Diet & Nutrition
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Diet & Nutrition

Eat right this Navratri

Navratri is one of the most important traditional festivals in India. It is associated with the worshipping of goddess Durga and her nine incarnations. It occurs two times a year for nine days each day representing one incarnation of the goddess. During this holy period, men and women continue fasting to express their devotion and love towards Goddess Durga.

Worshippers do not consume any non-vegetarian food such as meat, fish, eggs, onions, garlic or alcohol or dishes made with common salt or any kind of spice. Many people survive on milk, fruits and fruit juices for the entire length of fasting. Apart from those, people also indulge in tea, coffee, milk and milk products, dry fruits, sago and potato cooked with rock salt at the time of partial fasting.

Healthy fasting tips for Navratri

Come the Navratra’s and we start preparing our mind and kitchen for the fasting process. Fasting during Since the fasting goes on for the whole nine days, it can even cause a lot of health issues such as stomach bloating, headaches, irritability and tiredness because of change in the food habits. Here are a few tips on how to keep your body healthy without starving during Navratri-

  1. Eat small meals at regular intervals. This will keep your metabolism in top shape.
  2. Drink a lot of water between meals.
  3. Avoid fried foods and include more of yogurt, smoothies, lassi and fruits which not only will keep you full but maintain the optimum fluids in the body.
  4. Instead of puri or pakoras (both fried) made from Kuttu atta, try out Kuttu roti/ dosa/ chilla, replace fried aloo-chat with boiled aloo-chat and kheer with fruit curd.
  5. Indulging in fibrous meals helps to reduce the carbohydrate intake. Combine carbohydrate-rich foods like potato, sabudana (Tapioca Sago) with fibre-rich vegetables such as spinach, capsicum, cabbage, tomato, bottle gourd etc. Also, prefer healthy cooking methods like roasting, grilling or baking over deep frying, this helps in avoiding excess fat/oil consumption.
  6. Protein need not be missed, and one must consume Amaranth is in the Navratri. Include milk porridge or Namkeen daliya (Salted oats) along with the meals to add protein to your plate. Use skimmed milk or double toned milk for dishes which require milk for cooking.
  7. Keep drinking water, coconut water, lemonade (without sugar), herbal teas
  8. Substituting sugar with jaggery or honey is also a great option.
  9. Use rajgira flour to make rotis sometimes instead, its light and low in calories.
  10. Try including fresh fruits in your diet in various forms of salads, smoothies and raitas to keep up with your nutrition.
  11. Healthy snacking can help you get the required vitamins and minerals. Have a handful of roasted makhanas or a handful of nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts.
  12. Vegetable juices made out of bottle gourd, tomato, apple and a little bit of ginger, provide mega shots of vitamins A, B and C, serving as antioxidants.
  13. Keep your portions under control.

Ill effects of not fasting properly

Many people who fast also go to play garba or dandiya in the evenings. Since this requires stamina and energy, it is vital that you fast in a proper manner in order to enjoy the festivities and not strain your body’s health. Some of the ill-effects of not fasting properly are:

  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Fainting due to drop in blood sugar level
  • Unable to sleep properly
  • Lack of stamina
  • Tiredness

Stay energised for garba nights

Eating an hour before garba will not make you feel heavy during the dance and will also ensure that you are not low on energy. It is important to make sure that you create a balance. Here are a few tips you can follow to keep you energised for the dance-

  1. Have a combination of proteins and carbohydrates to keep you going for long. You can opt for some dry fruit milkshake or a buckwheat pancake with some cottage cheese cubes.
  2. Stay hydrated: Make healthy protein shakes with a variety of fruits and nuts. Add seasonal fruits to the mix, to yield maximum health benefits. Drinking plenty of water and electrolyte drinks and all those food indulgences which are not just fast-friendly but also recharge you.
  3. Include fibre-rich foods: It is essential you pick food items that are rich in fiber, which will help you stay fuller for a longer duration. Good fast-friendly fibrous options include Samak ka atta, Rajgir, singhara, pumpkin, and colocasia (arbi).
  4. A lot of easy options available in the market like fast-friendly namkeens, chips, and meals. However, do remember that they go through a lot of processing and made in refined oil. This undo the purpose of fasting in these nine holy days!
  5. Get enough sleep: During fasting and the garba dance everday, the body undergoes different changes and it needs plenty of rest. And so, make sure you sleep for 7–8 hours every day to recharge yourself for the next day.
  6. Don’t overexert and recover well: During this festival, you are likely to stay full of meal prepping, attending events and fasting. However, remember that the body is low on energy so try not to exert, under eat and put excessive pressure on your body. Keep snacking on something from time to time and rest when you can.

Always prefer homemade meals and avoid fasting food plates. It is a good way to avoid unnecessary oil and fatty foods. Have a healthy and fruitful Navratri this season and don’t forget to enjoy Garba, as this dance form is an excellent cardio session.

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