Navratri, one of the most significant festivals of the Hindus celebrated all across the world and is the most ancient festivals dating back to the times immemorable.
During the nine auspicious days of Navratri, a lot of people celebrate it by observing a fast.
“During navratri, those fasting abstain from eating any grains or ‘anna‘, and eat seasonal produce.
Foods like sweet potato, arbi, raw banana, potatoes, yam, dudhi/lauki or bottle gourd are consumed. They are all rich in nutrients like fibre, complex carbohydrates, that are essential for the body during this fasting phase. These vegetables bring a sense of grounding, helping the body to maintain calmness, stability.
According to Karishma Shah, a nutritionist and holistic wellness coach, “Before the beginning of winter, this also is a way to cleanse and give rest to the body, and heal” .
How to fast during Navratri?
An ideal way to detox the body, enhance digestion and increase positivity is to observe a fast during Navratri.
While the benefits of fasting during Navratri are plenty, many of us fast in a manner that further disturbs the balance in our body.
Here is a complete guide on how to fast during Navratri in a way that is conducive to your body and mind:
Planning your Fast during Navratri:
Include sweet fruits like apple, banana, sapodilla, papaya, watermelon, and grapes to your fruit diet. You can also have Indian gooseberry (amla) juice, bottle gourd (lauki) juice and tender coconut water.
In case you have a health condition, it would be best to consult a doctor before fasting and remember to do only as much as you are comfortable with.
Tip for fasting during Covid-19 : If you feel weak or uncomfortable in any way, it would be a good idea to observe fasting with fruits, water, and buttermilk, rather than stay hungry for long periods of time.
Traditional Navratri Fasting diet
- Buckwheat (kuttu) roti, fasting rice (shamak rice), dosa from fasting rice, dishes made from sago (sabudana), water chestnut (singhara) flour, rajgira, yam (suran), colocasia (arbi), boiled sweet potatoes (shakarkand), etc.
- Clarified butter (ghee), milk and buttermilk. All these have a cooling effect on the body
- Yogurt combined with bottle gourd (lauki) and pumpkin (kaddu)
- Lots of fluids – tender coconut water, juices, vegetable soups, etc. Besides providing energy, they prevent dehydration and flush out the toxins released during fasting
- Fruit salad made with papaya, pear, and apple
When following a traditional Navratri diet, it is also recommended to:
· Use rock salt instead of common salt for cooking
· Use healthy cooking methods like roasting, boiling, steaming and grilling
· Be strictly vegetarian
· Avoid grains for the first few days
· Avoid any fried and heavy food
· Avoid onion and garlic
· Avoid overeating
Those who cannot fast should abstain from non-vegetarian food, alcohol, onion, garlic and use rock salt instead of common salt for cooking.
Breaking your fast: Avoid heavy meals as that not only makes it difficult for the system to digest but also undo the cleansing process and positive effects of fasting
Observe fast with yoga and meditation: Gentle yoga poses, stretches, twists and bends complement the fasting process. It speeds up the detoxification process, and you will feel uplifted and energized.
Fasting during Navratri:
“We fast not to please the Divine, but to cleanse our body.” – Gurudev Sri Ravi Shankar.
Ayurveda says fasting rekindles the digestive fire. An increase in the digestive fire burns the toxins in the body. When the toxins are flushed out of the body, it loses dullness and lethargy.
Rich in colors, tradition, songs, and dance, Navratri is also a time for us to relax, turn inwards and recharge ourselves with new energy. Fasting during Navratri makes that inner journey towards bliss and joy easier to make. It reduces the restlessness of the mind and brings forth awareness and joy.
Note: Fasting is not recommended for certain body constitutions and health conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to consult an Ayurvedic doctor before you fast.
If you are observing fast for nine days and wants to lose some weight then, this article is for you. Here we are with some easy nutrient rich tips that will help you in cutting down those extra kilos from your body. Take a look below:
- Include Vegetables In Diet: Focus on green vegetables, which are rich in nutrition and easy to digest as they will satisfy your stomach. You can also have homemade salads and soups.
- Take Small Meals: Taking small meals gives you complete nutrition and keeps you full of energy throughout the day.
- Choose Low-Fat: Do not drink full-cream milk or eat cream and cheese. It is better to eat a plate of salad, which will help you lose weight.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Whether fasting or not, we should drink plenty of water during the day. Water helps in cleansing and detoxing our body and also keeps the body hydrated.
- Workout: Just because you’re fasting doesn’t mean you don’t need to work out. If you are feeling short of energy, then you should do easy exercises, to avoid accumulating fat in the body.
These were a few tips for you to celebrate Navratri with loads of happiness and joy. Besides, taking care of yourself and your health.