach, Gourd, Cucumber, Carrot and All Fruits. Wheat, rice, semolina, maida, cornmeal, legumes and legumes are forbidden during Navratri fasting. There are many differences related to the number of fasting days, how long the fast lasts throughout the day, and the types of foods included and avoided during the fast. While some only drink water, some may fast intermittently, some eat only fruit and milk, and some eat one meal a day.

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BENEFITS OF FASTING

“Besides its spiritual aspect, fasting offers several health benefits when practiced properly. Studies have shown that fasting has effects on fat loss and weight loss. Restricting food intake can prevent chronic ailments such as high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc improve mental well-being. Our bodies are in a dormant mode during fasting periods. This signals our digestive system to start the body’s detoxification process and cleanse our gut,” says Dr. Meghana Pasi, Nutritionist MyThali Program, ArogyaWorld.

TIPS FOR HEALTHY FASTING

dr Pasi also suggests fasting tips to stay healthy

HAVE KHICHDI OR ROTI RATHER THAN PURI AND PAKODA

• Although regular grains such as rice and wheat are not consumed during the fast, be mindful of the other grains you eat such as sabudana (sago). Use them in khichdis or rotis rather than puris, pakodas, vadas, or halwas.

PREFER FRUIT CHAT VS FRIES FRIES

• Try to stay away from greasy foods. These may seem tempting, but at the end of the day, they will leave you feeling bloated. Better a fruit chat instead of potato fries.

HAVE FRUIT

• Eat lots of fruit as not only does it provide you with loads of vitamins, minerals and fibre, but also natural sugars to keep you full of energy throughout the day.

Don’t overdo it with root vegetables

• Many people include root vegetables such as potato, yam (Jimikand), sweet potato, pumpkin, arbi (Colocasia root) in their meals. These are starchy vegetables that are high in B vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, they provide you with a lot of calories, so don’t overeat.

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HAVE MILK AND DAIRY

• Add milk and dairy products like cottage cheese, buttermilk, and paneer and ghee to meet the day’s protein and calcium needs.

AVOID TEA AND COFFEE

• Try to avoid tea/coffee as these will eventually dehydrate the body. Instead, prefer coconut water, nimbu pani, buttermilk, milkshake, or just plain water.

CHOOSE HEALTHY SNACKS

• You may get hungry at unusual times during the fast. So instead of munching on fried chips, opt for healthy snacks like mahanas (fox nuts), boiled yams, fruit, and dried fruit.

LIMIT SUGAR

• Avoid using refined sugar in your kheer or halwas. Try adding more cardamom, honey, dates, cinnamon and fresh fruit to pump up the sweetness of your quick delicacy.

EAT NUTRIENT-RICH FOODS

• Avoid long fasts for beginners. Eat nutrient-dense foods like fruit and dried fruit to give you enough energy.

HEALTHY FAST BREAKING

• Do not overeat immediately after breaking the fast. Eat light meals.

“Fasting can have tremendous health benefits when done with faith and mindfulness. However, pregnant/lactating mothers, those with eating disorders, and those taking medication for chronic medical conditions should be very careful about fasting,” concludes Dr. Meghana Pasi.

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