1st October 2016 marks the start of Sharad Navratri, which culminates into Dussehra. Each of the nine days of this festival are devoted to nine forms of Goddess Shakti. Navratri is a time of fasting, to cleanse the body and build its immunity for the next season. While at this time most people refrain from eating grains, pulses and meats, some also give into unhealthy indulgences just to satisfy those cravings. You may trick yourself to believing that you are following the rules of fasting, but you are actually doing more harm to your body with those fried snacks and greasy food.
Healthy Tips For Fasting During Navratri
Here are some expert tips to remain healthy while you fast –
1. It is better to eat small meals instead of starving yourself. The frequent meals help maintain blood glucose levels and ensure you are fuelled up to go through the day.
2. Unless you are doing a ‘nirjal vrat’ (fast where you don’t even have water), keep yourself hydrated. It is recommended that you consume lots of water. Other fluids like coconut water, green tea, buttermilk and lemon water are also great.
3. Though a lot ofvrat recipes involve frying, try to bake, roast or grill vegetables to make your meal healthier.
4. It is a good idea to pair foods high in carbohydrates like potatoes and sabudana (widely used in fasting) with other fibrous vegetables like capsicum, tomatoes, spinach and cabbage.
5. Amaranth is a fantastic source of protein that you can include in your menu during fasting. You can whip up an amaranth porridge with milk or even stir it up as savoury daliya with lots of vegetables.
6. Kuttu, a flour used abundantly in Navratri, is a wonderful combination of carbohydrates (70-75%) and protein(20-25%). You can make chapattis with it and steer off those oil laden pooris.
7. Samak rice is easy on your digestive system and you can enjoy it with your favourite sabzi like aam ki sabzi.
8. Got a sweet tooth? Those sugar cravings can be curbed by indulging in fruits, raita, dates, apple kheer or samak rice kheer.
9. Mid-day munchies can keep those hunger pangs at bay. However, stay clear of those namkeen packets as they are high in salt and fat content. You can instead opt for roasted makhana (fox nuts), or a handful of assorted nuts (almonds/raisins/walnut).
10. Stay off refined sugar and substitute it with healthier alternatives like jaggery or honey.