It’s time to feel festive! Festivals are ways to celebrate life and positivity surrounding us. Navaratri is one such occasion. It is the time for the ritualistic prayers, the chants of mantras and fasting. When you fast for 9 days, it is very important to stay healthy and follow a diet that will help you to stay fit.
Navaratri usually starts on the first day (pratipada) of the lunar month of Ashwin. Scientifically, Navaratri is celebrated during the exact time of the year when your body is vulnerable to ailment due to seasonal changes. And your diet should be controlled and proper to keep yourself disease-free.
The below-mentioned diet will help you to prevent acidity, indigestion, lack of energy and drowsiness during your fasts.
- Keep yourself hydrated with fluids like coconut water, buttermilk, green tea, lemon water instead of plain water.
- Ayurveda says that foods like onion, garlic, and common salt attract and absorb negative energy and therefore it is avoided during Navaratri.
- Avoid staying hungry for a long period, as it may lead to acidity. Keep munching light snacks like roasted nuts, fruits, etc.
- An appropriate amount of rock salt (sendha namak) can be used in Navaratri instead of common salt. It keeps your blood pressure under control and improves mineral absorption in your body.
- Don’t indulge yourself into overeating after fast. It may cause indigestion.
- Go for a boiled or baked meal to balance the effect of fried kinds of stuff that you plan to eat.
- Avoid oily stuff like aloo tikki etc. and treat yourself with healthier options like sabudana khichdi (Buckwheat khichdi) with veggies, kheer, dosa made of kuttu with curd, samo rice with pudina chutney (mint), etc.
- Kuttu flour is also a healthier option as it is a combination of carbohydrate and protein.
- Keep your lunch heavy, and the dinner should ideally be light. A cup of green tea after dinner will also help to rejuvenate you. Milk before sleeping is also helpful as it is rich in protein content.
- Don’t be too lenient on what you grab during this festival season. Follow it in a right way and keep yourself healthy.
Here is the diet guide for people who may not fast on Navaratri but don’t intend to put on those extra kilos either:
- Avoid fried foods this Navaratri: Fried foods are everyone’s favorite during festivals. But if you wish to detoxify your system, avoid the fried puris, pakodas, chips, etc. For people with high cholesterol, fat intake should be controlled. Go for kuttu pakodis stuffed with paneer and veggies and fried in olive oil.
- Go for high protein and fiber foods: Foods rich in protein and fiber will help you to lose weight. Pomegranate seeds are rich in fiber (add curd to make it tastier). Ensure proper water intake (2-3 liters) when you are on fiber diet to avoid dehydration.
- Detoxify your system: Rely on mint water, cucumber water, lemon water, etc instead of plain water. Soak 100g of fruit in 300 ml of water overnight to make infused water. Shakes are also helpful for detoxification. Go for curd-based shakes instead of milk-based. Example, mix some strawberries with curd and blend in a mixer for mid-morning cravings.
- Dry fruits are beneficial: dry fruits will keep you energetic during dandia. Go for almonds, walnuts, dates, anjeer (figs), etc. Avoid cashews if you have high cholesterol. Three figs will keep you energetic throughout the day; 4-5 dates with 1-2 almonds will make up for an iron deficiency if you are fasting.
- Green leafy vegetables: Soups with green leafy vegetables is a very healthy option. Beetroot soup will help to make up for iron and calcium deficiency if you are fasting. Salads like cucumber, beetroot, carrot, cabbage, asparagus, radish with lemon and mustard seeds are great for weight loss.
- Jasmine tea for detoxification: Jasmine tea will help to prevent water retention. It is found to be helpful than green tea or black tea.
The diet followed during these 9 days of Navaratri is a mix of religious rituals with scientific illustrations. If followed properly, it will help to detoxify your system and improve your immunity towards seasonal changes. However, there is always a “Plan B” to prepare you for the seasonal changes. The choice is yours.
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