Navratri 2020: 8 Useful Fasting Tips for You

Published: 15 October, 2020 16:01 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Want to fast but don’t know how? Fast the correct way with these useful fasting tips

Photo used for representational purposes only. Pic/iStock
Photo used for representational purposes only. Pic/iStock

Navratri is a nine-day long Hindu festival which is celebrated twice a year with the change in seasons. Upcoming Sharad Navratri will commence on October 15. Followers of Goddess Durga indulge in festive revelry which involves offering prayers to the nine forms of Maa Durga and fasting. Fasting during Navratri is a great way to detox and rewire our bodies. 'Vrat' meals are marked by a host of dietary restrictions and minimal use of spices. The significant change in diet can be overwhelming for some and it is important to ensure that we get the nutritional balance right. Here are a few useful tips on fasting during Navratri:

1. Foods to Avoid

A wide range of foods are to be avoided during fasting, these include lentils, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, legumes, corn flour, semolina, eggs. Non-vegetarian food, onion, garlic, and regular salt are not to be consumed. You may opt for gluten-free flour such as 'Kuttu' and 'Singhara'. 'Sendha Namak' can be used in place of regular salt.  

2. Hydration

It is essential to keep yourself hydrated while fasting in order to ensure the proper functioning of the body. Water also helps to keep you fuller throughout the day and aids in detox. Aerated beverages are to be skipped, but you can opt for coconut water, milk, buttermilk, and fresh fruit juices.

3. Do Not Overeat

When we eat a restrictive diet, we might end up overlooking our portion sizes. It is easy to be tempted by the festive delicacies but we must keep in mind that overeating may have an adverse effect on our digestive systems. Avoid excessive fried food and have balanced meals.

4. Fibre-rich food

Fibre-rich foods take longer to digest, meaning, they keep you full longer. This is especially handy when you’re fasting because not only does it prevent you from over-eating, but also aids your digestion. Eat a lot fruits such as such as apple, banana, pear, and orange since they are an excellent source of fibre as well as antioxidants. Good fasting-friendly fibrous foods include Rajgir, samak ka atta, singhara, cauliflower, colocasia (arbi), and pumpkin.

5. Dairy Products

Dairy products such as curd, paneer, buttermilk, ghee, and dishes with khoya and milk can be consumed during Navratri fasting. Curd and Paneer are excellent sources of protein and the former helps to keep your gut healthy. Ghee can be your go-to for cooking your meals while khoya can be incorporated in many desserts.

6. Limit Sugar

The festive season in India always includes a wide variety of sweets. Processed and refined sugars have been proven to be unhealthy and are to be avoided as much as possible. Skip the sweets from the market and make your own at home using healthier alternatives such as jaggery and sugarcane.

7. Light Meals to break fast

If you opt to keep a single day fast, it is advisable to eat something light to break your fast. A whole day of fasting is similar to a cleansing process and it is beneficial to consume small portions of digestible food.

8. Use Healthy Cooking Methods

Navratri fasting will not do any wonders if we keep on eating fried food. However tempting those pakoras might seem, we must be moderate in our consumption. Healthier cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, roasting, and grilling can come in handy when preparing Navaratri dishes. You should avoid using refined oil or seed-based oils and instead opt for desi ghee and peanut oil.

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