The festival season is round the corner and it begins with the fasting period of Navratri. This year the Navratri fasts are from 17th October and would culminate in Dusshera celebrations. Navaratri is a Hindu festival that spans nine nights (and ten days) and is celebrated every year in the autumn.
The festival is associated with the prominent battle that took place between Durga and demon Mahishasura and celebrates the victory of Good over Evil. These nine days are solely dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars – the Navadurga. Each day is associated with an incarnation of the goddess. To pay respects to Goddess Durga many people countrywide keep fasts for nine days while some keep the first and last day while some others fast for eight days. Irrespective of the number of days the fast is kept, the pious feeling of reverence for the Goddess is the same.
During this fasting period usually, people indulge in high fat, high sugar and high carbohydrate foods with little emphasis on fibre rich and protein rich foods. It causes them to ingest an unhealthy diet which makes matters worse for health. It can cause weight gain, spike in blood sugars, spike in blood pressure or sudden drop in blood sugar or blood pressure. Therefore, it is extremely important to try maintain taking a healthy diet, even during the fasts, keeping in the mind the traditional and religious instructions.
Some important tips to keep in mind during the fasting period are:
1. Stay properly hydrated throughout the day by drinking water, nimbu pani, tender coconut water, buttermilk, lassi etc
2. Avoid the use of extra white sugar in food preparations. Try to have foods as their natural flavour. If you wish to sweeten some dishes use jaggery, stevia, honey instead.
3. Avoid using extra salt in food preparations. Use lemon juice instead to impart taste to dishes.
4. Try mixing high fiber foods in your singhada atta or kuttu atta before making rotis, paranthas or cheelas.
5. Avoid deep frying of foods – use shallow frying, baking or roasting methods instead.
6. Try to include a serving of fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal to increase the fibre content in your diet.
7. Include healthy fats in your diet like nuts, oilseeds, olive oil, avocado, coconut etc in your diet.
8. Include a serving of protein rich foods in your diet like curd, milk, buttermilk, paneer, soy milk, cashew milk, almond milk etc
9. Fasting means to give rest to the body and therefore try to avoid fried foods.
10. Even during fasting one needs to follow a balanced diet keeping in mind the foods allowed during specific fasts.
To assist you better in the diet to be followed during Navratri keeping in mind your health conditions, we have started a new service “The healthy Navratri Diet Plan” where we provide the personalised diet plan to you based on the information you provide us. The Registration fee is just 250 INR.
If interested, do fill in this google form