Fast right this Navaratri

Fasting is not about quitting food, rather it is about making smart eating choices, taking frequent meals, and staying hydrated throughout Navaratri festival

Though Navaratri is a festival of worshipping the nine avatars of Maa Durga and help in building peace spiritually but it also helps a person in developing a healthy body with better eating eating habits. As we know that many people fast during these days with the motive to be closer to god but besides devotion, fasting also helps in detoxifying the body. But this festival is not just about fasting, it is also about what to eat and what not to. So to understand better, here is the list which solves all the queries:

Eat More Vegetables

Eating vegetables will keep you fuller for a longer period and will stop you from binge eating. Adding tomatoes, cucumber, bottle gourd, and pumpkin can help in being hydrated as they contain a good percentage of water. You can also have vegetable salads or soup. You should try to avoid eating potato-based food as they can cause high blood pressure.

Small and Frequent Meals

Some people think fasting means not consume any solid food and starve themselves. Doing so makes the blood glucose levels drop and reduce one's energy. To avoid such tragedy, one should intake 3-4 small meals throughout the day rather than one large meal.

Stay Hydrated

Not having sufficient water can make you feel hungry, thirsty and weak while you are fasting. If you do not prefer drinking water, other options include Lemonade, coconut water, vegetable and fruit juice to maintain water level in one's body. Drinking water even before you start to feel thirsty might just prevent dehydration.

say no to packaged food

Packaged food items deteriorates the pain of cooking, thus it's consumption increases during these nine days. Devouring for a healthier homemade snack help in reducing weight. Instead of eating processed food like vrat chips, and sweets, one can snack on peanuts, makhanas or chanas available at home. Try to add Sendha Namak (Rock Salt)while preparing snacks to enhance the taste.

Eat Low Fat Food

Rather than consuming full cream milk or cheese, go for low-fat milk or cream. You can avail essential nutrients like protein, amino-acids, and minerals from the low-fat options as well. (Inputs by Avni Kaul, Nutritionist, NutriActivania)

What to eat:

Staying hydrated with options like lemonade, coconut water, buttermilk, green or herbal tea is an important factor as it helps in flushing out the toxins from the body.

As there are fewer options to eat, focus on eating more vegetables, fruits, and unsweetened beverages. These provide the body with various vitamins, minerals and fibres.

Adding low fat yogurt or milk, nuts and seeds is a good way to achieving a rich protein food.

You can have a heavy lunch, but try consuming light dinner to keep a check on digestion.

Desserts should be taken in restricted quantity to avoid calorie overload.

What not to eat:

We generally fast to give our body a break from the regular diet, therefore, it is important to avoid the 'Navratri special' fried stuff and snacks.

And obviously, it is Navaratri, so alcohol and non-vegetarian food must be strictly avoided.

(Sandhya Pandey, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), Gurgaon)

Celebrating Navaratri in a healthy manner not only helps in having a detoxified body but also a peaceful mind.

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