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Navratri: Fast, Feast, Fun, and Health!

Navratri is a festival time full of colors, songs, dance, and tradition. It is that time of the year when many of us relax and recharge both physically and mentally with lots of positive vibes and festive energies. This is an important event for many devotees as they mark these nine days by fasting, prayers, and dancing to get the blessings of Maa Durga. This year Navratri starts on 26th September and ends on 5th October. Many of them fast for all nine days, while few fast for the first two days or the last two days of the nine-day festival.

Fasting is a way to cleanse your Body, Mind, and Soul.

As a Holistic Nutritionist, I would recommend observing fast whenever you get a chance to do so. Fasting is a way to cleanse your body or detox your body. Ayurveda says that the human digestive fire is rekindled by fasting. As the digestive fire increases, the toxins are flushed out from the body more efficiently and reduce lethargy.

This cleansing calms our Mind, helps in de-stress, and builds immunity.

Benefits of fasting:

  • Helps in weight loss

  • Helps to cure digestive system-related disorders.

  • Helps to lower cholesterol.

  • Helps to have good glowing skin.

  • Increased energy levels and immunity.

Points to remember:

  • Avoid Tea and coffee on empty stomach instead start your day with a glass of lemon water or any vegetable juice.

  • Avoid eating too much in one go.

  • Do not fast if you are taking any medications for any kind of health condition.

  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers are not advised to fast.

  • Always consume a protein-based meal after you are done dancing dandiya/garbha.

Foods to be consumed:

1) Grains: During Navratri fasting Rice and wheat are avoided and generally buckwheat and barnyard millet is included. Buckwheat flour, Water chestnut flour (Singhare ka Atta) or Amaranth flour (Rajgira Ka Atta) are the flour generally used for preparations. Saboodana Khichidi can also be included in the diet.

2) Fruit: All kinds of fruits can be included in the diet during Navratri fasting.

3) Vegetables: All kinds of vegetables can be included in the diet preferably in boiled or steamed form. Potatoes and sweet potatoes can be taken in boiled form.

4) Milk and milk products: Milk, curd, paneer, and ghee can be included in the diet as these are the only source of protein during this fast.

5) Salt can be added to salads and other preparations in minimal amounts.

6) All reserved and processed foods are generally avoided during this Navratri fasting. Legumes, pulses, and dals are also avoided during this fast.

.........Wishing all a Joyous, Healthy, and blessed Navratri…….

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