The nine-day-long Navratri festival is the time to indulge in ritualistic prayers and cleanse the body through fasting. During the nine-day-long festival, nine forms of Shakti are worshipped; Durga, Kali, Amba, Gauri, Sheetal, Bhairavi, Chandi, Lalita, Bhavani and Tara.
Celebrated twice a year- during spring and fall, scientifically these two
durations are the exact times when your bodies become more vulnerable to diseases and changes. Hence, it is important to maintain a good diet during this time of the year. And this is exactly where Navratri diet comes into the picture.
If taken properly, the Navratri diet helps cleanses the body and prepares it for the seasonal changes. Here’s a quick guide on how to stay away from acidity, indigestion, lack of energy and drowsiness during your fasting.
1. Don’t plan your day without water. Keep yourself hydrated with fluids like coconut water, buttermilk, green tea, lemon water other than just plain water.
2. The whole idea of Navratri diet is, in fact, a good detox routine, only if you follow it right and don’t be too lenient with what you gorge on.
3. Rock salt (sendha namak), the only salt one can use during Navratri, is not just beneficial for your blood pressure but also helps in absorption of minerals better than common salt. Hence, the quantity should be appropriate.
4. Just because you’re on a fast, doesn’t mean you have the right to stuff yourself with fried fast food. Don’t overeat. Don’t go overboard with snacks.
5. Opt for roasted, boiled and baked meals to help you balance the effect of fried snacks you plan to eat.
Increase your intake of fruits: Fruits are one of the best options during the Navaratri fasts. Some of the recommended fruit options include watermelon, apple, mango, musk melon etc. Fruits keep the tummy at peace without any harm. However, people suffering from high blood sugar should ensure that the portion size of fruit consumption is limited. Lemon and any type of citrus food should also be avoided during this time.
Opt for healthy vegetables: While most devotees follow a strict vegetarian diet, some vegetables should get the preference owing to their nutritious benefits to the body. Vegetables such as the potatoes, bottle gourds, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumber etc. are extremely beneficial for the body. It should be kept in mind that vegetables are boiled or cooked in non-refined oil for a healthy fast.
6. Considering the fact that kuttu flour is a combination of carbohydrates and proteins, having kuttu flour
during this time is a good idea.
7. If and when you want to eat ‘namkeens’ specially made for fasts, console yourself and guzzle up fruits or roasted nuts as your mid-day munchies.
8. While your lunch could be a heavy one, the dinner should be kept light. Going for a green tea post-dinner will give you the required brownie point.
Fasting for diabetic patients
Diabetic patients, who wish to keep fast, must take special care.
– For diabetic patients, it is not advisable to take long breaks. In fact, you should take some food after short durations. By doing so, you’ll be maintaining your blood glucose levels.
– It is recommended that you check your blood sugar levels a few times during the day. Fast should also be broken if blood sugar is less than 70 mg per percentage in the first few hours after the start of the fast.
Diabetic patients could have slow absorbing foods, which have low glycemic index, before you begin the fast. These types of food keep your blood glucose level more even during the course of the fast.
– During the course of the fast, if you feel less energetic, avoid resorting to too much intake of tea or coffee. Rather, drink plenty of water and sugar free beverages like lemonade, coconut water, buttermilk etc throughout the day.
– Diabetic patients should eat these foods during the fast – roasted phool makhana, paneer, water chestnuts (singhara), pumpkin raita, kheera raita. Amaranth flour can be used for making chapati. Potato should not be consumed.
Diabetic patients who are taking insulin may have to adjust the dose of their insulin as the requirement of insulin may reduce upto 4%.
Following Complaints can occur while fasting
Altered taste in mouth
Rumbling in abdomen
Chest pain on fasting
Indigestion over eating from or too much fluid intake
Heaviness loss sleep from
Headache from loss of sleep
Arsenic alb, nux vom, sulphur, pulsatilla, nat. Mur, lyco, phos are few remedies should be used according to the symptom similarity of the patient.
However, you shouldn’t try to self-medicate as it is best to consult with a doctor who can properly diagnose the problems and prescribe medication which are specifically tailored for you.